Nobody started out doing anything saying “Hopefully what I’m about to do ruins my life!”. Typically it is more like “What I am about to do is going to make my life and that of my family and friends happier!”.
You were sent to this Earth perfect.
Every conceivable thing about you is perfect.
Nothing that you or anyone else ever says or thinks or does can change that.
You can make mistakes. You can do things that ought not be done.
You are still perfect.
You are here for a reason, and you deserve to discover that reason.
Your friends don’t see the horrible story that your mind is telling you that you are. In fact: no one does. It is a habit of your mind to get you distracted from anything that threatens it’s paper tiger kingdom. When you give yourself a break you are really giving yourself a break from your mind. You will have a lot more energy for having done so, too.
I’ve got a favorite story. It has been for a long time. I’ve always wondered why and you probably will too once you hear it. I was born in Milwaukee, WI. My parents moved to Reedsville, WI to run a funeral home when I was a baby.
We lived in a wonderful old home. My parents had a station wagon. Eventually they had a Datsun Nissan Sentra hatch-back; the car with three names. The other one was a Family Vacation style station wagon.
What happened one day was that dad was driving, mom was in front, and I was in back. We got home and got out of the car. Not paying attention, I managed to get my fingers squashed between the car and the car door when my mom closed it. My mom didn’t notice though; because it didn’t hurt me. I stared at it wondering what was going on. I told mom and she opened the door. That is when the surprise came!
When the blood rushed back into my fingers I could barely make sense of it. It was confusing, and even exciting, all at once. It felt like suffocating, and then drowning, and then burning. My little mind said “Oh, OK, hmm…” and then things got really strange: then the pain came.
It enveloped by entire being; the prickly pain of a thousand tendrils of angry fire. The world stopped if only for a microsecond. Then it started again. Then the tears came. Mom hugged me. But, I couldn’t shake this one off. It took the rest of the afternoon to feel better. This is probably normal.
The reaction, I mean. It was all so sudden and the process was so quick. Little people have that strength of being able to go through the process in seconds or hours instead of years like big people. Big people can even end up forgetting what got them into that numb place so by the time they get back to sensing again it is even more baffling. The challenge is that all of the stages and feelings still come along with it. It can be baffling.
There you are happily plodding along in life as numb as can be and you start to feel the burning. It is shocking! Electric, truly.
The fun and glorious parts of the process get a lot of love and attention. Maybe these parts deserve some credit, too? Not to dwell on them, but maybe just recognize them as part of the process?
Being able to feel yourself take a great big breath of air, and exhale it, whenever you want, makes it all worth it.
Doing it for that little person version of yourself that is tucked safely away in the infinite space of your own heart so they can breathe easy makes it all worth it, too.
Yoga International @himalayanorg is an online resource containing everything that they done in their printed format, in an on-line format, along with everything that they will do, too. That is really super. It is delightful to dig into a topic or idea in such an accessible manner. The digital membership pass is so amazingly priced, too!
Paul recommended this book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Sounds pretty interesting.
Catherine is a delightful teacher and she taught a delightful class. Let me elaborate.
I haven’t done hatha for a long, long time. Too long. I really haven’t done much of anything physical for a long time, either. That is the problem. No, that is the opportunity. Everything is either an opportunity, or not worth pondering.
I went to class without a clue about how I was going to get through 60 minutes of hatha. I mean, I knew that I couldn’t. I banked on being able to just stop and rest. I did, and that was fine.
I needed help overcoming the inertia of doing nothing, and this was my chance, so with a gentle nudge from my good friend to help me along, I went, even though people would probably figure out pretty quickly that I wasn’t attending class as my warm up for my Cirque du Soleil interview later that morning.
Nobody chased me out of the studio, it was no big deal. I didn’t run away from the whole thing, either. I did hatha for 20 minutes, rested for 20, and did the final 20, and that was no big deal. The last 20 was a lot easier floor stuff. The world didn’t end. Instead, the world expanded.
Could somebody going to yoga be embarrassed about being clueless? Yes. Could they be insecure about the whole thing? Yes. Might they wonder why the heck they are there when, everyone else there seems to be an expert already? Yes. I didn’t think any of it, though.
My mind didn’t even bother to start telling me those stories. Catherine created an environment where the minds of her students could be illuminated by the luminosity of that which is gentle and kind, so that they could just do their practice. There is work to be done, and you have to be the one to do it, but when you have a kind and masterful teacher, it is a delightful experience because you can utilize your energy for your own good, instead of your own detriment with doubt and fear. Catherine was super.
The whole thing was really, really great. I’m going to the beginner classes next, with the goal of working on strength and flexibility. Part of me wonders of some beginner-yoga motorcycle-riders classes will spontaneously be scheduled as Spring nears.