Whenever I read those day-of-your-birthday books, it always seems exactly right for me. One thing that I have encountered a number of times is that my phrase is, “I know”. It’s very funny if you know me - apropos. Recently, in honor of freedom to be my best self, I decided to eradicate these words from my vocab. It starts out like this: omg, I really say that a LOT! It keeps slipping out of my mouth before I even notice. Grab it, bag it! Then realizing that it has replaced “yeah”, “I agree” and “mm hmm” in their common and positive reinforcement-that-I’m-listening role. I start to catch it a little, then forget again and on and on.
That’s one. Secondly, what it says and how it makes people feel. Simply, I already know that and I’m not listening to what you have to say. That’s on the harsh end, but that’s where things can easily go sometimes. Add that to my regular decisiveness on almost everything and there is not much room to move. For me. And one of my goals is to be as fluid as possible. I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while. How to use my hot diamond of clarity to cut my world more spaciously.
Being clear about how I feel and think is a double edged sword. It’s something that I needed growing up when my world teemed with unknowns. Find out what something is, name it, like or dislike it, opinion formed, check. Over years of learning to dismantle habits, this has been a particularly gnarly one. Because it allows me freedom, and because in almost all situations choices are easer for me to make with this in my pocket. But certainty also steers me fiercely and sometimes I want out.
The first principle of Anusara yoga is called Open to Grace/Set the Foundation. It means, be open like the broadest sky you can imagine so that you can possibly allow Grace to act in your life and then, use that as a building block for what follows. It’s the same idea as having beginner’s mind in Zen. And basically the opposite of my gnarly habit of know, know, know. I know this theoretically and the years of knowing things theoretically have formed such a strong device that when I try to get out, it’s Awkward (like the spelling of that word). All of a sudden, I may find myself opinion-less (and snarling inside) or in this “I don’t care” land of acquiescence.
But I do care! So much. And opinions are great, in balance. So I’m going to end inspired by something my teacher Christina says about not sticking the landing.
If you know me, please be compassionate about the “I know” removal. If you’ve ever tried (teacher trainees) to eliminate “like” or “gooooood” or whatever haunts your clarity of vocal expression, you know how sharp and pokey it can be to be reminded. I’m just gonna keep on my business of breathing, growing a baby and resting in the unknown one tiny step at a time.
Blessings on your way, W