Are you too busy for enlightenment?
If we just push through it and keep working hard, success will follow.
That’s what we’ve learned. It’s why the 40-hour work week has turned into 50 ... 60 ... even 70+.
It’s why we juggle day jobs and side gigs and become president of the PTA. We jam our schedules full and plow through it with determination and coffee. And with the little space we have in between all our juggling balls we might as well catch a few Pokemon.
I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection lately. Asking a lot of whys.
Through these whys I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been telling myself a story that’s a lie.
I’ve told myself that I’m a hard worker. That I like to be busy.
But the truth is that I stay busy because it’s a distraction. And because it’s the easy way.
It’s easier to occupy my mind with what’s next than it is to have space and time to ask myself questions to determine what I really need, and even further, what it is about me or in me that makes me need it.
I also take pride in being busy. I wear it like a badge. When my calendar is filled to the brim and I manage to keep it together somehow I feel like I’ve succeeded as a woman. As an American. As something.
But the only thing that has succeeded is my ego — my spirit has not.
My spirit doesn’t have the time or space it desires to explore, learn and grow.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he tells us that the purpose of yoga is to calm the mind so we can discover our true nature (Atman). For when the mind is turbulent, we identify with only the ego. In our quest for enlightenment, we are not looking for something we do not have but rather removing the fog of ego to see the light that is already living inside us.
It’s already there. We don’t have to work 60 hours a week and catch 20 Pokemon for it to appear.
Part of what fills my schedule up is teaching yoga. Ironically, teaching yoga is impeding my own yoga journey. It’s feeding my ego — I feel accomplished for becoming a teacher. (That’s so not the point.) And it’s taking up a lot of my time — time that I could be devoting to my own personal self-discovery.
So I’m backing off.
I’m taking a look at my schedule and setting new priorities. It will be a gradual change and I’m not going to immediately free up hours and hours of time. But I’m going to gradually cut back and carefully consider before taking on anything new. (Note to any students who might be reading this: I will no longer be teaching my Saturday 9 a.m. Hot Power Fusion and 12 p.m. C2+ classes at CorePower. Sad face :( because this decision is extremely bitter sweet.)
When I was under the wrath of an eating disorder, it consumed all of my thoughts. Like most addicts, I used my obsession to preoccupy my mind and save it from processing trauma. It was easier to think about food and the art of disappearing rather than deal with painful emotions.
Preoccupation is the easy way out; Processing is the hard way in.
We’re all addicts of some kind. Some of us take it further than others and require more intense treatment. But I believe we’re all addicted to something to some degree. Something that preoccupies our mind so we don’t have to face ourselves.
Because taking a true, honest look at ourselves is terrifying.
That’s what yoga asks us to do. It’s not just about doing chaturangas and standing on our heads. It’s about taking our awareness inward and doing the hard work of clearing the fog so we can find our Why.
However you like to think of it.
I’ll let you know what I think it is when I get there.