The question is – When I show up on my yoga mat or my meditation cushion, in what way is this practice mine or all about me? Not that it’s about someone else. Of course not, but perhaps there is a way to be with this practice that can shift my attitude of possessiveness toward it. My intention here is that it would be less about me.
One might believe that this is about playing with words, but consider the larger picture. How might I show up for this practice so that the experience is more “being” with than “doing?” What comes to mind is that perhaps I can participate in the practice instead of directing it, and, in that way, I am less involved in the doing. How would it be to step onto the mat with the intention of the practice unfolding as it needs to, in this moment and then the next?
Imagine that you don’t have to try hard or make something happen. The perfect posture or pure meditation moments are not the ones where I’m driving the boat. Instead, they are the ones where I get out of my own way. And I trust that all of you know what I mean – when you show up with SERIOUS intention and, of course, expectation of what is to come of your intention. And then, too often, it’s all about you – how balanced, how strong, how focused, how flexible! That’s when the moment of self congratulation sneaks in and takes over, and, again, it’s all about you! Or, perhaps, the situation goes in the other direction, and you identify how weak, how tight, how distracted, how uncomfortable. Judgment or disappointment lands, and it’s still all about you!
What might it be like to simply BE with the practice, allowing the energy of what is unfolding to be the guiding force? I have a very clear past memory of struggling to do a particular yoga posture, aware of the difficulty in the moment and the focus on my breath, my muscles, my alignment, my attempts to create ease. I was occupied with the sense of expending energy when it occurred to me that my experience could be re-framed in an opposite way. In this new scenario (isn’t it always a story that we’re telling ourselves), I was receiving energy by being in this posture. I wasn’t doing the posture; I was being it. At that moment, the struggle was gone. Did the posture then look any different? I don’t think so. But my investment in the experience had shifted so that I wasn’t doing the pose; I was being it.
What works for you to get out of your own way? Is it simply a shift to the present moment or a change in the story line? Try interrupting your hold on what’s happening for you the next time you show up for yoga practice or meditation. See how it is to allow “unfolding” to be the energy out of which your experience arises. If it turns out to be less about you, there may be more room for being with the actual experience of practice.