Day 305/365 The Sound of Silence

“Now, listen to the silence you have created.”

This what the yoga instructor said yesterday, as a group of sixty sweaty yogis attempted to land in a resting posture without fidgeting.

I know, I know…Simon and Garfunkel said the same thing some forty years ago, but their Sound of Silence wasn’t a happy nor a comforting sound.

Philip was talking about quite the opposite – the sound of silence being sweet and sacred..a bit of nirvana. He was talking about finding a place in our minds that is clear of the near constant loop most of us (all of us?) have running through our brains.

Do you know the voice of which I speak – the critic, the worrier, the saboteur…?

In The Untethered Soul Michael Singer refers to this voice within us (with the non-stop commentary) as our “roommate.” He would have us practice  bringing our awareness to the fact that we are not our roommate. He writes about elevating above the voice and noticing it as a separate entity from ourselves. I do find this practice very useful. (That is when I remember to employ it.  What can I say, sometimes my asshole roommate gets the better of me).

But….ooohhhh…to have QUIET in there – to not only rise above the useless commentary but to tune it out completely – even just for a moment –

Pure Bliss.

I loved that he said, “listen to the silence you have created”…because I do see now that it is something we need to create for ourselves. We must purposefully cultivate it.

I am finding that the more often I stop to listen to the silence, the easier it becomes to hear.

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Day 303/365 Failure IS an Option

“So…you failed?” asked Beau.

I had signed up for 40 Days to a Personal Revolution, a program through The Studio at NBX, based on a book by Baron Baptiste.

First of all, I probably had no business signing up for it to begin with – the commitment is 40 consecutive days of yoga and meditation (and some slight diet modifications).

I had only just started my yoga practice back up after…um….perhaps a two year hiatus. Power yoga is no joke, so for someone who has been as sadly lethargic as I have been recently, 40 consecutive days of heated power yoga is a lofty goal.

Nevertheless, I figured I would give it a go.

I was seven days in when, on Wednesday, I decided a practice was not going to happen (and really…for good reason).  After I walked in the door from Jaime’s funeral service, Beau asked me when I was going to go to yoga. (The kids have been really into watching me mark each successful day on the calendar – they are excellent cheerleaders.)

“I’m not,” I said, exhausted.

“So…you failed?”

I felt a quick flash of defensiveness – a need to justify my failure. Then I realized, it is good for them to see me “fail” because for God sakes, it happens a hell of a lot. Why shrink away from that reality?

More to my point…why get defensive? What I should feel is proud…or at the very least, unfazed, because…

 Failure is NOT THE SAME as Quitting.  

I’d like my kids to learn that as soon as possible. We can fail a million times in a million different ways, and it is NOT the same as giving up. In fact, having failed A LOT means you kept trying.

So I looked her in the eye and said, “Yup, I failed…but guess what? I get to try again tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that…).

PS I WAS back at it today…which I totally counted as day 8.  I mean, I may fail a lot but I’m no masochist.