Rehabilitation of a Yogi: Falling in Like
July 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
There’s this girl, or rather I should say there’s this woman. She’s not perfect, but just like all other sentient beings she wants to be happy. Sometimes she goes about her pursuit of happiness in funny ways. She does things I don’t agree with. She prowls dark alleys and adopts wild pitbull puppies on a whim.
Her desk is a mess of utility bills, brochures, candles and Dharma books. She brushes her teeth in the morning, but rarely at night. She gets cranky for no reason but she tries her best not to take it out on everyone else. She cares about people, her friends, her family, the planet. She’s emotional and cries at that part in the story when the hero is willing to risk it all for love or justice. She feels lonely sometimes and other times she wants to be alone. She can take the big view and allow for space but she can get spacey and daydream for hours about a life that is not hers. She has her faults, this woman, but I’m starting to realize that I really actually like her.
She is up for a wild adventure any time, day or night. She is good at keeping track of her cell phone, keys and wallet. Walking down the street she grins at babies. She writes long detailed emails to friends who appreciate her eloquence. She gives second, third, fourth and more chances because she sees the best in people even when they are not showing their best. Sometimes she feels like a sucker.
For many years yoga and meditation have been central in my life. And longer than that I’ve studied human nature in all its beauty and tragedy as a performer and writer. Lately I noticed I’m developing a soft spot for this one person.
“I feel so stupid,” she says. “How could I have let myself get so caught up in feelings for yet another emotionally unavailable man?” She pouts. She frowns. She shakes her head.
“Stupid is not a feeling,” I remind her. “What do you really feel?”
Sad. Angry, she admits.
I really like her. I like her fire, the way her eyes sparkle when she gets excited. I like how she moves her hips to the rhythm of the music in her head. I like how she gets all dreamy sometimes and a secret smile flutters against her lips. I like her tenacity and her optimism.
“Don’t ever change,” I tell her. “I like you just the way you are. I like you sexy. I like you when you’re not getting it. I like when you model Alexander McQueen and struggle with good vs bad. I like when you invite Fear for tea and cookies. I like that you can admit you’re an addict. I think I’m falling in like with you, and to be honest it’s a little scary. Because I know you’re not perfect. Your hair gets greasy, you have scars, you can be demanding, moody, stubborn and arrogant… but I like you. Your heart is open. You got that basic goodness at your core. I can see all the beings in the world in you, with their hopes, struggles and fears. And that’s beautiful.”
In meditation we practice letting go of the storyline, seeing thoughts for what they are, transient and ephemeral. The practice is said to be a way to develop unconditional friendship with yourself. And you know what, I think it’s starting to happen to me. It’s getting harder and harder to believe that tired old storyline of “not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough”. The self-defeating thoughts still come up, but now it’s much easier to notice and simply let them go. Those thoughts are not nearly as sticky as they used to be.
Yoga practice: going on twelve years.
Meditation practice: going on five years.
Unconditional friendship and trust in my own basic goodness: a timeless treasure to cherish forever.
Contact me with questions. Thank you for your comments!