|Posted on January 16, 2020 at 12:45 AM|
The past couple of months I have had quite a few moments where I have seen how my practice has helped me to shift and grow. It's like I am starting to reap the rewards of all that I have been cultivating for the past 8 years. One such 'aha!' moment came during my family's Christmas dinner. I sometimes think of myself as an introvert, where these get togethers can be quite draining. Don't get me wrong -- I love my family and treasure our time together. But here's where I had a major moment of realization: I was chatting with one of my aunts and she began to tell me about her struggles with her aging mom. Being a caretaker for a parent who is slowly drifting away is hard. She teared up as she recounted her struggles. And then she quickly apologized. "I'm sorry Becky, I didn't mean to dump this on you. You were just asking how things were going and I launched into my sorrows." Upon reflection of our conversation I began to realize that it's not so much that my introvert tendancies are what is draining to me, it is the shallow and obligatory "how are you doing?" with no desire to actually hear how we are doing. I WANT to know how my aunt is dealing with her aging mother. I WANT to know how my cousin is dealing with being a single mom. I WANT to hear about my uncle's adventures on his new RV, the sunsets on the California coast that took his breath away.
And while the "how you doing?" surface questions is a socially accepted norm with the cashier at the grocery store, with people you know and love it is kind of sad. So maybe it's not so much that I am an introvert, but that I can't stand the superficial bullshit that comes along with many social gatherings.
I thought of my teacher Yoganand who often says "Yoga is about getting real. About being real." And that is one of the countless gifts yoga has given me. Being real, first with myself. Living an authentic life. Doing more things that bring me joy. And then being real with others. Sharing my story without fear. Allowing others to share with me without judgment. It is those REAL conversations that I crave. What are you going through now? What makes your heart sing?