Monday, October 11, 2010

"Once Upon A Time" Was Yesterday

I love my yoga teacher. Or rather, my yoga teacher's assistant (Eiric says you are your own teacher, he just helps that inner teacher figure things out). I have learned more in his class the last 5 weeks than I did in many of my college courses. If I'd taken his yoga classes during college, perhaps I would've done better.

Eiric's class began with him talking of a scenario: "you know that feeling, after you've read a page in a book, but once you turn to the next, you can't remember a single thing you read?"

Ridiculous dog pauses for a campaign photo
I exclaimed to myself, "Yes!"

He continued, "this happens because we're distracted." And that distraction often comes from us inserting preconceived notions into a situation, anticipating before letting it play out, our expectations distracting us from the real moment at hand. (sometimes, honestly, I cant remember a single word because I'm so tired I keep falling asleep and the book keeps smacking me in the forehead, but still...).

Very often in reading or yoga, these thoughts come in the form of dark expectations; "last time I fell in this pose", "putting my feet over my head is scary", "its so strenuous and my legs burn." And you'd better believe this happens for me all the time climbing. Thoughts run rampant like one continuous what-if, "what if I fall...what if my strength/balance fails me...what if my belayer gets distracted by a bee flying around their head/the cute belayer next to them/my ridiculously funny dog/blowing bubbles with their gum?"

But really, so what if any of those situations were true once upon a time. Maybe once upon a yesterday I fell over in a pose, or once upon a year ago I took a mini-fall a few feet. Maybe they were true. Once.

Today is different. Today is all new. We all have previous moments in life that helped shape who we have become. But we certainly are not required to react now the way we once did. Today, we're allowed to let go of expectations shaped by yesterday. Let go of the "shoulds" or "dids". Each experience, even if its a repeat motion, is new today and different from any other time

A place I can always find possibility...
I have anxiously been counting down the last days before I break free to climb in Red Rock Canyon. This trip feels a bit like coming full circle; my goal of the Year of Climbing came partly out of my trip there in March. My break tonight from gearing up was to go to yoga and Eiric's message was incredibly well timed. Let go of expectation, let go of old perceptions. Let go of Darkness and Embrace the light. Similar Arno Ilgner's wise words in Rock Warriors Way to "look for the options," Eiric's class was a reminder to open up to possibility. Possibility allows that anything can happen - it is in this space that I can move, grow, learn, and truly feel life happen in the moment. 

Taking my teacher's assistant's words from tonight to heart, I've packed them along with my rock shoes, swim suit, and camera. I've also packed along another of his teachings - and my mantra for the summer - "its not good, its not bad, it just is." Oh, and one last bit of good thought dispensed to me tonight, "dont forget to have a ton of fun." I packed that as well.

Wishing you Possibility for whatever you choose to step into tomorrow, too.

(ps - i love my yoga studio! if you're near beacon hill and are looking for one, i highly recommend yoga on beacon. so much goodness in that little studio.)

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