Forgive me for the void between posts. My writing about life came to a bit of a snag because of…life. Ah, life. How you are full of so many twists and turns. And potholes.
Speaking of potholes, while I was driving the other day in a particularly bad area of Boston construction on a particularly bad day on my way to do a particularly difficult task, a tiny thought managed to make its way into the tightly clenched fist my brain had become.
Your grip is too tight. Let it go.
And I didn’t think the voice meant the steering wheel I was slowly strangling but I understood the message.
Earlier that day I was struggling in Dandayamana-Dhanurasana (standing bow pulling pose). My muscles were fired up to their maximum and I was stuck in one spot. I couldn’t seem to get any deeper into the posture. And then I just got tired of working hard and my brain said “screw it” and I stopped using all of my strength. Guess what happened? Yup, I sunk into a deeper, and noticeably more enjoyable, spot in the posture.
It’s a delicate line to play on. It’s as important to “get a grip” as it is to “loosen your grip.” When we don’t hold on tightly enough, the posture falls apart. When we hold on too tightly, the posture gets stuck in one spot. The same applies to life. It’s the difference between allowing the day to happen, making small adjustments as needed to stay on course, and trying to control everything around us by holding it in a one place and preventing it from moving.
It takes a lot of energy and effort to keep a tight grip all the time. It’s exhausting mentally and physically and it’s emotionally draining. Often times it creates the opposite effect of the one we were desiring. We get scared that if we don’t hold on tightly, everything will unravel. But sometime the death-grip does just that – it kills what we are trying to save.
Riding over potholes with a rigid brain and rigid spine is painful. Driving over them with an open mind and flexible spine is more like a slightly rocky boat ride. Pick the latter. See how you enjoy the ride.