waiting is filled.

By on Feb 23, 2011 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

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So, here I am. Nearing the end of two months in Mysore… and nothing has changed. except everything.

It can be such a struggle to see change, to see progress and transition when that shift is coming in the form of an attitude or an outlook and not in the form of something physically tangible, like an asana.

Last week I was miserable.
I didn’t blog because I didn’t want to drag you all through the muck and mire of my own self doubt.  Part of me didn’t want to admit that the doubt and misery were even taking place.  I would wait it out and when something changed and I had something positive (or maybe even inspiring) to write about, then I would blog.
In the midst of this chasm of self pity and loathing that I had inadvertently slipped into, lil Kino popped up with the suggestion of coffee.  I didn’t want to admit defeat to Kino.  I didn’t want to admit doubt to Kino. I wanted to be the strong, independent person everyone has been so impressed with.  So, as we chatted, I talked about things I like about my life.  I talked about the things I was not doubting or avoiding, namely, the decision to leave my studio and become a student.  We discussed how easy it is for people to wait.  To wait for something or someone else to facilitate change in their lives, instead of taking the proverbial bull by the horns and bringing that change into your own life.  I patted myself on the back for being brave enough to do this.  good work, Zoe, you aren’t a totally worthless human being.
I walked home feeling somewhat unsettled. I went to the coco stand and sat down with my other favorite Yoga couple, David and Joy.  I said I was having a bad day. I said I felt out of control and that I had hoped 2 months here would help me settle.  I said I was afraid of leaving because I wasn’t ready to be on my own again; I wasn’t strong enough to do this alone.  David suggested that I don’t have to do it alone; I could change my plans.  I gave him a whole string of reasons why I couldn’t.  and he, as always, laid it down.  “You want to do it alone. You could get help, but you don’t want to… and that’s okay.”  and that’s when it hit.
I was still waiting.
Maybe I made big changes and scary decisions.  But at some point I lost control and I started to wait for something to bring my life back on track.  I waited for Mysore, thinking that it would bring my practice (and therefore my life) into my control.  It did not.  I have to take control of it myself. Nothing is going to do it for me. I thought steadying my practice would steady my life.  But practice doesn’t actually do that, practice just makes it doable.
So, I fasted; I chanted; I went for a long walk. I decided, tomorrow is going to be a good day. It was. Everything turned around and started to go my way.  The next morning was the first time on my mat since I decided to take control of (and responsibility for) my practice and my life.  It was also 2 years to the day from beginning a daily Ashtanga practice. After 7 weeks, Sharath decided I had suffered enough and could move on. just in time.

In two days I leave for 3 weeks in Goa, then 2 weeks in Jaipur, and then another month on the road in steamy south asia before hitting the continent.  We’ll see how I do maintaining this newly rekindled steadiness.

1 Comment

  1. Mike Repede

    February 23, 2011

    Zoe, you have a knack for making me see my own folly! 🙂

    I’ve been reluctant to seriously and regularly journal or blog, precisely because I don’t want to share my struggles and doubt. I worry about others seeing it all, but I think I’m even more afraid of acknowledging it myself. Thanks for shining a little light in that dark corner for me.

    Anyway, I hope sharing proves helpful to your own growth process. It certainly is affecting those around you (albeit half a world away). Thank you again for sharing. Please keep it up, and keep it real.

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