Why do we feel the need to try so hard? I notice it when teaching yoga constantly. The frustration. The discontent. The self-judgment. The first several minutes of my class are almost exclusively devoted to dispelling precisely this energy.
“Trying” means living in expectation. And living in expectation means working towards some future happening. That may or may not ultimately happen. When all this is going down, you can be pretty sure you’re no longer living in NOW.
Naysayers of the now concept argue that to get things done, one has to be setting goals. Sure. But what’s your goal? Money? A trick yoga pose? A husband and kids? Just because you made a goal doesn’t make it a good one.
The Dalai Lama says the very meaning of life is happiness. Which is most readily found when accepting reality and living in the now. So in class, we work on that. Above all else.
There’s always a life metaphor in asana class (or as we Westerners say, “doing yoga”). Last week someone close to me insisted that I must not be happy because I’m not making enough money. And suggested that I should take a 9-5.
While we agreed completely that I’ve been happiness de-railed this summer, she was completely wrong as to the reason why. As I’ve begun to transition professionally to a path that more suits my dharma, I have peace that everyone begins a beginner. And it’s going to take time.
What’s had my goose lately has been online dating. Going into the Spring, I was in a really great place. Lookin’ fly, feelin’ fantastic, manifesting and doing my thing. Then it was suggested to me that I should get online to start looking for someone.
I thought – Sure. Why not? After all, the parents want to pay for it. I’m in a great place. And finding a killer boyfriend would be icing on the cake.
The problem was that when my focus shifted from all the wonderful things I had… to the one thing I did not, my energy shifted back to something like what I see at the beginning of class.
It was like I had a new job or hobby or something. Daily getting online to exchange emails. Subconscious interviews to determine their text worthiness. And then phone and text chats, to see if it was worth a face-to-face interview.
Then there were the dates. Face time with perfect strangers, for the purpose of determining whether or not you might mate well together.
It didn’t take long, and next thing I knew I was slipping back into bad habits. Eating out too much. Staying up too late. Focusing too much energy on dating, and not enough time on exercising and friend seeing.
In other words, I gave myself away. I failed to do the one thing I tell my students matters most. Be happy with the state of your reality. Right now. Enjoy all it has to offer. And leave everything else alone.
For me, Internet dating is simply trying way too hard. It’s like the people I see huffing and puffing and eye rolling before class has even started. My life isn’t devoted to finding a mate. It’s not the goal. Or the destination. As always, it’s about being happy first. And letting the rest unfold as it will.