Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Experiments 2013

I really don't like the idea of "New Year's Resolutions;" to me they are the equivalent of a moral Hail Mary--"gotta do something, and I know this won't work, but hereagoes."  I also don't dig on "goals;" they feel like I'm waiting to fill out a year-end performance review that doesn't really mean anything yet is an amazing self-esteem killer.  Instead I'm going with "experiments."  Experiments require thought, observation, activity, and failure is an option and a totally acceptable result--a win all the way around!

This year I will be conducting 3 experiments:
1. Begin to write my re-telling of The Ramayana, the stories as I have told them to my son and in classes.  Certainly not a translation, nor a scholarly rendition, nor necessarily a complete narrative.  This is my theme, my prompt to get me to write more. "Begin" is a loaded word, however, I like the act of telling the stories so I do not want to focus on ending the project.

2. Reduce my attachment to asana practice. I've had a very difficult time with asana practice over the last few months--it has been a struggle to get to the mat, and once there, I have been on auto-pilot--even performing asanas with a feeling of anger.  So I push harder--hitting my head against the brick wall because I'm afraid that if I stop I will feel good.  I have discovered that I enjoy singing, japa, reading (see Experiment #1) and have discovered that not only are these things valid and more important practices, but I like them more than twisting my knee in handstand lotus just to prove that I can still do the pose. My hypothesis is that I can get to sun salutations, 10 poses (headstand, shoulderstand, fish, paschimottanasana, janu sirshasana, cobra, bow, spinal twist, handstand, triangle),  and kriyas (Uddiyana Bandha, Nauli, Agni Sara) in 1/2 hr. This will reduce time in asana by 20-30 minutes, freeing up more time for singing, japa, reading, etc., practices that I would rather be doing.

3. In an effort to work on santosha (contentment) and not be so quick to get upset and take everything personally, I will experiment with a page from the Jivamukti playbook--the mantra of "Let go."  I have no desire to have anyone accuse me of being peacelovehappiness, I just don't want to feel my blood pressure skyrocket every two seconds.  The sheer fact that I am admitting this to myself is a step in the right direction.

Essential to the idea of experimentation are observing, recording, and reporting. Does this mean I'll get back to more frequent posting here? That I will share my trials and errors, my attempts at retelling the oldest poem known to man, my practice schedule? Maybe.  We will all have to wait to see what the results are.

I am curious though.

Happy New Year, and I wish you success in all your experiments.

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