The last few months were a bit of a mini earthquake for me. The big earthquake had already happened before, when I lost all that I had held dear, my marriage, my emotional home and my job satisfaction. The mini earthquake came as an aftermath of what had happened. It’s all the realizations I have had since. And they are no less disturbing than the previous events. The only thing that’s “mini” about them is that they are not easily seen on the outside. As they happened on the inside.
I’ve always been a good student. Straight A’s a lot of the time. For whatever reason I cannot fathom, school stuff just came easily to me. Some people thought I was a geek. In fact, I hardly studied. I just soaked it up. One reason might have been that reading was a welcome distraction from the worries of my childhood and youth. Books opened up a whole universe of alternatives. They taught me a lot of stuff. But they didn’t teach me the most important thing of all: how to live.
This morning I woke up all grumpy. Well, downright depressed, actually. I could feel this sickening knot in my gut again. So I resorted to my new coping mechanism and decided to check on my terrace plants. If you’ve read “How is your inner garden?” you’ll know what that means: I was basically checking on myself. This morning a surprise awaited, though.
If you are a perfectionist and have attempted taking up yoga, you might have run into a road block just like I have. My original idea was, of course, to learn how to let go, how to just be in the present moment, to accept reality exactly as it is. That’s what perfectionists need to learn and what yoga promises (besides the perfect body). This is until you find out that perfectionism is also precisely what stands in the way of escaping from perfectionism through yoga.
For a very long time I’ve been carrying around the heavy weight of my past, a story of childhood hurts that I kept telling myself over and over again until it defined me. My dented trust in life’s innate beauty, my need to control and improve whatever and whoever was around me, my lack of playfulness, as it turns out, were once needed ways to ring-fence my vulnerable core from the heavy storms of life. I had become resilient, or at least I thought so.