Learning Patience in Yoga

My yoga teacher told us to pull back in class yesterday.  And while in my downward dog I did, and it was easy and I felt great.  “Pull back,” she said.  I guess this is something they teach Yogi’s.  Maybe this is one of life’s secrets and something they teach during yoga practices – when the desire becomes overburdening, when it starts to hurt too much they just pull back.  And it seems like it would be easy to pull back when you want something so badly it hurts.  When you want it so bad it aches inside.  Many of us, myself included, don’t pull back.  Like bulls we race forward in full force, hard core.  It’s all the way or it’s no way.  To pull back feels like it would be a weakness, it feels like it would be giving up.  It feels incomplete to pull back.  I still am not completely sure what it means to pull back. But I do know that on Sunday afternoon I did one of the best downward dogs of my life… and all I had to do was pull back.  It’s something I’m still figuring out – even as I’m writing this.  Like a lot of other complexities, it’s an idea that is much easier to understand than it is to live.  And though my downward dog may be pretty stellar, the process of translating this concept to other areas of life seems more difficult.  Is it because we continue to push when we should just hold back and wait another minute?

One of the awful things about youth is that it lacks patience.  We don’t want to wait, we just want to keep on going until we can’t push any more, until we’ve worn ourselves out, until we feel like there is nothing left to push. And then we don’t want to push at all.  We don’t want to give up.  So maybe the only other option is to pull back.  Now, once again, this  is all much easier said than done.  And life experience is the only thing that can teach one patience.  Of course, being young we don’t want to wait to live our lives.  We want to have already lived it, the secrets and wisdom pouring out before our time.  But patience is worth waiting for.  Hopefully one day being patient or pushing too hard won’t make us feel like we’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

It’s really all about timing because if the pause is in the wrong place, the whole joke will fall apart.  So maybe it’s really about enjoying the pauses, the in between, the pull back that makes living so great and that gives us stories and lessons to relay.  There’s nothing fun, interesting or worth remembering about the time you ran so hard and so fast that you ran right into the closed glass door – other than maybe some stitches and a broken nose.  Perhaps age teaches us to live with a greater sense of ease, a little more patience and some pull back.  Namaste.

Carrie Bradshaw’s Take On Family and Relationships

“The most important thing in life is your family.  There are days you love them and others you don’t, but in the end they’re the people you always come home to.  Sometimes, it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.”  – Carrie Bradshaw

Most twenty something year old women and perhaps even a few men are familiar with the above quote from Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and The City.  Though I’m slightly embarrassed by it because it’s one of the more cheesier quotes I’ve used here, I must admit that I grew up on SATC, as did many of my peers.  The draw of SATC, besides Patricia Fields out of control styling was the incredibly rich and tender relationships Carrie had with her friends.  The show became a model for fashionistas everywhere, yes.  But more so than that it became a model for the kinds of friendships we all want.

Perhaps you watched SATC and thought well it’s just TV and those story lines are embellished and often made up.  While this is true, to be fair a lot of times writers base their ideas on real life.  So someone out there either personally had or knew someone who had friends like Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.  Weather you want to admit it or not we all crave deep, intimate and satisfying friends.  We all need and thrive off our daily connections and it’s our friendships that make us feel alive.  But how many friends can you say would jump in front of a moving bus for you?

What would you sacrifice for your friends?  Are you the kind of person that would stay up all night with a friend because her boyfriend dumped her?  Would you be by their bedside during surgery or chemo or ________________?  We all want friends that would fly to the moon and back for us and we all want to be that friend for someone else.  But it takes a certain kind of awareness to really understand the terms of this type of friendship.  And how to recognize who, if anyone in your life is that person.

It’s the people that make our hearts sing, the friends we look up to no matter how old or young they may be; they’re the ones that make us want to be better.  We all have busy lives and may not get to see our friends often.  Most of time it’s fine.  But there are those few people that we become physically sick without.  Our connections with them are often instantaneous and they end up seeping into our souls and becoming a part of our DNA.  You can’t always explain why this happens with one person and not another.  You just know that without her or him a huge part of you would cease to exist.  I’m certain it’s a part of you you don’t want to get rid of and most likely these few people bring out the best in you.

These friends are special and should be treated with kindness, care, and understanding.  Neglect is my least favorite word when it comes to the preciousness of friends because neglect leads to anger, anger can lead to resentment and unfortunately anger and resentment can be the cause of many arguments and breakups.  Most of us run around thinking that our best friends know exactly how we feel about them.  The truth is, they don’t and unless we tell them how important they are they won’t.  Once you drop your defenses and start accepting that you need other people in your life; that these friends make you whole and that it’s not possible to live in your high and mighty solitude the rest of your life, you suddenly get what you’re asking for.  You realize how much you need certain people and the lengths you’ll go to to make them happy, because they make you happy. And after you realize this, you’ll start accepting that certain bonds will never be broken.  Some people are meant to come and go, while others are meant to stay.  Just as Carrie said, sometimes it’s not the family you’re born with (although it’s important to love the one you have), it’s the family you make for yourself that you always come home to.