The Power of Yet

I am participating in a yoga challenge in celebration of Sri Dharma Mittra’s 77th birthday. Each week Dharma Yoga posts poses and then participants snap a pic of themselves in the current pose to offer up on their instagram.

I have made it a goal to submit posts of every pose throughout the challenge. It has been a fun process that I am really enjoying. It has also been humbling.

While I am strong and flexible and adventurous with my asana practice, it is pretty amazing to see the remarkable offerings that members of the Dharma Yoga community have been sharing throughout the challenge. There have been so many beautiful and poignant photos and sentiments shared and the sheer talent, strength, and expertise of the participants is awe-inspiring.

Last night, I enlisted my mom to snap my photo, as I have for many of the others, and she asked “What are we doing this time?” To which I replied, in kind of a defeated tone, “Well, I’m not doing what I wish I could do. I’m doing a different variation because I can’t get my body to do the pose that I want to do”. And she said, “Yet. You can’t do it yet”. Touché.

Instead of letting myself feel frustrated and disappointed that I haven’t quite mastered a pose, I am going to step back and appreciate the power of yet. I’m going to use those awe-inspiring offerings as just that, inspiration. The beauty of what I haven’t mastered yet is a window of opportunity and the exquisite examples that I am seeing are an example to strive for, to work towards. In the words of Sri Dharma Mittra himself, “See yourself in the practice you are not able to access right now. Imagine yourself in it.” These challenge offerings are a gift, giving me concrete examples of that practice that I cannot quite access right now, opening my mind to what I can imagine myself in.

Attaching that yet to things that we are striving for has implications that reach far beyond an asana practice. There are so many times that we get frustrated at something that we haven’t mastered or achieved, that we feel a twinge of jealousy at something we wish we could do better. Let’s step back and see it as a possibility instead of a weakness or failure. Identifying that we don’t have access to it right now, doesn’t mean that we never will. It simply means that we don’t have access to it yet. There is power there. The power to grow and change and expand. The power of yet.

You can check out my instagram at http://www.instagram.com/bodhiyogi and all of the challenge entries under #dharmayoga77challenge.

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Life is Hard. Bloom Anyway.

It has been a cold few days. After weeks of spring teasing weather, the temperatures plummeted and we were graced with a late spring snow.

As I was dropping my children off for school one morning, I noticed a row of daffodils drooping from the cold and snow and ice. The daffodils were completely arched over, noses to the ground, but even with the inhospitable conditions their vibrant yellow blooms were still shining through.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by my own life that morning, struggling with my son’s behavior and the subsequent feelings of inadequacy at my own parenting abilities. Struggling to keep my cool as I was feeling a bit helpless and stuck in a negative cycle. Struggling with work and all of the other curve balls that life has a tendency to throw.

The daffodils served as a bit of a wake-up call. Sure life can be really hard sometimes. It can be overwhelming and crazy-making and downright cruel. But even if this day is a hard day, I am at least as tough as a frilly, spring bloom. I may bend over a bit under the weight of my stresses, just like those daffodils, but I am going to keep on blooming just like they did, too.

Sometimes our perspective can get clouded by the trials and tribulations that we face in a particular moment. We get so bogged down by those difficult bits, letting them become a little piece of who we believe we are, rather than recognizing them as something that is happening to or around us. It is sometimes easier to recognize that an external force is acting on something outside of ourselves. We don’t look at the drooping daffodils and blame them for not being able to withstand the beating that nature threw their way. Why do we blame ourselves for struggling through difficult situations?

We sometimes find it challenging to see all of the strength and beauty that we retain, even in those difficult times. We need to work to see those strong and beautiful parts of ourselves and how they continue to shine through, like the yellow bloom of the daffodil.

Our struggles do not define us. The drooping daffodil is still a daffodil and our struggling self is still the same smart, beautiful, strong human. Life is hard. Bloom anyway.