am not! (much. okay, maybe some)

By on Oct 26, 2012 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

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I have been accused of living in denial. 

me?!
no way.

I am observing that ashtangis tend to be forward thinking people.  They like to plan and work toward their goals.  I suppose I fit into that category.  Maybe my goals are not as tangible as the next person’s, maybe my goal is usually more an experience than an outcome, but they are goals I work toward none the less.

This week in Miami has been a little mini-mysore.  at least in that the day starts out with whispered good mornings and groaning smiles, leave-it-on-your mat practices, and then long discussions of practice and poses and how to make life fit over coffee and breakfast.  those slightly embarrassing and inadvertent displays of soul and ego that come from having the time to process the results of practice out loud, in front of another human being.  and as a result, the somewhat comforting and somewhat uncomfortable closeness that develops between you and a near stranger.

But sometimes it takes a stranger to see the reality of a situation.  Our friends and families and regular practice companions have too many ideas, too many samskaras, around who we are and what we struggle with.

I have thought it a bit funny, this year of practicing, that I don’t find myself looking forward.  I am not gearing up for the next poses, I don’t even know what order they come in. I consider myself content with things as they are.
I don’t need poses, I just need to do my work.
but I also (thought I had) learned in February that sometimes you don’t get to make the decision to be where you are. sometimes your teacher decides for you that it is time to move forward.

Well, this morning, over coffee and breakfast my new ashtanga confidant let me in on something I had failed to see.  I am living in denial.  not only living in denial of the fact that I will have to do more (and more and more) of this practice, but that I am already doing it.
I am denying that I am doing what I am doing every day.
Sure, I have a lot of room for improvement.  but that doesn’t mean I am not doing it.

I am not sure what it is about this part of the practice that motivates me to work so hard while causing me to completely deny that I am capable of any of it.  I guess that’s why I have teachers, so that I can trust them to tell me that I can do it, because I’m not ready to admit it to myself.

2 Comments

  1. Laura Lea Nalle

    November 16, 2012

    “But sometimes it takes a stranger to see the reality of a situation. Our friends and families and regular practice companions have too many ideas, too many samskaras, around who we are and what we struggle with.”

    This is very true and something I’ve been thinking about recently, too. Thanks.

    Glad you’re blogging again! I took quite a bit of a break too and it feels good to be back. I think it took some time to assimilate and integrate India, and life happens, and maybe I live in a bit of denial too. It can be helpful to go radio silent for a while, but it might also enable the denial. Anyways, glad to see you back here, and I’ll see you back in India soon enough!

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