Run in’s with Authority: What makes us want to disobey?

Two days ago I was driving down the interstate and I was in a hurry. I got stuck in the passing lane behind a car that was going only a couple miles faster than the speed limit and I was so annoyed. There was also a car behind me that started tailgating me because they were so annoyed too. So here I am pinched between these two cars and getting more and more frustrated, and I’m inching closer and closer to him, hoping he will get the point and move over or just get bothered enough to get out of the way… and finally he pulled over into the other lane. I hit my gas and like a race car driver (vroooom!) I passed him. My speedometer was flying, the needle going just a little above 85 mph when I noticed the car I had been tailgating… was now right behind me with red and blue lights flashing. Oh man! It was an unmarked cop car! I pulled over as fast as I could, sort of chuckling at myself because here I was tailgating a police officer and then passing at 85 mph and speeding up. (whoopsie!) He practically ran up to my window, and then began to shout at me.  His fists were clenched, he was leaning in, and really giving me a hollering.  He said, “You’re gonna kill someone like that!” Then he gave me back my license and registration and just drove off. No ticket, nothing…. wow. 

I had been watching my reaction because…

Being

  • told what to do
  • disciplined
  • shamed
  • guilted
  • given consequences 
  • forced to do things because the authority figure can put consequences on my life

None of these things make me want to:

  • be good
  • follow what I’m told to do
  • become a law upholding citizen

In fact, I just want to be BAD more! I want to get em back, sneak around, drive as fast as I can whenever possible, and break all the rules!

Do Authority and Discipline Work?
OR do they just create insatiable hunger??

Self Reflection: Ending a Pattern Because it Doesn’t Work
Often times, I run into struggle and then turn into my own authority figure / disciplinarian. I cut things out. I make rules that I have to obey. I tell myself certain things are okay and certain things aren’t. I use shame and dire consequences to enforce my rules…believing that somehow, feeling bad, will stop me from ever exhibiting that behavior again. AND does it work? No! I end up breaking all my rules and the struggle gets worse, almost like an addiction gone wild! AND besides all of that, It’s exhausting.   The whole thing leaves me feeling empty and hungry. 

Re-Parenting Ourselves:
Oftentimes there is an inner authority figure like our mom, dad, a family member or friend that is still inside of us, like a conscience that tells us what we can do and can’t do based on being bad or good.  Just yesterday one of my students came to me for a lesson and we got to talking about her hunger. She talked to me about how everything she does, she thinks “what would my dad do” and tries to make every decision based on what she thinks he would do. So she makes choices that would be good for him.. thinking that he is the ultimate knower of what is right or wrong… the choices would be right for him, but aren’t right for her… it’s like he is an authority over her life and she is living her life for him…it leaves her so hungry.. because every choice is about him, not about her or her needs or what would be right for her, it leaves her empty… all of her energy being put into someone else’s life; she doesn’t get to eat her life because she isn’t living it for HER.  She said she doesn’t know her own voice from his. It’s like it’s only his voice in her head. She doesn’t know what she needs or wants, only what he would want.  

Inquiry:
What are you hungry for? 
What are you needing?
Is there any need that you have that you are not filling because you tell yourself you are bad or wrong for having it? 
Is there a figure inside of you that is not yourself that is guiding all your choices? 

In the Mood to Shatter This Identity:

I have been having some familiar old struggles lately and feeling really sick and tired of them, but also sick and tired with the way that I usually deal with them. I just don’t have enough energy to pull myself up again and discipline myself into being this identity anymore.  I’m in the mood to shatter this identity because it’s way too much work to keep up and I’m tired. I just can’t keep up being anything more perfect, better, or different than I am.  This is good.

Giving Yourself What You Really Want:

What if we gave ourselves what we really wanted? What would happen, if instead of discipline and controlling, we just let go and let the soft animal of our body love what it loves? What if we just ate when we were hungry and slept when we were tired? What if we allowed ourselves what we wanted? What is possible when we stop denying ourselves what we truly want? 

You Are What You Are Seeking:
Yoga Sequence for Just Being

Philosophical / Spiritual Inspiration: 
“Whatever you are meant to do, do it now. the conditions are always impossible.” – Doris Lessing

How:
In this sequence, break the rules, breath how you want to, move how you want to, don’t focus on alignment, just be, feel, hold the poses for several minutes, be with yourself, your breath, your body, your struggles, your discomforts, without trying to make it better, just be with it.  Trust that your experience is the exact experience that you were meant to have. That your struggles are your gateway in and they are specifically designed for you. They are the riddle that solving will take you to freedom… total freedom.  No one else has a better riddle, better experience, better body, better life… these riddles of theirs, they are not designed for you and you wouldn’t reach freedom through them. You are exactly what you are seeking. 

Why:
I have chosen standing poses because they are the foundational poses and because they are expansive. They are about as expansive as you can get with your legs stretched, fingers stretched, and arms reaching. Emotionally, they are a good antidote for when you feel like you would like to hide or run away in shame, because they ask you to do the opposite (to get big and hold your ground). There is also a simplicity to them that allows you to hold and be with yourself.  

  1. Supta Badda Konasana
  2. Down Dog (move in it)
  3. Surya Namaskar A
  4. Sun Salutations inserting standing poses:
    1. Trikonasana x 2
    2. Vira 2 x 2
    3. Utthitah Parsvakonsasana x 2
    4. Ardha Chandrasana x 2
    5. Hand Stand x 2
    6. Pincha Mayurasana x 2
    7. Vira 1
    8. Parsvottanasana
    9. Vira 3
    10. Handstand
    11. Pinchamayurasana
    12. Urdhva Dhanurasana x 3
    13. Handstand
    14. Pinchamayurasana
  5. Bridge Pose
  6. Jathara 
  7. Paschimottanasana (3 – 5 minutes)
  8. Savasana
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