This Is My Yoga
June 21, 2017 | by Michelle Meier
Yoga is not just a series of poses we practice to feel and look good. It is a way of life. An inquiry of self. It is what we choose to think, it is how we choose to act...it is how we show up. How we do one thing often reveals the way we do everything. Here's what I found out.
Less than one week away from my self-proposed deadline to have completed writing my book on death, grief and healing and I’ve still got several chapters to go. I’d written the first chapter in November of 2015—it had come to me in about 20 minutes, all those words, as if downloaded through me to virtual paper. I don’t remember stopping to think about anything I was writing. It just flowed. And, unedited, it felt pretty amazing when I read it over.
Ever since, I’d written whenever I was “kissed by the muse”, which was rather sporadically. Some chapters were good. Some chapters needed a lot more editing. There was no rhyme or reason. I didn’t create a layout for it. I didn’t make a plan. I just wrote when it came. (Big lesson learned: for my next book, I will create a layout first, make a plan, then work from there).
Almost two years later, I’m about 25 chapters in and only just starting to see an end in sight. I knew there were other things I want to share in it so I began to list out chapter headings. It wasn’t until my boyfriend suggested I create a deadline to help me finish it. I set June 24th (as in this week—eek!) for my deadline.
From the moment I set the deadline, 3 weeks went by and I wrote nothing. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t have the energy for it. My inspiration had frozen.
Finally one of my clients helped me recognize that I’d expressed how I needed to finish it by my self-imposed deadline. “Needing it” implies a sense of urgency, she pointed out, and I know that sort of dread can snuff one’s creativity. So the pages remained blank and time kept on ticking.
It was then that my Landmark* tools came back to me and, instead of needing to finish this book, I chose to commit to finishing it. The pressure of my own perfectionism had dissolved; albeit, it was short-lived. I began to write again and got really organized with almost all of my chapters in order with some chapters still left to write. Sometimes I start to write something completely unexpected and unplanned for and then realize it was meant to be in the book. Then I reverted back to trying to write everyday and I could only choke out about two or three sentences, building it by one paragraph or less per day. At this rate, I was going nowhere fast.
Yet, throughout this process, swinging from one end of the pendulum of the pressure I put on myself to perform perfectly to the other end of the pendulum of complete surrender, I’ve been learning so much about myself and the way my mind works.
I’ve noticed my tendency to think about all that’s wrong with a situation as opposed to all that’s right. I’ve noticed a lot of my fears come up around marriage and children—wanting it and being afraid of it at the same time. My fears of being hurt or of ending up alone for the rest of my life. My fears of not being good enough and feeling like I need to change something within myself to receive my heart’s desires.
I’ve spent a lot of time on my own lately, meditating and journaling. This time has been good. I’m practicing a lot of self love—going to bed on time and getting my 8 hours, eating well, drinking my daily water needs, meditating and practicing yoga regularly, praying and connecting with God, shifting my thoughts to more positive ones. Some days I fall off but for the most part I’ve followed through. I name at least three things I’m grateful for daily, sometimes more.
As I write this looking out across the bay from my place, I wonder, “what do I really have to worry about?”. It’s all coming together anyway. I’ve been learning about my need to control the way everything goes in life. It shows up in the OCD museum-like cleanliness of my apartment. It’s my way of having control over how things are.
Having control, of course, is the greatest illusion.
I believe it’s important to take action towards your dreams and goals but, really, the only thing we have control over is how we meet with life. Life will meet with us, regardless. It’s how we show up. It’s how we respond. This begins with our thoughts. This is why I’ve been “M.I.A.” for awhile. I was going to say I’m still “under construction” and, even though I am (we always will be throughout our lives—it’s why we are in these bodies), I am finally accepting myself as fully capable and fully lovable and fully deserving of my heart’s desires. There is nothing I need to do in order to be worthy of receiving my heart’s desires. I’m also accepting the phrase “everything in its time”.
If you’re following me on social media, you may have noticed that I’m writing about a lot more personal things lately like my Arco’s passing. I’m learning about grief. I’m learning about attachment. I’m learning about letting go. So while my posts may not be all yoga poses--this is my yoga.
"As I write this looking out across the bay from my place I wonder, "what do I really have to worry about?". It's all coming together anyway."