rinse + repeat
after class recently, one of my students informed me of something a doctor once told them: our body is like a t-shirt - after many washes you get holes and tears, and it starts to wither. with all due respect, i beg to differ. it depends on our outlook and the way in which we care for our physical and mental beings.
if i were to use the yogic pratipaksha bhavanam method of finding a silver lining within this theory, i would argue [compassionately] with a counter analogy: we can choose to live life on the gentle cycle. we can use natural detergents without chemicals and any other junk that doesn’t serve a purpose, gently rinse, and air dry. keep it simple and fresh to maintain integrity, softness, and so forth - like we would treat any special article of clothing, person, or memento.
for example: growing up as a dancer and comparing movement, body, and technique to everyone else in the room doesn’t always result in positive self-esteem. dance is also incredibly therapeutic and is still a beautiful aspect of my life, but as a teenager i was unaware of the rips and tears i was exacerbating within my muscles and mind. although i was learning discipline, teamwork, and how to get in touch with my body, i was unintentionally letting aggressive behaviors become destructive habits.
as yoga and wellness made its way into my life, i noticed the patterns i unconsciously created: pushing my body beyond its limits for the sake of the pose or movement, allowing harsh judgement on myself, holding myself to higher expectations than physically or mentally manageable… and here i am today, healthy and human, increasingly aware of how i have a tendency to live life on a harsh, hot rinse cycle. although i am not ”cured” of my habits, i am now able to notice when i push too far because my body is telling me so in various ways: my muscles get sore, i have trouble sleeping or low energy, etc. i’m doing the work to, instead of throwing myself into the rough hamster wheel of life’s patterns, turn the knob to the gentle cycle instead.
we’re tough, but although we can endure hardships, we have a choice on how to care for ourselves [and our garments]. we’re human, and we learn from all types of experiences. in meditation, we simply come back to the breath and our state of being when the mind wanders. similarly in life, we can come back to the gentle cycle when we find ourselves slipping back into destructive patterns.
how do you make an effort to live your life on the gentle cycle?
read april 2.0’s newsletter for a delicious spring salad recipe, good music, and more.