Most of my actions appear well intentioned and good but scratch the surface and they are still based in self interest. Motives.
Traffic in my city is chaotic and the rules seem to be there just for the books. Most of the time, the red signal is blatantly ignored as vehicles zip through. Pedestrians, especially the senior citizens, have the worst of it as they wait to cross the street.
Almost always, I stop to let people pass and I’m frequently met with a look of incredulity and at times they stop in their attempts to cross. Sometimes it’s a gesture of acknowledgement and a thank you on their lips. It makes me feel good. At the same time, I hope that someone who watches this short scene takes back an example and repeats it. It is almost instinctive while I’m driving around to do this but at the bottom of all this is the motive. I feel good to be of help. It is not an action that has no thought attached to it. It is driven by motive, multiple ones.
At a surface level, it is to feel good. Somewhere, it makes me feel a little self-righteous to be doing something that a lot of other people don’t. I also like being thought of as a kind person. The action was good but I am attached to the goodness of it and as a consequence, the ‘goodness’ in me. It is a disconnecting sensation. It got me thinking of the traditional thoughts of collecting ‘punya’ but that seems as binding as increasing karmic debt.
Asana practice was week 1 sequence for a few days except yesterday and the day before. The day before was 15 minutes of Viparita Karani with support. Yesterday was nothing. I’ve been scared. The last class left me sore for quite a few days which was very unexpected. The maximum I have felt sore is a couple of days. This time it was till yesterday, 4 days. I also discovered bruising on my legs at different spots that had no place there. I don’t remember bumping into anything or getting hurt in any way. I’ve stayed off running too.
One of my biggest fears is to be sick. Since I live only with my little girl during the week, it is a scary thought to not be functioning at optimum capacity. In all likelihood, it is nothing but the monkeys in my mind that are ever present to catch a moment of weakness and make it seem bigger than it is. Pain is good, always has been. It has pushed me to dig deeper and go beyond my limited thinking.
Today’s practice was week 2 sequence and dandasana caught my attention. Sitting tall. Sometimes I wonder if I should just do whatever asanas come to mind but I stick to the sequences in the book for my focused practice. I figure it is a good way of training my mind to trust the process. The rate at which I keep going to basics, it feels as though I will be stuck there. On the other hand, it would also get my foundation strong. As the days pass, I see how there is increasing awareness of different areas in an asana. Suddenly there is an internal spotlight on my big toe or the collar bone.
Overall, it seems like another cycle of new learning is beginning yet again. The fears, discomfort, lack of coherence and questioning all point in that direction. It is a pattern I see repeatedly. A period of growing pains followed by a period of assimilating the changes and enjoying the new growth before it begins again.
My routine never got back on track post Christmas. I thought it would slide into a regular rhythm but lot of stuff came up unexpectedly. I still have to take time off work. It has been a continuous streak of more than a month and my efficiency has dropped. I hope I can take a couple of days off soon and recharge. It is beginning to affect all areas of my life in tiny ways.
In gratitude for pain- physical, mental and of the spirit.