Sometimes what we need in life is space. Space from ourselves. Space from self-criticism, pressure, and fears. When we are wandering in the middle of the forest, we prevent ourselves from seeing the entire mountain range (or the greater patterns of behavior in our life). With space, we are able to recognize our patterns of behavior. Then, we can change those patterns to live a more peaceful life. Recognition is the first step.
The last few months have been a tremendous gift in my life. I got to take a break from extreme pressure. I didn’t have to worry about making rent every month, or making it through my full practice every morning, or knowing exactly where I am and where I am going. And you would think that space from not having to do anything would be relaxing and peaceful. But it essentially made me realize that I am a crazy person and I do not know how to do nothing. I am constantly hyper and feel like I need to be moving and working towards something. Which in a sense I am really happy about because it brings a lot of beautifully unexpected blessings in my life. But it is not always a good thing. Especially when I am left in a place of not knowing what exactly I am working towards. I just keep working. But is more than one kind of work…
When people think of yoga, they think of peace and relaxation. But that is not what my practice is. It helps me find peace. But it became another place, or helped me recognize, that I beat myself up if I am not giving everything my all. It isn’t the practice, it is me. I feel like I have to constantly be working my hardest. I do not let myself take a break. The last couple months, my practice has been inconsistent. And I know that is breaking every Ashtangi rule and I am being a “bad lady”, but the space has been right for me at this time. And I think that is part of the practice, recognizing how it impacts your life in every aspect, on and off the mat.
Living under constant pressure will break you. You can do the same work, without the tremendous amount of pressure. You can be in the same situations and be calm. You just need to breathe. When working through poses that feel like they are breaking my body, my initial reaction is to tense up and fight my way into the pose. Most the time, I can force my body to make something happen. But when I let go for trying to force the pose, follow my breath, relax my body, and trust the process and the work I have been doing, I find my way into the pose. It might take more time, but it is a fuller expression. When you are tense try to force it, you get hurt. Breathe, let go, and trust. That relaxes your body. When you are at a place of peace, the right things happen.
So from taking space from my practice, money, and the life I knew, I have learned a great deal about myself. I have learned that I will never stop working, and I don’t want to. But I want to be breathe and be at peace in all situations. I want those things in my life, they are going to be there. And I don’t need to be scared of them. The things themselves are not scary, but rather I am afraid of myself and my reactions in those situations. But the beautiful things is, I can change that. I can retrain my patterns of behavior. I can breathe. I can keep working towards whatever I am working towards. But I can let go of the outcome, and the pressure. I can trust that I am doing what I am suppose to be doing, that I am where I need to be. I can let go. I can surrender. I can be.
Everything could work
And everything could fail
Don’t let the doubt
Leave you impaired
We need some time
Weed some space
To clear our minds
And allow our souls to think
There is nothing left to do
But to allow yourself to be lost and confused