“Wait. Am I even facing the right way now?” One of my Yoga students this week caught my eye and looked uncertain. Looking around the class, she could see that everyone else was doing something different from her, and she worried she was doing it wrong.
In response, the words tumbled from my mouth before I knew what I was saying: “It’s immaterial. What does it matter? Call it a dance and say it’s beautiful.”
It struck me that I should take my own advice in so many other areas in my life, especially in parenting and home educating my children. I often slip up. I forget my goals and my values. I get caught up in pixilation and forget that there’s a big picture if I would only stand back. I hyperbolise and tell myself I’m not very good at this, when this is just real life in all its messiness and joy and fluctuation.
Sometimes I’m so busy focussing on what I’m doing I forget what’s going on around me. I’m looking down and when I look up, it seems as though everyone else is marching to the tune of a different drummer. Am I even facing the right way now?
On a particularly vulnerable day I might get caught up in the comparison thing. I begin with the irrational: Other mothers are more patient than I am. Most children skip off to school and their mothers can do whatever they want. Sigh. Then my thoughts run to the illogical: I’ll start thinking that other mothers don’t seem to have the same struggles with their children as I do. They obviously have a magic key. Then there was that time a mother told me (prepare yourself, or even consider looking away now) that her children DON’T FIGHT.
I don’t have to tell you how damaging thoughts like these can be. Reining them in is essential to my happiness. If necessary, I look down again, blinker myself to what everyone else is doing, until a day when I am stronger and happier and more confident. Even more importantly, in those moments I recognise that I have to change my attitude to myself and everyone else. So what if I’m not doing what everyone else is doing? My drummer is playing a different tune. In fact, my drummer is playing a steel drum. I’m doing a different dance. A strangely exotic dance with my eyes closed that looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before. And what does it matter? It’s immaterial. It’s a dance, and it’s beautiful.
Copyright 2015 Lisa Hassan Scott.