There have been moments in the last few days of extreme lows like nothing I have experienced in a long while, but there has also been some very joyful moments, and some moments of great clarity. I had one of the clarity moments earlier. I was teaching yoga and my focus for the class was on an aspect of ahimsa (a yama or "yogic principle"). The aspect I was focusing on is one interpretation I have heard where ahimsa means, "freedom from." Usually we talk about ahimsa in terms of non-harming or non-violence, in this case, the "freedom from: might be freedom from violence towards oneself or others in deed or action. If I have somehow misunderstood or misquoted, may the yoga experts forgive me. I try to relate what I teach to things that have meaning in my life at any given time. Anyway, I digress...
So in class I was talking about "freedom from," suggesting that students insert their own word into this phrase to fit their needs, and I kept thinking, "freedom from fear." Fear often impinges on my world and mars my present, so I always want freedom from this fear. To make a long story short, when my students were in svasana (a final, sedate, supine pose) I was thinking about the idea of freedom from, and I realized it was not so much freedom from fear that I sought, it was freedom from expectation. So much of what brings me down is expectation. It is my perceived idea of what others expect. It is my expectation of myself (also often based on what I think others expect). It is my default expectation that things will not work out the way I want them to, or that I will somehow "fail." In short it is negative thinking based on expectations (many of which are also negative). I have a huge self-expectation that everything I do must be done well, that everything I create or do must be done with some kind of final, or grand outcome. Sometimes the joy of doing the things I enjoy (even blogging) gets lost in my expectations about the final product. Exhausting.
The other day I drew a sketch just to practice. I didn't think I needed to create some final, near perfect thing. I loved the process. As I realized all these things about my own expectations, I also realized that is what I really want freedom from. It is such a cliche to say, "It is what it is" but truly, It is! I want, "Freedom from expectations."
When I woke up this morning, I felt super-low. I was really missing my fiance and I was worried about a lot of stuff. I even started creating a list of things I was worried about for myself. It seemed like it might be a good idea to take out a calendar and actually look at the dates related to things I needed to spend time worrying about. As I type this, I am almost laughing at myself. How is writing a list of dates to worry about going to help anything? At the time it sounded potentially therapeutic, but now I am feeling quite good, and it just sounds nuts.
The other day I was writing about how just being in the moment is really the best thing I can do. The crazy within seems to believe it is the worst thing I can do. Why dedicate perfectly good worrying time to just relaxing? Seems counter-productive (LOL).
I'm glad I saved the blog writing for now. This morning's post would have been super-hopeless and depressed. It is quite possible that I will wake up again tomorrow feeling equally depressed. On the other hand, I might feel great. Things often change by the hour. Right now I feel hopeful and content. The things that seemed insurmountable earlier, seem like minor concerns now. Most of the mole hills I have made into mountains in the course of my existence are hardly worth even remembering now, and some of the trials worth remembering are so much bigger than anything that I currently face. Today's reminder: things can improve by the hour.
As I mentioned in my last post, adjusting back to my regular life in 2013 has been a challenge. I am hanging in there, just trying hard to take things one day at a time with my eyes still fixed on the life I want. Lately, my greatest challenge lies in staying fully present. I worry a lot about things in the future and things I can't control. I'm trying to remember the good little things in every day.
I enjoy my drive to work, the warm heater, my coffee, the music... I love every moment I spend with my beautiful black kitty. I love the way she snuggles her warm body next to me, the way she smells, her soft fur... I love the way practicing yoga and aerial makes me feel inside and out. It makes me feel strong and certain. I like that feeling. I love reading a good book and discovering there is nowhere I have to be. I love imagining things I want to create and practicing aerial dance moves in my head. I love my cozy little apartment. I often worry about money these days but truly, at least right now, I have everything I need. I am waiting, often sadly for my fiance to be able to come here, but I am trying to remember all these beautiful little things instead of just waiting for the day we can be together again.
I never knew it would be this tough to end my vacation and come back to my regular life. Right now I am just taking it one day at a time. I really miss the DR and I especially miss my boyfriend (now fiance). I realize that for now I need to remain in the U.S. and work hard here. Since I am a bit down today, I thought I would just post the video from my interview for RAW Denver artists from a few months back. Hope you enjoy.