Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm not "supposed" to be here & a prayer to Ganesha

"Expectation is the root of all heartache." - William Shakespeare

I'm not supposed to be here you guys...Well I guess technically right now I am supposed to be here but in less than 2 weeks I was "supposed" be saying smell-ya-later to NYC for good. I am supposed to be writing the ubiquitous "farewell letter to New York" blog post. I already knew what I was gonna write- and it was going to be suh unique and witty! I'm supposed to be selling off all my furniture rather than unpacking my packed boxes and putting clothes back into my empty drawers. Why am I cancelling one lease and re-signing the other? Cancelling a U-Haul truck? Scrambling to find some work for the month of February...when I wasn't supposed to be here. Suddenly one day (on my 30th birthday nonetheless) nothing I thought was supposed to be happening was. 

I was "supposed" to be moving down to Baton Rouge where my husband was "supposed" to have a business opportunity but life works in mysterious ways and the universe doesn't care about the silly little "plans" I had laid out for myself. It's amazing how unsettling it can feel to not change anything at all. Despite my daily regimen of yoga and meditation, during the past 6 days I've been prone to tears, low-grade anxiety attacks, listlessness, despair, panic, fruitless Craigslist searches, spousal abuse, sleeplessness...you get the idea. Nothing at all is changing in the "present moment". The only thing that changed is the future...something that I had created in my mind. A "story" of what February, March and April would be... A fantasy "future" life. And yet suddenly nothing seems the same. Funny how powerful our imaginations are eh? 

Did I really want to move to Baton Rouge? Umm, what do you think? I wanted to move to New Orleans and joked that spending one year in Baton Rouge was like purgatory. I used that powerful imagination of minento convince myself that having a car, easy access to a Target, and a spare bedroom would stave off misery for a year or so. So looking at the facts: I never wanted to live in Baton Rouge. I genuinely enjoy living in New York. I despise the process of moving. And yet I'm FREAKING OUT about not moving to a city I probably won't like and instead getting to stay in a city I love... Does this make sense at all? My reality hasn't suffered a true blow, but my expecations just imploded. 

Goddamn you William Shakespeare, why are you always right? You'd think my yoga training would have prepared me to roll with the waves, and they have to a certain degree, but being open to change is a hell of a lot easier in theory than in practice. Conceptually I understand raga and dvesha (attachment and aversion- two main causes of human suffering in yogic theory) but am I completely free of preference and open to whatever experiences the universe brings my way? Gonna go with no on that one. Clearly I've got still got a lifetime or two of work to do before I reach that level of zen.
Read the little captions on this photo. SO phenomenal. 

I just finished reading "The Mirror of Yoga" by Richard Freeman and it included a piece of wisdom from Hindu scripture that I can't stop sharing. Whenever an obstacle is placed in front of you- be it heart surgery, losing a job, a break up, or stubbing your toe- try to imagine that Ganesha, the great elephant God has specifically chosen it for you. Ganesha is called the "remover of obstacles" but he is also known to PLACE obstacles in your life to prevent you from going down the wrong path. In his infinite wisdom, Ganesha has looked into your soul and seen what lessons you still have to learn and where you need to be going. Maybe you're working on patience, being less materialistic, or like me- being OK with change and uncertainty. Maybe you're about to take the wrong job, marry the wrong person, or...move to Baton Rouge.  Ganesha chooses a "problem" or obstacle that will help redirect you just as carefully as he would a present on your birthday. So what you see now as a tragedy will soon bring about a shift that will ultimately bring you closer to that which you have prayed and wished for. 

Am I supposed to be here? As a matter of fact yes I am, because the universe is never wrong and nothing is ever random. Am I in a position of incredible transition? Yes! Am I ok with that? NO! Wait, I mean...maybe...I mean YES. I'm feeling as vulnerable as a Brene Brown case study but I will not let this so-called "setback" deter me. Teaching opportunities will come. The Social Sutras will continue to grow. February will come, then March, then April, then summer in due time. Do I know where I will be living, what I will be doing or absolutely anything at all? Nope! But I am willing to surrender and accept a little help from my elephant friend.

In closing, an invocation to Ganesha that might help us all stave off the urge to FREAK OUT!

Om Sri Ganesha Namaha - Great Lord of Wisdom,
Here I stand with so many decisions to make,
with so many ways to turn.
I beg your Grace.
Please fill me with righteous judgment and clear discrimination
as I lay all confusion at your feet and immerse myself solely in Your Being.
Om Ganesha Saranam.