Monthly Archives: May 2012

Acceptably uncertain

The first-ever Yoga Service Conference starts tomorrow, and I’m not sure why I’m going.

It’s not that I’ve lost interest in the cause–I’m as emphatic as ever that yoga can be both profoundly healing and accessible to everyone, and I remain deeply committed to the practice of seva (yoga-speak for “selfless service”).

It’s just that I’m a little lost.

A year ago it seemed I’d found my path, and while I trust that I’m still on it, it’s led to unexpected places, and I don’t know what comes next. The intensity of purpose I felt when I first discovered the yoga service sector was thrilling and continues to inspire me, but my daily life looks much the same it did a year ago: I still have a full-time job that’s unrelated to yoga; I still talk and write about yoga more than I teach it.

And so, because I’m not entirely transformed, because, despite my 200-hour, Om Schooled, and Street Yoga certifications, I haven’t yet fully found my way, my insecure ego tells me I don’t belong at the conference; that because I’m not “walking the walk” (whatever that means!) of someone who’s professed passion for a career in yoga service, I’m somehow an impostor among the truly devoted (whoever they are!).

But the Yoga Service Council says their conference “is intended for anyone interested in working to create strong, engaged and resilient communities.” That means me.

So my ego can take a hike, because I am walking the walk. I’m just traveling at my own pace–and I’m practicing yoga every breath of the way. Just because I haven’t quit my job doesn’t mean I don’t do seva every day. I do, and I’ll continue to.

And just because I don’t know exactly where I’m going doesn’t mean I won’t get there–and connecting with inspirational, like-minded people will surely help me navigate. As I once concluded in a previous post about pathways: “No doubt about it, there is always somewhere to go, even if figuring out the way involves uncertainty.”

Oh yes, I am uncertain. But uncertainty is more than acceptable, it’s exciting. Uncertainty pairs with possibility, after all—and I am confident there will be plenty of that this weekend. Looking forward to what I will learn!

Resting in unrest

“Acceptance”
Image courtesy of “Annie” Nancy JonesFrancis (annieo76) via Flickr Creative Commons

I don’t always get what I want, but I always, always get what I need.

The first time I heard the Rolling Stones sing something similar, I instantly related, though it’s taken me years to realize I can try more than sometimes, and there is no “just might” about it:

I get what I need.

(And so do you, particularly if you’re reading this, since to do so you’ve got to be breathing.)

For the past few days my yoga has been slippery. I’ve been grasping for peace and it’s been shimmering just beyond reach. I’ve gotten caught up with wanting, nearly forgotten that I am not in need.

When I think I need something I get anxious, and when I am anxious I am uneasy. Usually I’m making things harder than they have to be. The solution is simple, but I don’t always see it.

When I upset the balance of my existence–when I attempt to control my life more than accept it–anxiety shows up and I am in unrest. The trick is, the only way out of unrest is to rest in it. If I stay still with the situation, if I gently steer my thought-tangled mind toward silence for even a minute, I start to see what I was missing before.

Nothing. Nothing is missing, nothing is needed. And if I allow myself to accept that reality–a truth I perceive with my own senses–anxiety has nowhere to nestle.