Tomorrow is the autumn equinox, which means that the day and night will be approximately equal. It is tradition in yoga to perform a mala of 108 sun salutations on this day. I’m leading a mala at the gym where I teach today. When I woke up this morning, groggy and still sore from overdoing things on Friday, I thought good god, how will I do this? I thought I might have trouble maintaining enthusiasm or that the whole thing might bore me to death. I even began to think that I somehow didn’t deserve to lead such an event, that I was unqualified, a fraud. This conversation with myself is a familiar one. I ran a bubble bath and soaked for a long while, all the while watching my mind move and expand on that initial insecurity so that suddenly I was unloved and unloving, boring and blind, desperate and damaged. I recognized this pattern of tracing my own limitations with my mind. I stumbled out of the bath, woozy from the heat and on a whim–a new thought interjected at just the right moment–I reset my alarm and crawled back into the cool softness of pima cotton sheets. I dozed back off, spooning with epiphany.
I woke one half-hour later inspired, jotting down notes on modifications and visualizations for the practice. But larger than that, I was reeling with the implications of this realization, thinking, yes, living with intention, this is what it’s all about, taking full responsibility for your thoughts and actions and in doing so, taking control. Does this mean that I’ll never again feel boring, damaged, or unloved? No. I certainly will. But, thinking doesn’t make it so.
What’s important is that we rise above our own monkey-minds and be the people we desire to be every day. You don’t realize this and then cruise on through the rest of your life. It’s like yoga, a practice in which your ability to focus improves over time, but you’ve got to keep practicing to stay balanced, flexible and strong.
I believe this whole process of thinking started yesterday while I was shopping. Not once, but three times I merely passed by someone (consequently, all women), and once I actually reached over her head, but each time, the women created physical distance, a shift of the cart, a side-step, and eyes averted, muttered an I’m sorry. I couldn’t figure out what the hell they were sorry for. For breathing my same air? How does this relate to the rest? I’m not entirely sure if I can articulate that, but I will try…
I want to go brush up against people in the bulk isle, the produce section, whispering little did you knows every time I go shopping. I want to lead a global mala today and then come home and write about this guy named Travis (main character in my novel) who suffers for love. I want to write every day whatever I feel like writing. I want to pick the best advice from all the advice on wrting and living and throw all the rest away. I want to be who I imagine myself to be, because we are reinventing ourselves every single day. It doesn’t matter what you said or did yesterday or for that matter what you’ve said and done all your life. All that matters is that you love the imperfect you and commit yourself to that fabulous person you are.
Be fabulous! Be free!