I have had about 87.2 ideas for this here blog over the last couple weeks. The Meditation Mantra of the Month is Drishti; focal point, direction of gaze and attention. Basically it is all about is paying attention – what are you paying attention to – what are you focusing on – how many more ways do I need to say the exact same thing? <–This right there is the problem and the practice. I have all sorts of ideas for focus. I can come up with 15 synonyms & 32 metaphors for practicing focus. Can I just stick with one? No, I can’t and it doesn’t feel good. This is exactly why I chose this Mantra. I am craving the mental relief of focus. I know what focus, concentration, and attention going in one sweet direction feels like in my body and I want to make it happen. My spirit is reminding of that sensation of being on a big inner-tube on one of those lazy rivers at the public pool (without children ) where you can just let it gently pull you along until you are ready to stop.
I know there are other people who can get so intensely focused on what they are doing that they don’t hear anything going on around them. My husband can get so drawn into a manual about how to hang siding on the garage that he doesn’t notice that we have been calling his name for a few minutes. Yes, he is possibly ignoring us – but to even have the ability to ignore such annoying distraction is a superpower I want!
This is possibly why I teach so many yoga classes. When I’m teaching yoga I really have to focus on what I am doing. Yes, I still get all kinds of distracted. I have other conversations running in my head and then confuse knees/elbows/chins (but can you see how they are all quite similar in shape?) or we stay in a pose for 7 minutes because I’m talking to myself and forget that everyone in the room is waiting on me to move.
Lately I have been saying near the end of class…“trust that when your mind got distracted and you brought yourself back that your practice deepened, regardless of the pose you were in, because that is the practice….bringing your attention and focus back to this time and space with more ease and less judgment.”
I’m going to believe myself in this case. Let’s say that this month is a sort of Distraction Cleanse. So, maybe instead of beating myself up over feeling squirrelly in mind, body, and spirit, I let those 83 ideas, random song lyrics, grocery lists, blog posts, and big life questions move thru me and out the other end, and keep showing back up, over and over again. Welcoming my easily distracted self back with ease, grace, and gratitude that I am here, over and over and over, again.
The next Daily Bread Yoga Saturday Morning Retreat is on May 4th, 9a.m.-noon at Philo Presbyterian Church. The cost is always $30 if that works for you. The theme of this retreat is creating a daily practice that works for you, which means that you DO IT. Doing a home practice is really hard because there is no set start time, unless you set it. It is wildly difficult to know what do with yourself, unless you write down what to do with yourself and just do it, despite the self-doubt and weirdness it might bring up. There is no perfect routine that I can come up with for you. The perfect practice for you is the one that you do. That’s it. So together we will come up with a few options (but not too many) to give you something to do with yourself. And then you have to do the (hard) work of actually doing it, which is no small thing.
I’d love to practice this with you. And here’s when I will remind you of one of my favorite quotes that I do not know who said originally; practice doesn’t make perfect – practice is perfect.
Peace on your head, you.