Thinking the Program Instead of Working the Program

I'm walking to yoga now, and I don't want to go. The voices are loud. So I'm typing this on my phone to let them speak.

The first voice was calm, quiet and inviting. Something I heard someone say on my UA call this morning. She was sharing about a bottom in her recovery. She slipped into old patterns and stopped doing the work. She said "I was thinking the program instead of working the program."

Before I keep going, I need to celebrate something here. I remembered this. That is amazing. I started to spin out and I remembered what that woman said. Thank you. Sometimes that is enough.

And.... There are other voices. Many of them. Spinning. Loud. Persuasive. Seductive. They want to hit the brakes.

Maybe I don't need to go to my mentor today.

I feel fine, right? Im already pretty strong and flexible. I feel happy. Life is good. I feel fine.. Yeah. I'm fine. Maybe I should use this time for catching up on work. After all I've been doing so well with my boundaries. I used to have no boundaries and work all the time. So I'm way behind now. One hour of work instead of practice couldn't do much harm, right?

Wait.

This is my conditioning talking. My mind. My ego. My saboteur.

The vulnerable truth is it's hard to believe I could be this consistent and taking such good care of myself. I usually drop it by now, what happened?

All I know is I'm still walking to class. And I still hear all the voices

* I don't need to go again


* I've done enough practice for today / this week / this month / this year / my life


* I should do other work, it's more important


* Why do people even do yoga anyway?


* I can't forget I am behind on work now that I have boundaries


* People will be mad at me and think I'm greedy and lazy for doing my practices and not working harder


* No, it's none of that stuff, it's that I'm being too controlling and need to just go with the flow of life and not be such a tight ass


* And I can't afford it, I am in debt, no time for self care

* I have been doing so much, I should take a day off from everything and just do nothing. I never get to do that anymore

And now I'm going into class. I hear all the voices. Feel all the feelings. And I'm following my commitment and going in. I will see how I feel on the other side.

 


...

And now I'm out of class. Of course, Angie spoke to what I felt.

Before class a student asked if we could "Just lay on the floor and twist around" for the class. After a few minutes of challenging poses, Angie said to her "Somehow this turned into a core power class! Not quite what you wanted... And sometimes it turns out what you want isn't what you need."

What I wanted was to quit and what I needed was to keep going.

The voices that spoke so loud before the class are hard to hear now.

I am not going to just pretend they weren't there and I'm all better now. The truth is they are a part of me and will likely keep visiting. So it's important to acknowledge these voices, they have a message too. As I reread them now I see how tender they are. They want to protect me, and that's a beautiful thing.

With greater growth comes greater uncertainty and stronger pulls to sabotage it all. The voice of protection sees all change, at some level, as a threat. In this way I have so many times protected my comfort. Argued for my limitations. For certainty. For scarcity and a false sense of control.

The voices that spoke during class were not the same.

Those voices were not loud or persuasive. They were calm, quiet and inviting. Much less noise and chatter. What I did hear was to the effect of:

* You are doing what your teachers would have done.


* You are becoming like the people who have come before you


* You are becoming like the people who guided you to the growth and peace you've found in your practice.


* The truth is you reached a level of practice that is a long way from where you started, and satisfying


* The truth is deep down you know you have so much more to give now. 


* By doing your practice you are choosing to stop blocking your growth.


* You are growing beyond the know and safe into the unknown.


* Yes doing consistent practices is growth, not mindless repetition, because this practice asks all of you to show up, every time, and you are capable. 


* Little by little, this is how you advance your peace of mind, your strength and flexibility.

If I would have listened to the beliefs before class, I would have strengthened those beliefs. I would have been "thinking the program instead of working the program."

There is a certain kind of freedom that comes from making a commitment. I feel that freedom now. I didn't feel it before class. What I wanted was to retreat, and it turns out what I needed was to surrender.

Angie ended class by sharing this quote: 


"If our only prayer in this life was to say "thank you," that would be enough."

Thank you, Angie.

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