Yoga Actually Makes Life Harder
Sutra 1.5: The fluctuations in the heart-mind are five-fold. They are either helpful or harmful.
Do you ever get into a FUNK; recognize you are in a FUNK; and resort to some kind of “funky” behavior that you KNOW is NOT helpful. In the depths and despair of the FUNK, I think things like, “Sorry, just don’t have the energy to make a better choice right now,” or “screw cultivating my growth, I’m going to sit here and binge eat or drink or drug or Netflix or whatever your vice; and I’m going to enjoy it, damnit.” So you consciously go on with the unhelpful habit or tendency…..of course, you don’t ACTUALLY enjoy it; OR you are mistaking numbness for enjoyment because it’s somehow better than the hurt, the sadness, the jealousy, the fear, or the guilt that you will inevitably FEEL because that is what got you into the FUNK in the first place?!
I’ll never forget what a teacher said to me back when I first started practicing yoga, she said, “before yoga makes your life more easeful, it will make your life more difficult.” I totally did not ‘get it’ at the time; BUT, what I think what she was trying to tell me was that yoga is going to gift me a pair of glasses, and through these lenses I will start to SEE. And I may very well NOT like what it is that I see, especially because I can never UNSEE it! No matter how hard I try, even if I rip the glasses from my face and smash them beneath my feet. I still cannot UNSEE, the SEEN. Basically, I cannot fung shway the FUNK. There is no arrangement or re-arrangement of my unhelpful thoughts, habits, and tendencies that WILL MAKE them HELPFUL. Whether my eating disorder is hidden in the basement or displayed in the living room, whether it is hung on the wall, or placed high up on a shelf, it IS STILL my eating disorder and IT STILL resides in MY house. So EVEN if it is buried behind grandma’s christmas decorations in the attic, I still have the knowledge that it’s there. And HERE is where I believe the “HARD” part of yoga comes into play. NOW that I have both seen and acknowledged that it is NOT helpful, NOW, I have to DO something about it.
SEEING is one thing, CHANGING is another. Re-patterning, re-programing, and re-newing, sound like the PERFECT answer. “Yeah, just re program yourself Andrea, no biggie, love yourself, accept yourself, you are perfect, let it go”….all phrases we hear tossed about like a kale caesar salad, and I’m just as guilty as the next, my classes are chalk full of those phrases AND they will continue to be.
BUT REAL TALK here: if I could let that shit go, I would have done it twenty years ago!
Words have a tendency to make experiences and processes sound EASY, when in fact, they are far from it. I am not sitting here pretending I have the answer, and even if I did, that I could offer it to you in a one page essay on sutra 1.5. What I AM doing is acknowledging YOU and YOUR experiences and how HARD change IS. I am acknowledging YOUR HURT and YOUR PAIN and YOUR STRUGGLES. I am APPLAUDING and HONORING you for showing up today, for reading or hearing this with the bravery and courage it takes to put the glasses on; again, and again, and again, to see and re-see what may be VERY hard to look at.
So next time you are in a FUNK, because there will be a next time, hell, it might even be RIGHT NOW, I want you to remember that you CANNOT fung shway the FUNK. Spend just a little LESS time playing the tiresome game of trying to make the FUNK look FUNKY and a little MORE time identifying the FUNK as JUNK, and NO, do not get cutesy and think you can just put the junk in the trunk, oh no, OUT to the curb where it belongs! Empower yourself to choose the soundtrack of your mind.
Cue the BLACK EYED PEAS.
Now “whatcha you gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside your trunk?!?”
Seriously, you should go play that song now.
Til next week.