Saturday, February 12, 2011

I love you. You're stupid. Just kidding!

Looking down from Cape Flattery. Photo by Amy Baranski.
Yesterday during Savasana after Ustrasana (camel pose) my yoga teacher talked about how we might feel. When we first started our practice, she explained, "overwhelmed" is the label we may have assigned to that wave of feeling rushing throughout our joints and mind as we quickly transitioned from our knees to our backs and into Savasana.

Camel pose is the deepest backbend of the Bikram series and at times reminds me of standing on a ledge--a soaring seacliff above craggy rocks looking down on a tangly kelp forrest tipping out from the surf. 

Just the other day Bob asked:

"How are you?"

"I feel...overwhelmed..."

And no I don't want to talk about it becuase I am too overwhelmed. Lately, "overwhelmed" is the label that I have been assigning this blog, the task of thinking about/writing/starting a business plan with Melissa; all the other new things we have to try this year; completing my homework/assignments for my weekly class on Tuesdays; and working my job Monday through Friday.

To complicate matters (becuase clearly this part is most important) I've felt a certain lack of quip. Maybe it's all this mind-centeredness making me loose my thorns. I've sheepishly been copping out and sending LOLs back to text messages when I've actually only chuckled or thought "ha-ha." More importantly, where's that good old spirit of one-upmanship that makes for a hilarious iloveyouyou'restupidjustkidding text message volley? As Melissa replied to me once: "'ha ha'--is that really all you got?"

In an post from ealier this year Melissa asked:
"where do these labels we give to ourselves, to our practice, to our relationships, to our jobs...where do they get us?"
I dont' know where they get us but can we erase them?

There was a quality in my teacher's voice that was soothing and so "overwhelmed" morphed into "soothing". We can change our labels. This was our teacher's point. Just change the label. Pema Chodron, explores this as part of her meditation practice. For example, you can label thoughts as thinking. Great, those things have a label now, move on. I don't want to do a transitional situp. That's a thought. Flex your feet back, pull your arms over your head, cross your thumbs, inhale, sit up, dive forward, double exhale. Next.

What may feel overwhelming when we first start turns into something that we get used to, or even enjoy.

I don't know yet about business planning or even this blog, but sometimes looking over the craggy sea cliff is miraculous.

As always, Amy

1 comment:

Bob Redmond said...

I have no snappy comment (hah!) but I like this post. Food for thought.