When I was in the corporate world I both loved and strongly disliked Performance Appraisals. I enjoyed the feedback knowing how I was doing but at the same time it would make it harder for next time. The point came where the pressure just went up and up.
We do that in our life. We start giving ourselves a grade on everything when the reality is that it is all just pass/fail. We are passing if we learn to balance positive expectations with acceptance. “Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can’t argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer.” (Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth) Acceptance brings about inner peace, joy and love. Otherwise we find ourselves in a state of fighting what life is offering and it can feel like we are failing at life.
Yoga has without a doubt made me more patient. It helps me move from that state of having too heavy of expectations and grading everything to allowing and accepting. Don’t get me wrong sometimes it’s still hard not to grade myself at life but for sure I’m better at seeing the whole thing as simply pass/fail. What’s changed? Well I don’t want to feel that TUG-O-WAR with myself or with anyone else. Impatience doesn’t feel good and yoga teaches the antidote to impatience is, yes you can guess, patience. Patience feels good. It feels like a return to center no matter the chaos or what other people do or don’t do. It feels like compassion, peacefulness and a constant return to balance. When I am patient I feel like I can attempt anything without attachment to the result.
When Patient our minds stop playing the old games of pushing, pulling, creating anxiety, distrust, stress or simple heavy expectations.
It is a simply formula:
Over Expectations = Impatience
Accepting = Patience
Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth writes “To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly.” Try it for a week or even a day where you try living in a way where you relieve the heavy expectations of yourself and others and live with less resistance to this isness of now. Instead follow the guidance of the Yoga Sutras which advise “enjoyment is the sweetness of noticing your life right now: smell, taste, feeling, sensation.” This type of enjoyment allows us to receive what life is offering regardless of whether it looks like what we expected.
“You can’t run after contentment it has to find you, all you can do is try to create the space for it.” (Judith Lasater) We are through yoga really meeting ourselves with no further resistance or pre-qualifications. It is like what Derek Walcott writes about in his poem: So join me feast on your life! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia