Recently I’ve taken to Yoga as it’s in direct correlation with my new spiritual path. Well, technically not so new path as I’ve been on it for some time now I suppose. I like Yoga because it’s OK to suck at it. The instructor is constantly reminding me that it is the “practice” of Yoga and not the “master” of Yoga. I find this tremendously agreeable given my complete lack of coordination and flexibility.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that perhaps I have been trying far too hard in my life to “master” as opposed to “practice”. I’ve always had big ambitions and dreams, but when they didn’t turn out the way I planned, I’d blame myself and suffer tremendous guilt. Granted, I tend to bite more off than most people when it comes to undertaking goals. For example, my wedding, it couldn’t just be an ordinary white dress and church. Of course, I had to take things to a new level with a black wedding dress and a chic outdoor vintage picnic style reception. I found myself panicked the other night thinking this would be either a magazine worthy event or a complete disaster depending on how I go from my head to reality on this crazy plan. I find myself on the border of chic and tacky a lot of the time.
Instead of letting life play out in a fun and chaotic fashion, I’ve taken to trying desperately to control the details. Meticulously playing each moment of interactions, planning and my future with every word and action. I worry myself to death about how someone might have taken something I said or where my career, or lack of, will land me. Just like the wedding, I stay up fretting the small stuff endlessly. It becomes quite tiresome working towards perfection that realistically cannot be met. Will my guest notice that my napkins are one shade lighter than the blankets? Probably not. Will they embrace my crazy picnic idea and dance under the stars? Well, I really do not know, but I suppose sometimes you just have to have faith in the abilities of your friends and family to deal with it.
During my meditation time after Yoga I pondered the “practice” concept and have decided that I will begin to “practice” my endeavours in life instead of trying to “master” everything I encounter. After all, it’s not a competition because in the end none of us makes it out alive and therefore none of us is really winning in the game of life. It’s time to cut ourselves some slack on the details and let some things fall through the cracks. Life is simply too short to try to please everyone. At some point we have to let these fears go and begin to enjoy the practice of life.
In my younger years, I found myself troubled even more so by the worry of day to day details. In order to clear my mind and fall asleep at night, I would imagine a blank white wall. There is nothing written on the wall and the wall is endless. There is no sound in the white room, everything is still and clear. When my mind started to write things on the wall or post photos, I knew it was time for a new tactic. Suddenly, my white walled quiet sanctuary was slowly becoming a cluttered facebook styled collage.
I started listening to the gentle sound of a soft fan before bed. I take a deep breath and focus on only the sound of the fan, once I have that in my mind I focus on the cold air on my arms and the softness of the sinsation until I drift off to sleep. I’ve found doing this before bed really helps me to clear my mind. Sometimes, people accuse me of not dealing with my feelings or recognizing how things are affecting me. I find that our minds and emotions are incredible things. I’ve saved thousands of dollars on therapy by letting my subconscious mind work those issues out on it’s own in my dreams. Crazy as it may sound, this is an amazing way to heal and we don’t even have to try.
So, the next time I have a minor freak out about how to display the seating chart, I will take a deep breath and remember that I am still just “practicing”. I have my whole life to learn and relearn and teach. So, I will embrace the challenge of imperfections in my world.
PS: If you made it this far, you’re probably sick of “quotes”. Now go back re-read and imagine I am air quoting all of those. You’re welcome.