Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cultivating Compromise, Calming Sister Strict

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
Lao Tzu

 I am recently back from my summer away in the USA, and back in Shanghai, China.

 Just before leaving the states, I had the blessing to go on retreat with my yoga family, The Acharyas, and our beloved teachers, Vidya and Devarshi. We did a lot of deep soul work together, as we usually do. Many things were shared, felt, and miracles requested for transformation and awakening.

My personal work was about continuing to step through a door that has become more and more known and clear to me, a door to more vulnerability and authenticity. Some of the work I see for myself on that path is a shift in my warrior nature, moving on from a struggling, protective warrior and a victim identity, to a loving spiritual warrior, fully empowered from the deep wells of heart and soul.

There is also a crucial component of acknowledging and embracing a new life mantra, "I have nothing to prove."

I have found as I inspect much of my life and my patterns, I have invested an enormous amount of energy in proving my worth to both others and myself. This has caused a mindset, and internal culture of perfectionism and strictness in my life. That mindset has kept me from softening into myself, from fully enjoying the gift of my beingness, and has kept walls of defense in place. On the other hand, it also has gifts of discipline, resilience, stamina and strength to offer when it is in balance with open-heartedness, self esteem and that good ol' yogic non attachment to results.

As I come back to my blog now, I will hold an intention to write wide open, to make this a vessel for that miracle of truth and vulnerability, transparency, and guided by my mantra of "nothing to prove". I will write to know myself and for you to know me, maybe we will find some awakening together.

As I headed out for my morning run today I had it in my mind that I would be running four miles. It is extremely hot and humid here in Shanghai right now, and even at 7:30 the heat was staggering. My run consisted of running around the block I live on, one block equalling one mile.

By mile two I was dripping with sweat and my body was protesting, but I was enjoying the idea of getting cleaned out, sweaty detox, a purification ritual. Mile three brought more intense sun and I emptied of energy and resolve. Sister strict showed up, that's what I will call my strict mind, and she started to throw all her judging and berating at me, because I was ready to quit at three miles and call it a day. Then it dawned on me I was overlooking another option for myself, compromise.

It did not have to be all or nothing! It should be obvious, but for someone like me, not so much. I chose a different approach. I did the last mile as a run walk, guided by my intelligent body. I ran slow until my breath and felt sensation prompted a shift to walking. The last mile was perfection. I allowed it to be just right every step of the way.  I let go of expectation and opened to the wisdom in me, beyond the story, and beyond shoulds and coulds.

Would it have been equally OK if I had stopped at three miles? As I reflect on the shift that happened, I find much more spaciousness existing in me for all alternatives. I can trust myself, I open my inner hearing, I listen to my life. I listen to my life and the right path is revealed.

And the journey continues.....            

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