In our Verge Yoga April newsletter, I wrote about attachment and clinging in context of the perceived “lack of spring” that we are having. I wrote, “It is amazing to me how we naturally “assume” that the weather, people and our lives “should” be a certain way when we want and need them to be. Like, right now!”
While most of us are mature enough to realize that we have absolutely no control over the weather, recognizing our lack of control in other areas is, let’s say, more of a challenge. Simply put, trying to control what we cannot causes suffering. The Buddhists teach us that the more we can let go of how we “think” things should be, the more peace and joy we will experience right here and right now.
Personally speaking, when I am set on something happening in the time that I want it to happen, I clench my fists both mentally and physically. I habitually tighten up and brace myself for a potential conflict or disappointment. Can you relate?
This clenching can simply be called suffering and in the words of yoga teacher Baron Baptiste, “suffering is optional”. We can choose to drop our shoulders and let go of our agenda. We can choose to pause and take a deep breath. We can choose to not suffer.
Noticing your patterns is the first step. And the best place to notice them is in your practice.
So step onto your yoga mat and study yourself. Notice when you push too much in Warrior 3 or when you judge yourself in Half Moon. Notice when you whine. At this point, every pose becomes your personal laboratory for discovering your patterns. Learn to pay close attention to what you are doing and saying. Learn recognize your habitual thoughts and actions. You will discover the root causes of your suffering and it is there that we can disentangle ourselves.
So this deconstructing of the mind is great stuff and not to be missed! This is the essence of transformation. As you disentangle you drop your habits, unclench your fists and guess what happens then? You begin to suffer less and enjoy life more!
So the next time you find yourself complaining about this “lack of spring” that we are having, or how your kids didn’t pick up their mess, or the bank screwed up a transaction, look down at your hands, notice the tightness and release your fists. Take a deep breath, smile at your momentary clinging event and get on with business of living your life.