01 September, 2014

The need to believe

Today was hotel yoga. That's going to be the line for the next 9 more days.

I did a pretty intense session, dialing it up by decreasing the pauses between cycles on the sun salutations. Kept it to only single breath between repetitions, and did 5 Sun A, followed by 4 Sun B, before moving on with the rest of the practice. Feeling pretty good.

I've been thinking a bit lately about how tenuously we actually cling to whatever we perceive to be the status quo in the world. There's a belief, I think, implicitly in our minds that things will always be more or less the way they are now. People in other parts of the world do not have that luxury, nor that delusion, I would imagine. Though I may be incorrect. Living where I do, and having always lived here, and my parents always having lived here, I have very little context for "things going bad." I heard stories from my family about how my grandmother supposedly hid in the attic while the Cossacks were pillaging. I don't know if that's true. It wasn't my grandmother who told me about it, and I should have asked her in great detail when she was alive. She died when I was 24, but I was way too self-absorbed and disconnected from family to take that opportunity to learn about our European past when I had the chance.

Nobody has pillaged in the United States. At least not for hundreds of years. But it may be a delusion to believe that it will never happen.

My father often uses phrases such as "I have to believe..." or "I refuse to believe..." regarding whatever topic of discussion we are having. Usually it relates to world affairs or my conspiracy theories. He chooses to believe is what it really means. I know that there are things that I also choose to believe, which I don't even consciously state out loud, but they're in my emotional DNA.

Yoga is helping me recognize the absurdity of "I refuse to believe..." or at least to recognize it as an area for exploration. To refuse to believe something is ultimately futile. It's not quite "hope" or "faith," but something close to it. It's clinging to something, in spite of evidence otherwise. In fact, those statements are often made in advance of possible future evidence. "No matter what you are about to tell me, I will refuse to believe it, no matter what evidence you provide..."

I would like to practice being with what is. That's neither clinging, nor accepting, nor rejecting. Simply recognizing. But I know that's a long road to get there.

But I have to believe it's possible...

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