Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stop trying to manage your practice.

Remember when I told myself this last summer? To stop thinking so much. Well, turns out close to a year later and I'm still having to force myself to pause and calm down. I don't quite mean in the busy sense, I'm always going to be busy I've accepted that is my personal nature. Unless I'm utterly exhausted or in the company of friends I don't like sitting idle 85% of the time. Though lately I have taken the time to understand that slowing down isn't a set back, rather a necessity. Taking the time to order one more round of beers while catching up with someone, or just sitting in that chair in your living room and finishing a book because 'cmon you only have 10 more pages to go...those are important as well.

I recently started practicing yoga, not as regularly as I would like due to that busy schedule I just mentioned, but still enough to start to really appreciate it. I took a new class this week that was mainly focused on breathing and meditation. It's tough for me to get out of my head sometimes, my mind seems to wander very easily and I have a tendency to daydream like no other, but I actually really enjoyed it. The one thing the instructor kept saying that really stuck with me was to "stop trying to manage your practice" and man, was she was right about that. I found myself in poses where I thought "if I have to sit like this for 5 more seconds I am going to collapse into a crumpled ball of nothingness onto this mat right here" however, eventually I realized I needed to listen to what she was trying to tell me. The more you thought about what you were doing the harder it was, you could actually concentrate too hard on it. If you just focused on your breathing you really could make your body do some amazing things, almost as second nature. Now, I'm not literally going to walk around all day paying attention to the breathe flowing in an out of my body, but when it clicked with me in that yoga studio it was an amazing thing to realize. Just, stop thinking about it.

I can't help but feel this idea is a recurring theme in my life lately, maybe someone is trying to tell me something. Almost a year out of college and wondering what I'm "doing" is this silly idea that I know I get hung up on a lot. It is in a way comforting knowing for a fact I'm not the only one. "What if this is the wrong decision? What do I do? Who am I?" These are questions that 20-somethings everywhere struggle with daily. Heck, these are questions that people, no matter their age, sex, geographical location, deal with every hour, every day, all over the world. Well the thing is, this is just life. You're going to wake up in the morning and have the day to do with it what you chose. And maybe some of us need to just stop thinking so much. Stop trying to manage your practice, and with that, stop trying to manage every single aspect of your life.

Someone I really care about recently just told me that nothing in life is certain. How many times has someone told you that? He's right though you know, nothing is. And yet, if you let that fear of uncertainty plague you, you'll asking yourself those decision-making questions until you're blue in the face and terrified to leave your apartment. I think for me it was time for that reminder, to stop thinking, to take a few more risks, to stop trying to make everything work out in this text book way. Life is uncertain, yes, but it is so much more wonderful that way.

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