Wanting a Different Life: Imagining Something Better

As long as I can remember I have had these feelings of wanting a different life.  I remember my grade school best friend and how beautiful I thought she was.. She had really long hair, that was all the way down to her butt and I had wanted long hair so badly. I had just had my mom cut my hair and when she asked me how long I wanted it, I reached as far down my back as I could, which was.. apparently not very far and she cut it really short and I was so sad. So when I saw Laura, who had longer hair than I had ever had, I fell into such longing to look like her. I wished that I had walked into my first days of school with hair like THAT. She also used to wear these flowy dresses with matching shoes and she looked just like a princess. I didn’t have any clothes like that at all. I came to school with jeans that had holes in the knees and t-shirts. I would imagine what it would be like to have a wardrobe like that and to feel so beautiful. I longed for this different life that she had.  I wanted to change my name to her name and to wear my hair like hers, to wear dresses like those, and to swap lives… I imagined that life would be so much better as someone else. 

Mourning the Loss of What Never Existed:

I was just listening to Pascal Auclair, a meditation teacher,  talk about how he had discovered that he has a life threatening disease and finds himself imagining what it would be like to not have this disease and how he could travel without worrying about refrigerating medication. How he could travel to India and have this adventure…then coming back from his imagination, from this alternate reality, and feeling such deep sadness that this is not the life he has, but that he has this one… this one that is happening right here. Yet, this whole thing was imagination, none of it was real, so he is mourning the loss of something that never existed. 

Don’t Miss Out!

Lately I have been working and studying this feeling of wanting a different life. This imagining of a better life, one that I would feel more passion in, more electricity, a deeper connection, and more love.  I spoke to one of my teachers of this longing of mine… and how I am afraid of staying home and painting and writing and practicing yoga, afraid to dive into all of the things that I love because I have this fear of missing out on something… and she turned the whole thing around on and said.. “YEAH! DON’T MISS OUT!”  

What she meant was, don’t miss out on this life. She said to be with the incredible creativity, the discoveries, and beauty of what is pouring out of me.  That up until this point I had been making the mistake of searching outside of myself by doing things for others that are pleasing in order to get connection and to get good feedback… That I am missing out because I am looking outside of me for what is right here. Here I am, trying to be somewhere else, in this alternate reality, imagining a different life.. and by putting all of my presence in another imagined life, I”m missing out on the one that is right here… on the passion, electricity, love, and connection that is right here.  

To Love: 

Yesterday I heard a new definition of love, it was simply to be present.  She said, to give your full attention and your presence to someone else, that is to love. To give your full attention and presence to yourself, your life, to this moment, this life, that is love. 

In this human experience we have brains that are like another sense organ. It is as if we have a door that is held wide open and constantly things flow in.  Some things feel so nice, so comfortable, so pleasurable, and some things are the opposite. Some things feel completely at odds with our inner condition or outer condition and are so, almost unbearably, uncomfortable.  Can we offer our presence to all of our experiences? Not think, that without this “thing” whatever it is, that happiness would be possible, but that with all of our experiences, all our situations, all of our emotions, injuries, diseases, problems, no matter how pleasurable or challenging, that happiness is possible with all experiences, and to offer our presence; to fall in love with our lives and commit to them. 

To Marry our Life:

What if we were to marry our life? What if we gathered together all the most important people to us and brought them together in a ceremony and then walked to an altar, hand and hand with our life with and said the vows of committment:
“I, ____________, take you to be my lawfully wedded life, to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death due us part.”  
From this day forward, to not lust after another person’s life, but to wake up with our life and go to bed with our life. 

Being:

A friend of mine just said to me, “You know,  humans are just a species of monkey that doesn’t think it’s a monkey; we think we are something else.  The difference in humans is that we eat all sorts of things; basically, we’ll eat anything.”  For a moment there, I really felt it, like.. Ohhhh! I am just a species of monkey. It was an incredible moment because suddenly all the ideas about having to have cars, wear certain shoes, fancy haircuts, have particular rules of social behavior and have certain belongings just disappeared and I was just… being. 

Yoga Sequence:

Philosophical Inspiration:
Yoga Sutra 1.16:
tatparam purusakhyateh gunavaitrsnyam
The ultimate Renunciation is when one transcends the qualities of nature and perceives the soul.

About:
This sequence is a restorative sequence for fatigue. I have chosen this one because it is incredibly exhausting to try to be someone that you aren’t or to live a life that is not yours or to do something that isn’t in alignment with who you are.  I have also chosen restorative because it gives you the chance to slow down enough to listen to the tapes and loops that your brain is playing over and over and to question the thoughts, but to also rest in awareness, rest in simply being.  Hold every pose from anywhere from 3-20 minutes. Bring your presence to yourself, your body, your life, your experience.  Rest as awareness. 

“One learns that one’s body is the bow, the asana is the arrow, and the target is the soul. When the asana is perfected, the target is struck; the field ad the knower of the field are united…. the sadhaka, having lost the consciousness of the asana and of his body, is one with himself.  His asana, his breath, his effort, and his very being are one with the millions of cells in his body.” – B.K.S. Iyengar

Sequence:

  1. Viparitta Karani (legs up the wall)
  2. Supta Baddakonasana
  3. Supta Virasana
  4. Adho Muka Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog – head resting on block)
  5. Sirsasana
  6. Chair Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)
  7. Halasana
  8. Savasana with calves on chair seat

For Savasana:

Dreams
By Mary Oliver

All night
the dark buds of dreams
open
richly.

In the center
of every petal
is a letter,
and you imagine

if you could only remember
and string them all together
they would spell the answer.
It is a long night,

and not an easy one—-
you have so many branches,
and there are diversions—-
birds that come and go,
the black fox that lies down
to sleep beneath you,
the moon staring
with her bone-white eye.

Finally you have spent
all the energy you can
and you drag from the ground
the muddy skirt of your roots

and leap awake
with two or three syllables
like water in your mouth
and a sense

of loss—-a memory
not yet of a word,
certainly not yet the answer—-
only how it feels

when deep in the tree
all the locks click open,
and the fire surges through the wood,
and the blossoms blossom.

%d bloggers like this: