How a Firefly taught me patience.

Serious question: if I’ve achieved my sole New Year’s resolution by mid-August, does that mean I can coast for the rest of the year?

This week has been… interesting, to say the very least. I suppose I’m not surprised – it’s a new moon today – but on that same token, it’s been a really trying week, mentally, physically, emotionally. Sometimes in weeks like this I have a tendency to neglect my yoga practice, using excuses like ‘I’m too tired’ and ‘I just don’t have the time’ to justify sitting on my chair feeling sorry for myself or drinking wine alone with the cat. This week, though, I made a point to stay on the mat, and in all my frustrations at everything outside of yoga, I somehow found the patience and focus to manage a huge breakthrough. Back on December 31, 2014, I told myself if I could hold a handstand for at least five seconds in 2015 that would be a goal accomplished; and on August 12, 2015, I did exactly that, and then a little more.

There’s something empowering, invigorating about setting and reaching a goal. Whether it’s as simple as “I will not forget to wash the dishes before going to bed tonight,” or as complex as “I will get into a crazy yoga pose,”  having something to work towards, pushing you, motivating you to get better, is absolutely a wonderful things. But I am admittedly terrible at following through on long-term goals. My first few years in NYC were so tumultuous between moves and new jobs and relationships that trying to think in the long-term was way too overwhelming, when it was all I could do just to budget so I’d have enough for groceries that week. The longest I’ve stayed in a job is just under 30 months and that place was fucking nuts, so I always knew that wasn’t a place to look at in my long-term, and while I love my apartment and I see myself there for the foreseeable future, I know it’s not somewhere I’m going to be for many more years.

Everyone around me is making these huge decisions that affect the long term, like moving around and getting married. It’s easy to feel left behind in these situations, which I know because around this time last year that’s exactly how I felt; I had this clear view of everyone in my life moving forward and I was still blacking out on weeknights after an office happy hour. Then earlier this week I had a little freak out about the future, because all of a sudden I’ve realized I have a plan. I have a long-term plan about my life here in New York, and how I want to grow as a person, and where I might be in the next five years, and it’s absolutely not at all what I thought it would be when I moved to New York five years ago. Maybe to some people that sounds like growing up or maturity or whatever, but it just makes me fucking terrified because honestly, I don’t know if I can do it.

After reaching my resolution on Wednesday, I paused for a minute after a long flow yesterday and decided to try a pose that first piqued my interest in yoga, and a pose that I swear to grilled cheezus I have been working for the better part of a year and still couldn’t get into it. In frustration a few months ago, I stopped practicing the pose, telling myself maybe it would be more of a possibility down the line. So yesterday, on my handstand high, I gave tittibhasana, or Firefly pose, a try. And just like the handstand, all of a sudden I was in the pose. No frills, nothing fancy, and miles from perfect, but in that moment I couldn’t have cared less about perfect. I was flying in tittibhasana and that is something I never thought would happen in 2015, never in a million years. Patience is a lesson that kept coming up this week in work and in practice – patience with others, patience with myself. Getting into that pose was a revelation in patience that I needed before tonight’s new moon: sometimes there are things I can do on the first try, or after a week or two of concentration. But sometimes it’s going to take more time – maybe eight months, or maybe over a year. But if I remember to focus on love, practice and patience, truly – all is coming.

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