Critical

I slept badly last night, because I kept waking and worrying that I was somehow going to miss the global webconference this morning. Just before the alarm went off, I was dreaming that my office was at the back of Fenway Park, and that the only way I could get in would be to buy a ticket to the game. But there were hundreds of people waiting on line, and the webconference was due to start in a matter of minutes. Argh. One of those frustrating dreams where there is nothing you can do to make the situation okay.

So I finally got up at 4 AM, packed some coffee, made myself vaguely presentable, and headed for the office. Where the doors would not open. I tried my security card repeatedly, at different doors around the building. But no luck. I was locked out.

Unfortunately, the webconference vendor we were going to use for this call is new, and the only information I had regarding the call-in numbers and URL, etc., were printed in hardcopy and lying on my desk.

I drove home and called the colleague who was also going to be presenting during the webconference, only to find that he had no additional access information.

So we were locked out. Webconference was cancelled due to technical difficulties.

The interesting thing was how guilty I felt. Like it was all my fault. Why am I so critical of myself? This is a question that comes up in retreats, when I start to hear deep inside myself and am regularly startled by the judgemental quality of my inner monolog. I am really hard on myself. It’s not healthy, but I’m not quite sure how to fix it.

The whole webconference debacle was finished up by 5:30 AM, which gave me time to run over to Mysore practice. I wavered. On the one hand, the practice could help me put all of the drama in perspective; on the other hand, the drama in my mind might adversely affect my practice. I didn’t want to drag all of that baloney into practice.

I decided to go.

Today was a lovely, stretchy practice, where everything feels just great. I even threw in the hanumanasana/samakonasana add-on. I wanted to test out my hamstrings. If they are at all hinky, it really shows up during these poses. Despite not having done them for ages, it all went really well. I’ve heard people say you have to practice hanumansana all the time in order to keep the pose, but I really don’t find that to be true at all. I seem to fare best when I do it a little irregularly. Maybe I push too much in it when I do it every day. That would, obviously, make it counterproductive. So I do it a little less regularly. To protect me from myself.

Supta kurmasana was different today. There was some kind of really strong contraction in my gut, on the side, and my shoulders got under my legs much more deeply than usual. I had a brief glimpse of a time when there will be considerably more space in the pose. I think the contraction in my side, which was almost a muscle cramp, is about the core learning something it needs to know. My mind isn’t in on the details of what’s really going on physically — so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens 😉

Baddha konasana was also lovely. I used to need two sandbags on my back and a bit of a smoosh to get my head to the floor. Then it was two sandbags. Then one. Today, Volleyball Guy lifted the single sandbag that I’d plopped onto my back, and my head only lifted up about an inch from the floor. Rock on!

During all of this practice time, I was processing the…failure (gosh, that’s the word in my head, but it seems a little overly dramatic) of the con call. I realized that I am quite attached to my competency. At work, and in the shala. I hope I can work through this a bit. Perhaps, like supta kurmasana, it will all just sort out with lots of practice? I’d rather not spend a lot of time trying to figure it out with my mind.

As I was leaving, Sanskrit Scholar was packing up her stuff. She mentioned having “lost” a pose recently. We both said the usual things about how it’ll come back, trying not to get too attached, etc. Then I said, “You know what’s weird? When I lose a pose, sometimes it’s no big deal, but sometimes it makes me feel like I’m a bad person.” She knew just what I was talking about.

Ugh. Too much self-criticism and judgement. I really want to get over that. Maybe that needs to be a new part of my practice.

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One Response

  1. I’m with you on the self-judgement. In my case, what makes it worse is that I am a person of extremes: incredibly good at some stuff and quite bad at some other (short attention span, quite forgetful) so as you can imagine, I punish myself harshly over the latter.

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