Of late, my yoga practice has been revealing inner layers of truth, ironically ‘visible’, during meditation. Especially post-pranayama.
The other week it was two words, pulsing and glimmering like a coin underwater – emotional honesty – yes… that’s taken a little while to understand.
I cast my mind back to Sydney, mid-winter several years ago, on one of the numerous yoga retreats I’ve attended. We were about to do some kind of serious meditation work, and it’s customary to do such things with clean teeth.
Before we started, my Guru looked at us and asked, So have you all brushed your teeth?
My first instinct was to nod my head, even though I hadn’t. Nod, and say yes, rather than admit I’d forgotten, be different and stand out.
I learned a great lesson right there, when one of my fellow students unashamedly shook her head. Go on then, we were told. I scooted out the door with a couple of others.
I’m not a liar as such, but there’s been many a time like that where I’ve lied rather than face a perceived ‘scary’ reality, no matter how minor.
Emotional honestly is not something I grew up with. Just… telling it like it is. Instead it was a constant stream of deny, deny, deny. Deny anything, deny everything. My blood was steeped in denial.
These days I’m much braver but still, I have my moments.
Today, sitting in near stillness, once I was able to ignore the constant stream of inner chatter long enough… I could see… wow, almost like the mechanism of grasping, desperation and neediness that drives my actions sometimes.
Briefly I saw how this force sometimes creates activity that causes me to behave in ways I’d rather not. And I saw that somewhere in there, is the capacity to set that aside. Maybe not today, or tomorrow. But sometime, sure.
Today in our yoga class, we did a lot of very deep forward bends ending with Malasana (garland pose) and Hanumanasana (the splits). Reaching into places that are usually left dormant, un-stretched. Moving slowly, repeatedly and determinedly.
It’s not surprising to find that yoga both generates and releases emotional states. Today’s asana class was highly, deeply and strongly moving and energising in the pits and creases of my body.
After some counter-poses, we eventually finished with nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing), which I always find very grounding and centering. It’s important to sit still for a while once you’ve finished and just… allow the sensations you’re experiencing to flow through you.
Right there, the chattering sufficiently ignored… I could see the ongoing suffering I cause myself through my samskaras (deeply embedded patterns of behaviour), and the choice we all have to step away from these patterns. Not without a lot of effort first, of course.
Leaving class, I felt incredibly euphoric and I’m still floating in that state…
Anyway, now for some other news:
Finally, after more than three long months, I HAVE A JOB!
I know… I should be celebrating this fact a little more. But I’m not. I am grateful – it came along right when I was about to have absolutely NO money at all.
However, it’s not my dream job. Sure, I’m working in my industry (digital media) but it’s a contract role (not permanent), its back in big Corporate-landia, and it’s really not the best money for a contract job either.
I also discovered the contract heavily favours the rights of the company (they can terminate my role with no notice – I’m sure a sign of the current financial times), while affording me almost no rights… except to get paid.
Then, the organisation I’m contracting through pays fortnightly, but it’s actually going to be three weeks until I’m paid for the first six days of work, leaving me with precious little cash (all I’ve got) to get by on until then.
However, the people there are nice. So I’m trying to stave off the sense of foreboding I feel being back in an uber-large company (it’s been almost twelve months since I quit my previous corporate gig).
Ironically, the day I was verbally offered this role, I was also offered another (less lucrative) contract, and an interview for a permanent role. Even more ironically, I had that interview at lunch time of the first day on the new job this week (Thursday). Then, on the Friday another recruiter rang with an interview request for another permanent role. That one will be Tuesday after work.
Feast or famine, right?
Usually, I’m very loyal to my employer, sometimes to my own detriment. But recent times have shown that’s not the most prudent course of action. So, given the relative lack of stability of my contract job (when is a contract not really a contract? When there’s a ‘no notice’ clause in it!), I’m taking a slightly more aggressive line.
I guess I’ll see what happens – could be I get offered neither permanent role (my fate in recent times) – but then again, I might. And I will keep looking.
In the mean time, I’m repeating my yoga teacher’s oft-repeated mantra – there will always be enough – while I prepare to live on a tiny amount of cash for a few weeks to come yet.
And, I’ll also keep attempting to disengage with the samsaric patterning I’ve just witnessed so clearly. If I can surrender that, and strive to live as emotionally honestly as possible, hopefully I’ll be open to new opportunities I might not otherwise have a shot at.