October 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
Practice this week has been happening at home and in the fuzzy mental space between willpower and action. The fog of PMS-induced inertia meant that a simple, hormone-soothing practice from Bobby Clenell’s book was all I could manage, and it was, apparently, what my body needed.
The good news is, the last shala practice on Sunday was simply fantastic. Also, thanks to the encouragement of my teachers I can now get both my head and my arms to the floor in Prasarita Padottanasana C. I had no clue that my shoulders were that flexible! Remember when I underestimated the distance between the top of my head and the floor? Well, I’ve stayed far away from breaching the tipping point since then, and if it weren’t for the gentle prodding of a teacher I would still be hanging from my hips, grazing the floor with wisps of hair.
As good as that practice was physically, the mental practice was a different matter altogether. My awkwardness about the presence of a ‘friend’-I-used-to-hang-out-with-but-no-longer-for-some-reason provided the fuel to push my limits and really tap on a reserve of physical strength to plough through the practice. But the mind was a turmoil, turning the practice into an exercise of detachment, of practicing “everything else, anything else, and see if what you want to let go of, lets go of YOU”. Couldn’t have said it better myself, so thank you Patrick, for dissecting the treacherous emotions of anger and frustration and laying it out so eloquently.
The friendships I’ve made here with some folks have taught me some painful lessons about finding the balance between giving and saying no. My default mode is to give, to share, to invite people over, to offer help and to foster a sense of community with people who seem nice and sane enough to hang out with. They may not always be at the same level of enthusiasm as I am, which is ok, because it’s something you pick up on after a while and start to recalibrate your efforts. The real problem comes when you’ve been happily trundling along with people whom you thought regarded you the same way, only to discover, rudely, that something changed along the way and you’re cast off without an explanation. Like being told to take back your well-intentioned birthday gift. Or a sudden, inexplicable silence from one end, peppered with empty promises to ‘catch up’ at some vague point in the future. Those are the most painful lessons to learn and to overcome. Obviously I still have some way to go before I can truly say that I’m over these hurts. I don’t know how many breaths it will take, but, as with all things, I believe it will pass, someday.