You know that yoga teacher of mine? Well I’m getting a little freaked out about the things she says in class. It’s clear I’m being targeted.
She spoke of the importance of “seeing things as they are and learning to grow from there.” I was so sure she was looking right at me that I wobbled out of Warrior C.
Great advice if you happen to be contemplating the cheerful, lollipop-red petals of a tulip or eating a slice of chocolate cake. But what if now sucks giant, steaming donkey balls (as my bloggy buddy Stereo is wont to say)? Maybe you are scared, sad, in pain, bored, tired, or beset by cravings. Who wants to stay with that?
I’m sick of seeing things as they are with “compassion and extreme honesty”. My mother often describes compassion as, “your pain in my heart”. Yeah, well you can keep it.
How can we function when we carry around other people’s pain as well as our own? And we’re supposed to do this without the cloak of denial shielding us from direct experience? You know how that feels? Something like leaving your house without your pants on when it’s -30C.
I’ve never had a problem seeing things clearly. It’s my legacy superpower from growing up in an alcoholic home. My x-ray vision sees through seven layers of bullshit, and that combined with my inability to mince words can make me a very difficult person to be around. That said, I call “bullshit” on myself as much or more than I call it on others.
And for the record, my dad has been sober for 30 years now, and I’m so proud of him. I don’t have words enough to express my gratitude that his favourite drink is now grape soda.
It’s the clear seeing with the compassion that gets a little hard to bear. I can pick up the emotional atmosphere swirling around in a room, put a smile on my face, and….then head for the punch bowl or hide in the bathroom. Other things in my avoidant bag of tricks include: eating too much, working too much, exiting the building, reading too much, watching too much TV, and swimming around in over-large glasses of Pinot Grigio.
1. With the term, “As often as it doesn’t”, the author means:
c) Half the time.
d) Fuck off.
I think my unconscious is getting sick of this scene too. The night before my wobbly yoga class I had a dream that I was on the run with my kids. We hid in a farmer’s field where I started pulling up giant hogweed plants and rubbing the juice into my eyes. For those who don’t know their pernicious, invasive plant species, hogweed can cause severe skin irritation, and burning.
In my dream, I realized that I needed medical attention, or I’d go blind. But I didn’t want to go to the doctor’s office because I was afraid that as soon as the nurse swiped my OHIP card, the police would storm in and arrest me. Then I woke up.
My yoga teacher knows too much. Clearly, she’s an alien and I’ve been probed. OMG, I’ve been probed!
2. Choose at least two meanings from the list that explain lesson of the author’s dream. Feel free to add other possible answers in the comment section below:
a) Socialized medicine leads to the arrest of innocent people.
b) Don’t go to yoga class.
c) Life would be much easier with a lobotomy.
d) Stop running away from direct experience.
e) “Life is hard, pass the crack pipe.” “Yessir, Mayor Ford.”
f) Avoidance causes more pain in the long run.
g) Don’t pursue a career in agriculture.
Here are other posts that outline my yoga teacher’s meddling:
I’m currently listening to the The Pema Chödrön Audio Collection.