**originally posted for my other blog/site on March 21, 2014**
Patanjali says in sutra 1.2: yogaś citta vrtti nirodhah- the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga. He says the entire world is based on your thoughts and mental attitude. The entire world is your own projection. So, if you can have control over the thought forms and change them as you want, you are not bound by the outside world.
Or as I like to call it-the mind clutter. You know what I mean! It’s the background noise that is constantly going on in your head that distracts you from doing whatever task you have at hand. The voices and dialogue you are having with yourself that prevents you from fully being focused and experiencing the present moment. Sometimes you are replaying that conversation you had with so-and-so, or reliving that scene, going over your to-do lists, or sometimes you are simply having a non-loving conversation with yourself about yourself.
That is where I was living for a while; hence the quietness on the site. I was too busy stuck in my own head. And the conversation was not a nice one; there was no loving kindness there at all. My stream of consciousness went something like this: Minerva, why haven’t you already started a daily routine and stuck to it? Minerva, why haven’t you read this book? Or started reading that book? Minerva, how dare you enjoy this time off when you have commitments back home? You owe people their classes from the indiegogo campaign! You should have contacted people already. Why haven’t you figured out the complete yoga anatomy by now Minerva? Why are you so restless Minerva? You should be all zen and shit all the time Minerva! You still cannot get into handstand? Are you sure you want to go back to NYC? What makes you think you are qualified to teach yoga? What if you don’t make it? What if you DO make it? Minerva so many people have reached out to you saying you inspire them, but look at you, having a meltdown! A meltdown because you have all this stuff that is surfacing from leaving everything behind on this healing journey and now you do not know what is going to happen next! Sometimes it feels like I cannot breathe. I’m a yogini, I’m supposed to know and remember to breathe when life gets all stressful! Uuuuuuugggggh. I’m a fraud. There is no way I can go back and face everyone, they are going to see right through me! I don’t have an advanced practice, I’m still learning anatomy, and I don’t agree with some of what I’m seeing in the yoga community. Shit, now I have to weave in and integrate my politics and yoga. How am I supposed to do that? Minerva, you’re on your mat- pay attention!! Keep trying for that pincha aka forearm stand, kick up one more time. Don’t worry that your elbows are scraping, KEEP TRYING. God, stop being so afraid! Fuck, I can’t my elbows are bleeding……
And into the darkness I went.
And in this space a lot was coming up and being churned up and spun around. I could not keep still. I did not understand why my time in the Dominican Republic was not as blissful as I had imagined it to be. What was the universe trying to teach me? Finally I inhaled and I exhaled. Literally. I took one really long inhale and one really long exhale and it was like a beautiful quiet stillness came over me. Meditation Minerva. The universe is telling you to SIT; stop trying to do all the things on your to-do list that you made before you even left NYC! You fell right back into the patterns that lead you astray before. When you surrendered last year, it was not just a one-time thing silly! It is a continuous surrendering.
One of my favorite Pema Chödrön quotes is “only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” After my revelation that I needed to sit instead of do, in order to continue to surrender, so that I can continue on the healing journey, I put in the work. I sat. I gave myself the space, loving kindness and gentle conversations to meditate. Pushing through the fear, I share it with you, because I know I am not alone in feeling really good and then allowing your own thoughts and self-doubts to bring you to a dark place. The dark place is not necessarily a bad place; it becomes a matter of having the perspective to breathe through the dark space, to simply pause with it instead of immediately filling up the space with things to do. Just wait, look at your darkness, be kind to it, let it go and then go find your light. As Yogi Bhajan says- patience pays, wait, let the hand of god work for you. Be you. Sat Nam.