Who Do You Think You Are?

Ever since I got home from my latest yoga training I have been really amped up and sparkling with devotion. I have been getting into my yoga room every morning for intense pranayam, postures and meditation.

Yesterday during my meditation I had a panic attack.  My “To Do” list suddenly loomed up in my mind and I thought: Oh my god! I don’t have time to be sitting here doing NOTHING!  I have a shit ton of stuff that needs to get done.  My practice and meditation felt self-indulgent.

“Who do you think you are that you can spend an hour a day focusing solely on your inner world?” I thought.

When I was a kid, I would lay on my bed and read for hours.  My mother would “catch me” and flip out: “Who do you think you are, missy?  Who do you think you are that you can spend the whole day READING???  You think you are a princess? Get up off that (goddamn) bed and clean the bathroom, do the dishes, mow the lawn!  Work!

And this old conditioning is still apparently operating within me today.  Who do I think I am?  (Who do you think YOU are?)  I am a yoga teacher.  (Who are you?) Practicing keeps me in integrity.

Who do you think YOU are?

What keeps YOU in integrity?

One Year of Holosync

Yesterday was my 1-year anniversary with Holosync.

365 consecutive days without a miss.

Have I ever been this consistent with anything?  I don’t think so.  As a kid I would give up things for Lent, but how long is Lent? 6 weeks?

But with Lent you “give up” stuff.  With Holosync I added something; I added a whole hour of blessed NOTHING to my day.

It wasn’t hard to do, either.  Not like giving up candy for Lent. Not like sitting Zen.  I don’t know if I could have sat on my cushion for an hour a day, every day for a year.  Maybe, but it’s not likely.

The beauty of Holosync is that it is enjoyable, so I looked forward that hour in my Space Chair with my feet up every day.  And unlike Zen, there wasn’t the incessant work of mind-herding and corralling to attend to.

All I did was sit and listen to the rain for an hour.

At the beginning I was itchy.  As I sat, headphones on, listening to the rain, I would think: I have things to do!  This hour is going to put me waaay behind!  I’m not going to have enough time to (fill in the blank):

Walk the dog

Do the dishes

Get to the bank in time

Mop the studio, etc

But that was mainly the worries of the beginning months of the practice.  Now it has its “slot” in my day. I just drop it in, like a coin.

And that metaphor is apt, because this 1-hour meditation is money.  I have something of value in the bank. I have 365 hours of “nothing” earning compound interest.

But as I just re-read that sentence, I think I need a new metaphor because it doesn’t feel like “nothing.”

It feels more like space. Like real estate.  Like land.

Every hour is an acre, a cleared parcel in my mind.  Some of these acres run alongside rivers, some have ocean views, others are at the tops of mountains affording long vistas.

Every one-hour acre of time gives me a place to stand, to land, to sit.  Every hour gives me a piece of psychic geography, and from that home base, I can venture out into the world more quietly.

I feel less needy, more generous. I feel that whatever chaos I should happen to run into in the form of people, or events, or even my own inability to focus, I always have that hour to look back on, remember, and pull up from recent memory and stand there.

People talk about having a “happy place” in their mind that they retreat to when their present reality is either incomprehensible, intolerable or uncomfortable.

What meditating every day gives me is a “happy place” the size of a small country.

By tending its infrastructure, by “walking its fences” everyday, I get to know it, and it gets to know ME.

“Oh, here you are again,” it seems to say as I settle in to The Dive.  “You belong here.”

In this clear, clean space I can write my book, do my yoga practice, make dinner, or meet you for tea and conversation.  It’s a place conducive to creativity and clear thinking.  It has places of high vantage points, as well as cozy cabins to curl up in to germinate new ideas.

After a year of this practice, I feel that I am just now beginning to get comfortable in this new country.  I am also getting the sense that this “little kingdom” might be a lot bigger than it appears.

I am definitely feeling a sense of pride today on this anniversary.  I did something I said I wanted to do.  So many times in the past I have said I wanted something but never followed through, never persisted, never dug my heels in and guarded my supposed “wants” from all invaders.

In the past I weakened. In the past I thought, “Just one day won’t matter; I’ll get right back to it tomorrow.”

But you know what? That one day DOES MATTER.  Because that’s the day the pile of Jenga blocks you’ve erected comes crashing down and you have to start all over again.

And yeah, you can start all over again the next day, and because of the work you did before, all the blocks are within reach and the pile goes up easier the second time.

But there is always the thought, at least for me, of “What if I hadn’t crashed it back there?  How much farther would I be now, and what would that first thing have looked like?”

So, yes, there is some pride in piling up these 365 hours of time, in acquiring these 365 acres of psycho-spiritual geography.

But from this new vantage point, I see that I am still not standing on the top of the mountain the way I had hoped. This year of daily meditation has just brought me to the trailhead.

It is only now that the climb can start.  It is only now that I am in shape and properly equipped.

So my new goal is 1,000 days.  Why not?  But really, the number of days isn’t important.  What’s important is constancy and persistence over time.

And even constancy and persistence aren’t the real goals.

The real goals of these disciplined practices, for me, is the person they make me. These practices aren’t so much what I do, they’re who I am.  My practices become me, my identity.  They align me, they shore me up, they give me ballast, they inform me.

They are who you see when you look into my eyes.  They are who you “know” when you say you “know” me.

It’s so simple, really.

And it’s also really, really sacred.