Today was a great big lesson in attachment. I got very attached to certain ideas then found myself miserably disappointed when things didn’t go as planned. I was closed off to the possibilities of what might have been because I wanted things to go my way for once. Basically, my day sucked….I was to blame for a lot of that suckage.
I woke up in a bad mood. I didn’t feel good physically or emotionally. I didn’t feel well rested and my mind was racing with muddled thoughts of all the stuff I had to get done. I made it a point to go to one of my favorite yoga classes. It is a class filled with women over 50. They are inspiring to be around and to practice with. The teacher is passionate, clear, and always says something that rings true for me. To top it all off the teacher was filled with excitement and stories because his teacher recently came back from India where she studied with Iyengar himself. I left the class feeling uplifted and inspired to teach the class I was subbing that evening.
By mid afternoon my mood was back in the dumps. I was upset at myself for not being able to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I was frustrated that the uplifting effects a great yoga class usually fills me with all day lasted only a few hours. I managed to drag up some excitement to teach, the faces of some of my regular students gave me a lift.
It was a small class. I love the energy of large classes, but the intimacy of a small group can be magical in its own right. I have gotten attached to the energy of large classes, I admit it, small classes make me feel awkward at first. I had a great quote for my dharma talk and a new playlist I was excited to share. I couldn’t even get the class to OM. The theme of the month is chanting and I had a room full on whispering OM’ers. I tried to let it go, but I was disappointed. I was attached to the idea of having a room filled with chanting. I quickly realized I was going to have to change the sequence I had planned as no one had a very strong or advanced practice. I let it go…kind of, I was still pretty attached to the idea of teaching what I wanted to teach instead of what my students needed. I had been inspired by my teacher and I wanted to pass that along to my students. I was attached to them doing everything well and following directions. I was attached to the uplifting feelings I usually get when I am teaching. I was in a room with students who made me feel like I was speaking another language and regular students so confused by these people not knowing what to do or how to follow directions that they started to lose focus within their own practices. I felt like an absolute failure.
I was attached to feeling good today. I was attached to a great yoga class carrying me through a rough day. I was attached to teaching an amazing class. In reality, I need bad days in order to acknowledge the good days and fully appreciate them. I need to accept that some days will be filled with ups and downs, neither last forever. I need to open myself to the possibility that I did not fail my students. I gave what I could. They took what they could. I needed to be reminded that I often come into the studio with expectations and that does not serve my students or myself. I still have a lot of work to do on myself.
As Pema Chodron writes:
“We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off-limits to others. We’re willing to attach if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.”