“Self-possessed, Resolute, Act
without any thought of results
Open to success or failure,
This equanimity is yoga.” ~Bhagavad Gita 2.43
Practicing the yamas and niyamas while diving into new endeavors is a unique kind of challenge, I’m finding. New endeavors are exciting, energizing, but can be anxiety provoking. We’re breaching new territory, breaking old patterns, creating new (hopefully more conscious) ones.
Anxiety has a way of encouraging me to reach for old familiar patterns. And grasping is familiar. My way of grasping, though has a drivenness to it, an insistence on white-knuckle motion forward that can look like fearlessness, while it’s entirely the opposite. Some of my friends go into caves when they’re confronted with new and challenging situations, some run the other way, some go into their heads… there are as many ways of sheltering ourselves from the stress as there are people.
But there are equally many ways of remaining vulnerable, open, unconstructed in the face the exhillerating beauty we have – we often forget – invited into our own lives. For me, the yama of aparigraha – nongrasping – is key to returning over and over again to this open heartedness.
This week has been a blast for me. I’m teaching more this week than ever and have two workshops over the weekend. I’m swimming in yoga, and it feels good. And sometimes, when I take the bird’s eye, outsider’s view, I’m terrified, humbled and wonder if I’m stark raving mad. The nattering nay-bobs of negativity chatter away and doubt seeps in any crack and crevice. What if… what if no one comes? what if i have nothing to say or do? what if i freeze? what if i’m not …. enough?
And so I was able to write the quote above from the Gita by heart – not because my memory is full of such wisdom, but because I’ve read, said, written and embraced it so much this week it’s written on the inside of my forehead and transcribed into my soul.
Possessed by Self, resolute : Act. Prepare, practice, investigate, live in the moment, till the ground, plant the seeds, and, when the moment becomes ripe: Act. Then, the consequences are secondary, not even on the same plane. If you inhabit the place of the Self, the consequences aren’t even personal, they’re just action and reaction working themselves out, a play of energies to be observed and then… Act again.