“It doesn't happen all at once… You become.
It takes a long time.
That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.
But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”
A while back I decided to give up using the phrase “I should”.
I got inspired to do this from a wonderful book entitled “Non Violent Communication”.
I began to realize just how much those two words were included in my thoughts and in my speaking.
Using “I should” to begin a statement had me feeling guilty, frustrated, defeated and sometimes a bit ashamed.
I then began to replace “I should” with things like “it would be a good idea” or “I’d like to…” Sometimes it got replaced with “I don’t want to” or “It’s not a good idea”. Amazing the difference words can make and the shift in energy they can affect.
Of late I’ve been attempting to let go of the phrase “I wish”. I’ve found that this phrase leaves me with a sense of longing, sadness and helplessness. “I wish this winter wasn’t so long.” “I wish the subway train wasn’t so crowded.” “I wish I was a millionaire!” etc.
Buddhists believe suffering in this life comes from attachment, resistance and holding on. Basically, a lack of acceptance of “what is.”
Accepting what is, who I am, what I have, etc. Starting from this place and working from here is truly the only choice I have when change or transformation is my intention.
I begin by setting an intention, focusing on it and breathing life into it by taking the steps or kramas necessary to realizing it.
The yoga mat is a great place to begin this practice.
Of course there are times when frustration creeps in about a pose, balance, flexibility, strength, focus or even about a class or the teacher. “I wish I was more flexible.” “I wish I could do this pose as well as he does it.” “I wish I had known there would be a sub teaching class today.” ;)
The practice then becomes about an acceptance of what is and a letting go of what isn’t. It moves into an awareness of the choices you will need to make in order to best care for yourself.
Perhaps then, this moment of frustration can be a catalyst for change and transformation!
Return the focus to your breath for support and lightness when “I wish” creeps back in and becomes stronger than the acceptance of what is.
And of course remember, “It’s only Yoga!”
Artwork by Peter Coley