Saturday, January 4, 2014

Doubt is a Terrible Party Guest

Street art in New York City
     Spending time in a yoga community at the end of a year and into the next has become a mandatory ritual in my life. This year, I noticed that it had become too mandatory. After all, it seems more nourishing to ring in the new year with an open mind, rather than a doubting, or rigid one. At 8pm on New year's eve, I had finally found the perfect way to end the year. We would go to the Jivamukti Yoga School for some kirtan (music), followed by mauna (silence). However, my loved one and I had already agreed to watch some fireworks from the ferry. A compromise was made, we would spend a little time in silence at Jivamukti, and then go to the ferry.

Walking into Jivamukti, I felt the beauty created by an intention filled atmosphere. It was an honor to meet the space and community on a night of ritual. After relishing the silence for some time, we felt satisfied, centered, and ready to mindfully change gears. Or so I mistakenly thought. At the ferry building, I began browsing through the yoga program handed to us on our way out. I learned there would also be arati (light ceremony), prasad (blessed food), and an uplifting message from the revered founders of the yoga school. The evening program allowed folks to come and go, so in my mind, we could still go back!
Fireworks from Staten Island Ferry
Suddenly I was not where I wanted to be. I was trapped on a boat with my wonderful boyfriend, fireworks (thought by some to scare off evil spirits in the new year), and Ms. Liberty shining at us. Why was my mind resisting the last few hours and moments of the year? I read somewhere that doubt is a form of storytelling, or the lies we tell ourselves. My doubt story included the need to teleport myself back to the yoga school. If we wanted to have a proper meaningful time, we would have to get off the boat and run! I didn't realize I had invited doubt to my new year's eve celebration, but it showed up anyway.

Ultimately, doubt gave me the unexpected gift of compassion. Yes, doubt knocked at the door, and I let it in for an extended stay. I spent the end of the year dancing with it. I'm sure I will continue to greet doubt when it comes, but in the new year, I don't want to spend all night listening to it's tall tales.


Freddie said...

I love my Jivamuki class!!! I have started to like and enjoy chanting!! I love the vigorous practice followed by a nice long relaxing Savasana, and ended with a 10-15 meditation! A nice well rounded practice!! imo...

Peace in!! :)

Seasons Change Yoga said...

Glad to hear it Freddie!

Anonymous said...

Pain is the difference between what is and what we think it should be.