Last week I had coffee with a close friend who has guided me in my life. Sometimes with a gentle nudge and sometimes a decidedly determined push over the edge of the cliff. Thursday over coffee and a croissant at my favorite coffee shop in my neighborhood he kicked my butt – not literally of course but he told me some truths that I needed to hear. Have you ever had the type over conversation where someone says something so spot on, that it almost physically hurts when the words hit you? That happened during that conversation to me. I exclaimed OUCH! when he looked at me and said…you sure are good at talking the talk but when are you going to start walking the walk?…You say that being and living authentically is important to you and something you admire in others but you are not doing it. You are a fake!” Ouch!
“Do the best you can until you know better, then when you can you do better” Maya Angelou said. Why is it so hard to maintain the discipline needed to live authentically. For me being authentic, is among other things, to have my own daily yin yoga practice. By that I don’t just mean one or two convenient poses that I feel like that particular day. No I mean a real serious practice, where I am dedicating myself and my body to feel the best that it can. Feeling the best, does not mean it always feels good in the process. Pema Chödrön says we are not very good at staying with what is uncomfortable emotions or physical sensations in our body. We want to escape. We escape our thoughts by distracting ourselves with facebook, instagram, netflix, music whatever. Part of what yin yoga teaches us, is staying when we want to leave. See more in this blogpost I have written here.
We don’t stick to it when we announce to everyone “now I will eat healthy, drink less coffee, loose weight” because it is hard. Because it requries discipline. Because it doesn’t feel good. We make a million excuses, disguised as taking care of ourselves but the only one who suffers is ourselves. Are we buying all these books, listening to dharma talks, taking yet another yoga teacher training certificate or another retreat weekend but still not walking the walk? I like pretty much everyone I know, is guilty of this in some way or form.
Setting a new intention
So after coffee with my friend I have set the intention to be better at talking less about all the things I know I should be doing and instead DO MORE! I write this just as much to myself as to perhaps inspire you in some area of your life where you know you are making excuses and not committing like you should and deep down really want to.
I don’t feel authentic when I say I am a yogateacher and yet I don’t always have my own regular practice. When I tell people how important meditation is and how it has made such a difference in my life and yet for a few months I haven’t had a regular meditation practice. 10 -15 min here and there half heartedly so I can say I did it but never really committing fully to it. That to me is certainly not being and living authentically…So….this blogpost is me being totally honest in an attempt to give myself a kick in the butt.
A new start…
When I walked home from my coffee meeting with my friend I rolled out my yoga mat and committed myself to get on the road to being authentic. Not for anyone reading this but for myself! I have done yoga and meditated every day since and will continue to do so. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so the drinking too much coffee – needing more water habit will have to wait until another time. For now I am committing to being a yoga teacher who can stand in front of her students knowing that at least in this area of my life I am authentic.