In the middle of my busy week of teaching yoga, I found myself musing on my tao, that is to say, my life’s journey. Here I am, post 65 years old and reflecting on what it means to follow my bliss by staying present and grounding myself in the power of now while not succumbing to my fantasies or daydreams. The good part of being my age is that I have relatively few off the wall fantasies. Yet, I understand that fantasies are good to have as long as we don’t get stuck on them. Fantasies and daydreams expand our minds and provide us with energy as we put one foot in front of the other and, as people in recovery say, “show up.” But the real work on self is done in the present.
My journey has been an exquisite blend of teaching, either acting or English as a second language or yoga and attending to my family. It is a full life with lots of consistent behavior and lots of surprises. This journey of mine is a gift and I honor it with daily gratitude.
However, my daily challenge is not to resist my tao. Non-resistance has been a mantra I have been using in my yoga classes this week. Resisting is one of the primary ways we trip ourselves up in life. In effect, our journey stops dead in its tracks when our minds resist staying present; or in yoga, when our bodies resist embracing the asana or posture we are working on in class. This mind/body resistance prevents growth and transformation and we find ourselves locked inside our heads, muddled in struggle, unable to find the joy.
Most of our thoughts during the day are negative. If we ask ourselves whether we feel we are a positive person or a negative person, I’m sure we would all say we are positive in our outlook. However, if we truly reflect on our thoughts, we will discover that we are intoning negative resistance most of the time. It is a moment of challenge when we discover our negative bent. But the opposing force of the negative is positive so we can actually program our thoughts into positive reflection. Check out what you are thinking about before you fall asleep at night. It’s amazing to discover what a negative track our minds run on.
Yogis stress mindful awareness in thought, word and action. During my yoga teacher training class, one of my teachers suggested we use a timer and set it for every ten minutes so that we can reflect consciously on the present and then express gratitude for our gifts. This practice of reminding ourselves to be mindfully aware directs us into our joy, our bliss and infuses us with non-resistance.
Something to think about.