In Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita, Ram Dass says, “Stop ruining things for yourself with that self-conscious, judgmental holding back.”
It happens to the best of us. I think of something possibly awesome and then get all tight in my chest around saying it or writing it or publishing it for Heaven’s sake! Do you know how long I’ve sat on this very blog without hitting the publish button? More than a few months.
I think of the ways in which the whole idea could go south, not work at all or, worst possible scenario – be stupid. Self-doubt is a creeper. You don’t always see it sneak up on you.
When I began teaching yoga classes I’d be in front of people, sometimes a lot of people, and I’d have this great cue idea or a pretty metaphor that seemed fresh and I’d squash it. I’d go ahead and not say the thing I thought would be a good idea to say. Ironically, there was a time in my life when I’d gladly say the thing I thought was a horrible idea to say.
One day, before class, I decided that I’d say whatever came through (that was helpful and affirmative). The poetry in my mind that might get lost in translation? Yup, that, too, I needed to give it a chance to get lost – or not. This ended up being one of my favorite teaching experiences.
There was still the self-conscious judgmental holding back, too, but I’d agreed not to listen to it so much while I was guiding people into and out of yoga poses. Oddly, as I began to let this smooth language flow through me I began to think faster and to have more ideas.
It’s like creative momentum. Once you start a project and give it a little juice you can’t stop. You may even have to call into work one day because that new masterpiece is coming along so swimmingly. You give your creative self an inch and you find that you’ve got all the space in the world.
There are still times I squash the good idea or glimmer of poetry. Sometimes I’m more self-conscious, judgmental and withholding that others. I’m a work in progress, but the work makes the progress possible.
Until New Year’s Day, when the theme of classes will turn directly to resolutions in all of their glory, we will be exploring chipping away at some of this holding back we all get caught up in.
There is an abbreviated schedule at Uru Yoga and Beyond, please check the website for up-dates. I will see you Monday Dec. 22, 2014 at 5:30pm and Monday Dec. 29, 2014 5:30pm for Divine Balance and Flow, where we will explore this topic further.
There are no holiday schedule changes for yoga at Chip’s 24 Hour Fitness Center.