July 12, 2013

Add Some Curiosity to Your Practice.

Photo: Patrick Dinkfeld/ Model:Ulorin Vex

Week 13: Share My Path Series.

In any struggle there is light; a small burst of brightness completely counter to the tension. No matter how much we may blind ourselves to it’s presence our ignoring it does nothing to its luster.

When Lindsay Smith hit bottom after a musical of “heartbreaks, jobs that were nothing near [her] true path,” and years of self-deprecation, the light caught her attention; she walked out on her only source of income.

“I had no idea what I was doing at the time; I just knew I couldn’t do this anymore. It was killing me inside, all of it,” she shared with me.

Trading a single steady job for three jobs she used the breaks in her schedule to take classes that “resonated with” her heart. The first one catching her attention was Egyptian belly dancing.

And this is why I so enjoy this project; here one asks themselves: How am I going to get to meditation from Egyptian belly dancing?

The light has to catch your attention any way it can!

In the process of the belly dancing class, Lindsay was lead to another; “Back Care basics for Belly Dancers”. Reintroducing her to yoga and firmly tapping in the seed for an “over-haul in well… just about everything.”

She abandoned her old life of “binge drinking, partying and getting high on the weekends and acting normal Monday through Friday”; replacing it with her new practice. But in this practice came another question. One Lindsay, at the time, was unable to elucidate.

The answer came at a small bookstore in the U-district of Seattle. “Just walking in to this place I was overwhelmed by a feeling of peace. I instantly knew I had found something remarkable,” she told me. What Lindsay was looking for, the “more” part of yoga for her, was found during an intensive on Raja and Hatha yoga. The missing questions that plagued her practice became clearer; meditation took the driver’s seat.

“Establishing my own daily practice at home,” and “really truly letting go of my own self doubt and destructive self-talk,” Lindsay told me, were “the most difficult parts.” But as Lindsay grew in her practice, or as she put it to me “re-worked” her “mind grooves, she learned that patience is a friend.

All of us who practice can relate to the at home struggle and for many a community is vitally important in building a practice, but no matter how you begin a practice Lindsay’s realization of patience being key is something to never forget.

Lindsay started small—any start is a wonderful start—at five minutes a day. This “has grown into 30 to 40 minutes twice daily,” she shares with me. And while there may still be times where I “find myself, straying a couple of days, where I miss my routine, the lapsed time in how long it takes to get back in the groove again is shorter and shorter as this new groove of habitual habits is cut deeper and deeper,” Lindsay says.

“Sometimes, I just turn back with an encouraging wink, and say to my own ego; “Come on, it’s ok. We’re all along for the ride. Not one part of us is left behind.”

As our interview winds down we move on to how Lindsay is now, three years into her path.

“My life has purpose again,” she says, “along with a direction to be useful; I let go of so much pain and thoughts of unworthiness. I see each experience with every individual as pure opportunity to learn, listen and reflect.”

The days of working three jobs have past. Today, Lindsay works one job; a place of “wonderful growth and support,” she tells me, and “one helping to fund [her] dream of becoming a yoga and meditation teacher.

It occurs to me here that perhaps the light has over-taken the struggle and in Lindsay’s practice a balance is becoming manifest.

She continues, “I am attracting so much positivity in my life it is over-flowing. The many deep and everlasting benefits that have come from establishing my yoga and meditation practice will keep me coming back. I’ve finally surrendered to the process; to the forever journey of self-discovery. I am deeply content as a forever student.”

Whether you’re new to a practice or even if pulling out the cushion and setting up shop for an hour a day is old hat, you’re still a student. We’re all students. And learning, exploring, and curiosity, serves to fuel the light.


Share My Path is a journalistic archive of the paths taken by practitioners of meditation . Through community sharing of our paths we’ll help others find theirs. 

Share My Path would love to feature your path! e-mail me.

Follow the project here!

Last week’s installment of Share My Path: The Single Reason Why You Must Persevere.

The installment that started it all: Your First Time: Sometimes it Hurts.

A random installmentAccepting Sadness in Meditation.

A list of all previous weeks: Share My Path.


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 Ed: Bryonie Wise

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