Life is short.
“Life is short. At some level we all know that, and so we rush to complete all we think we must do in order to live a life of no regrets. We get swept up in our accomplishing, doing and achieving so completely that we miss out on the natural order of unfolding, resulting in anguish and tremendous imbalance. In our impatience, we create the very scenario that we hoped to avoid.”
~ Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to a Personal Revolution (Law of Transformation #9 Don’t Rush the Process)
I took a great class Monday evening at Move Your Hyde Power Yoga. We were talking about handstand after class and the teacher said something that really resonated with me. It was something to the effect of “just let yourself be stuck there, eventually your feet will come together.”
Why must we always rush the process? Why are we always trying so hard to get unstuck?
Because we’re impatient and want to move on to the next thing as quickly as possible.
My teacher, Baron Baptiste, addresses this idea in his ninth Law of Transformation, naming it, “Don’t Rush the Process.” Such an idea is so simple and yet so difficult to achieve, especially in today’s instant gratification obsessed culture.
Fortunately my yoga practice has taught me a lot about patience and perseverance. It helps combat the tendency to get caught up in wanting instant gratification even if it doesn’t completely prevent it. The act of getting on the mat week after week, month after month serves as a microcosm for life.
Taking it one day at a time. Dealing with difficulty. Success. Triumphs. Pain. Despair. Breakthroughs and breakdowns.
The times I’m most successful on my mat are the same as in my life. I simply give the best I have at that moment, put in the work and watch what happens without judgment. Shifts in perception occur or they don’t. Poses develop or they don’t. It’s when I start judging and getting attached to a specific outcome that impatience and distress arise.
Buddha had that one right for sure…life is suffering and the cause of suffering is attachment.
Sometimes we need to just be in an experience in the moment—for days, or weeks or months—however long it takes. Without judgement or attachment (or at least as much of that idea as any normal human can attempt to muster.) As long as we’re really in the moment and put the energy of feet together out there and are consistently doing the work—kicking up to handstand day after day in yoga or patiently waiting for clarity to arise in a difficult relationship—eventually there will be an outcome.
It may not be the one we wanted, but at least we haven’t created more stress and emotional discomfort by forcing or worrying about what that outcome might be.
Consider being stuck as exactly where you are supposed to be. Not just in a pose, but everywhere: job, relationship, finance, love. I’m certainly not advocating being somewhere that makes you truly unhappy or is dangerous. But, in certain situations being stuck is akin to being in the moment and letting things unfold. It may be a process of letting go and truly being where we are now.
Since that evening, this concept has been my handstand practice. Jump up. Balance or don’t balance. See it. Do it to the best of my ability in the moment. Feet come together or they don’t.
Get stuck. Be stuck.
Without judgment, annoyance or too much trying. I can’t tell you my feet magically came together after I let go of trying to get them there, but I can tell you that for now being stuck is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
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Assistant Ed: Amy Cushing/Ed: Bryonie Wise