The following was published on www.oregonsportsnews.com on 19 August 2013.
A few months ago, an old beau told me I was messy. I took offense to this because messy makes me think dirty, and dirty means smelly. That’s gross. I’m none of those things. I am a classy lady, dammit. A classy lady with a lot of papers on my desk.
I thought back to this conversation and back to He Who Shall Not Be Named. Although we’ll forever be connected by a complementary distaste of stupid people, a love of good music, and a set of matching tattoos, I’m finally at peace with why we’ll never “work out.” But that’s how Karma works, isn’t it?
I have big, huge ideas. I have life goals and dreams so big that I can’t contain them inside a neat little box with a bow in the recesses of my brain. My desk reflects this in its constant clutter. No matter how hard I try to keep it aesthetically tidy, it’ll forever be a realm of organized chaos.
Some people like their lives to be compartmentalized. They like neat little containers for their things: their papers, their knick knacks, their thoughts, their ideas, their time and their life plans. I’ve realized that I’m not one of those people. My ideas don’t fit into nice little drawers. I don’t have a solid five year plan. The house in the suburbs with the family and the cubicle job is not in my foreseeable future. That future looks more like a Jackson Pollock painting in my brain. For now, I’m grateful that Future Me will at least be attending graduate school for the next two years.
That’s not to say I don’t plan ahead – in fact, I do just the opposite by working my butt off everyday – but who’s to say that the HR department at my dream job will decide to hire me after graduation? Or that my home will still be here tomorrow? Or that my dreams, goals, and life will take me in the same direction as I’m feeling now?
Yoga has taught me to move with my breath and to flow. That is Vinyasa; that is my yoga practice and my life is no different. I can breathe through difficulties. I can conquer resistances I didn’t even know I carried. Walls can melt away, allowing me to expand, open, stretch, and grow in ways I didn’t even realize were possible.
Once we start putting our lives into boxes, however, we contain and put limits on ourselves; we can no longer flow. We must use labels. I’m a student; I’m a teacher; I’m a daughter; a sister; I’m 24; I’m brunette and short. These are superficial; they’re impermanent and they can change in an instant. Except the “I am short” part. That’s forever.
Ask yourself – despite these ever-changing labels – who am I? If you can remove the superficialities and the impermanence, the only thought you may hear is silence. I am. I exist. “That is the point,” explained my teacher. “Once you can touch the present moment, there’s nothing else to do. That is enlightenment.”
If you’re the type of person who enjoys arranging your life into boxes, then by all means, organize away, my Type-A friend. Every once in a while, though, see how it feels to peek over the edges of the walls. Breathe some air. Maybe jump on top of that box, stretch your legs, and keep this Tibetan proverb in mind:
“Tomorrow or the next life, you never know which will come first.”
Om shanti & Namaste, friends.