On a really good day, you get to learn more than one thing!
Yesterday, I learned that I can do this!
It’s called Marichyasana I, or bound seated half staff. Until yesterday, I’d never attempted it, so I had no idea whether or not I could actually reach around me knee to clasp my hands behind my back. Generally, bound poses are tough for me, both because my shoulders are notoriously tight and because, while I don’t have T-Rex arms, I’m not particularly long-limbed, either. I was a little surprised that I could do this pose – and that I could do it well. Now I’ve got something new to bring to my classes (ready, Weeble?).
I also spent my lunch hour with a lovely soul from the class who guided me to a realization about something I’ve been struggling with within myself. I was relating my story to her; telling her about my frustrations and fears, about how tense and sad I’ve been lately, and she reminded me that none of this work exists outside of myself – that I have to go inward. I need to stop allowing myself to stress out about the other people, she said, because there’s nothing that I can do about the choices they make or the things they do or do not say or feel. What’s needed, she reminded me, is that I go inside to figure out what buttons, what old wounds, what triggers these situations are setting off in me, and how I can get underneath them and suck out the power they have over me. What I realized, sitting there over a really yummy steak salad, was that I was living in my past in a few of the things I’ve been dealing with in my present.
I grew up being told that I was something I wasn’t – nearly all the messages I received from the people I thought should know me well were negative at best and abusive at worst. I spent a good part of my early life trying desperately to prove to these people that I wasn’t the terrible person they made me out to be, but no amount of effort on my part could change what they saw. A lot of the negative energy that I’ve been feeling lately, my friend helped me realize, is very likely the result of my being afraid of being accused of being something I’m not; that I would be told that I am a disappointment or that I am inadequate or that I’m being a bad friend. I’m recognizing that it’s entirely my responsibility to be what I am, and to remind myself that no one else gets to tell me who that person is. I get to create my own self, and I shouldn’t give that power away to anyone else. That’s my work, and I’m grateful to my friend and colleague for reminding me of that.