27 December, 2014

Skimming the surface

Today was vinyasa with April Sargent at Shakti.

I've started this entry twice. Deleted everything I wrote. Then I undeleted it. Wrote some more. Then deleted it again. I've been struggling lately. I don't know how long "lately" is, and I don't know if it's just the combination of moving to a new place, changing projects at work, and the joy of the holidays, or if it's a true backslide on being present. Perhaps those are one and the same.

Let me tell you a couple of stories, and this time, from here forward, there will be no deleting and undeleting.

I cautiously volunteered to participate in a personal growth workshop that takes place online, once a week. It's being hosted by a good friend of mine, and we'd been discussing it for a long time. I had been hesitant, because I wasn't sure I could make the commitment, and I don't like making commitments that I can't keep. But I finally decided to do it. The challenge, aside from attending something for 16 weeks at the same time, is that the time was 7am on Sundays. The reason for the time is that it's actually taking place 10am Eastern Time, and it needed to be at a time that would support having participants on the other side of the globe. I am not a morning person. We've only had 5 sessions, and I have missed two of them. For the ones that I have attended, I have mostly been in a half-awake fog, and not participated much. People often share their feelings. If you know me, even from here, you know that I am not typically an "under-sharer." But I have mostly sat silent. It hasn't helped that I've had a little bit of stress and strife that has coincidentally fallen the evening before 2 of the 3 sessions I have attended, leading me to further withdraw into a shell. It's the opposite of what I should be doing (I hate using the word "should" but I think the point of participating in such things is to participate, not just be a fly on the wall).

After last week's missed meeting, I felt a bit of shame, since I have, in fact, failed to uphold the commitment, which is exactly what I was worried about when I committed. Since it's my friend who is the leader, I feel like I am letting her down, and I am sure this is my thing, and she isn't upset with me at all. I am sure she understands. But for me, I just feel like it's "excuses, excuses, excuses," and that this inability to "show up" is somehow representative of the rut I am actually in, which perhaps goes deeper than I even realize.

These are the thoughts.

Having started doing yoga at a studio again, I am realizing just how much the "home practice" had been "phoning it in," rather than going deep. There were times where I had much distraction. There were times where I went through the motions, doing the amount of yoga posing that enabled me to tell myself that I am not blowing off yoga. But what's that proving?

Time out here to say that I recognize I'm being awfully hard on myself.

So, story number two. Recently, and for some time, I had been trying to encourage my girlfriend to get involved in something that I thought would be beneficial to her. I had patiently suggested it, time and time again. Then, today, she mentioned to me that she was interested to pursue said thing. And, for reasons completely baffling to me, I reacted in a way that served as discouragement. It wasn't that I intentionally discouraged her. It wasn't that I changed my mind. It was just a sort of half-attentive, reactive response where I found some reason why it wasn't a good idea. Fact is, I had only meant that it wasn't a good idea right now but it was perceived as flat-out discouragement, and then a series of negative consequences have precipitated and piled on top of that for the last 24 hours. So there's that. The big picture version of that appears to be that I am not the most fantastic of communicators. I don't always listen well, and I also don't always say things that are very well thought out, particularly if I am preoccupied with something. The result is that I give the impression of being full of contradictions. When these apparent contradictions are pointed out, I usually find myself explaining that there's no contradiction at all. But the reason why there appears to be one is because some of my communications are more reliable than others, and they are all received at face value as being of equal importance. This is something I need to work on, I guess...

Back to Story #1. This morning, I finally did manage to wake my ass up for the weekly workshop that I have such difficulty attending. I hadn't slept well all night, partly because of being still in a new unfamiliar place, and partly because I don't sleep well when I know I need to wake up abnormally early, because I subconsciously worry about oversleeping. So, when I woke up, I decided "This is it. I am not doing this workshop anymore. I just can't do it. I am not awake enough to participate, and I guess now's just not a good time." I proceeded to write a fairly lengthy message to my friend, explaining to her why I was not going to attend. But then I decided not to press "Send." I decided, I should at least have the decency to show up and discuss these feelings I am having, and at least say, to the group, "I don't know if I can do this." Ironically, I was actually wide awake by this point, so there had ceased to be a good reason not to attend other than the resistance (which I believe my actually underlie the entire problem with going, and be related to my "stuckness" in other places in my life). So I went online to join the meeting, and I discovered that there is no meeting this week. It had been unscheduled because of the holidays. I would have known this had I remembered, and I would have been reminded had I attended last week.

Story #3, which isn't really a story, but actually is just the facts of the yoga practice: Today's practice with April was quite good. It was difficult, but manageable. I am having some issues with my right hip joint. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am injured, but I think I have gone a little too deep, too quickly, in this re-engagement with hot yoga and long classes, and it's causing quite a bit of deep aching.

That's enough for one day.

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