Wednesday, December 18, 2013


This week marks the last week of the first month of my ongoing yamas/niyams project. If you've missed these, you can look at Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. These exercises can be found in this book.

For this final week of exploration of Ahimsa, the yama that means "non-violence", my exercise is this:
For this whole week, pretend that you are complete. There is no need to expect anything from yourself or to criticize or judge or change anything about you. No need to compete with anyone, no need to be more than you are (or less than you are).
This one floored me. It actually stopped me in my tracks and I think my jaw dropped a little bit. Me? Complete? OK as I am? Since when have I ever been okay as I am, with no need to judge or change anything? Me, who felt like I made a grievous mistake this past weekend when I made hot towels for work and another therapist decided to wring more water out of them then I would have. I felt like a failure for not making hot towels the same way as someone else. 

Last week I thought it was going to be interesting because my exercise was to not run interference on other's lives. But to not run interference on my own life? Where did I pick up these impossibly high standards I hold myself up to, and why do I expect others to claw to a top I can't even find?

Whenever I make a mistake, I feel guilty. I have failed as a person on some basic level because I goofed up. I have Let Someone Down. You would think that after all this time of not living up to my own expectations, I'd have given up and embraced the life of an under-achiever. Nope. I'm still chasing that elusive, impossible goal of Doing Everything Right All The Time, Every Time.

What if I let go? What if I was enough, with all my faults and flaws and quirks and foibles? What if I simply allowed myself to be?

Maybe I'll have to sit with this one for more than a week, 'cause holy shit this one brought up some stuff.

The masks we wear, pretending to be something other than we are...

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