Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Feed the Wolf

Often I hear people saying that they want to recreate themselves.  They are coming to yoga to recreate their mind-body connection or getting healthy to recreate their sexy and more youthful self, or the oh-so-clich√© post-relationship total image overhaul—recreate, recreate, recreate.  I am guilty of very much the same; feeling an urge to recreate myself into the woman I thought I should be by now.  There is an image of the me that I am and the image I want to be.  I can get stuck believing that because I sit at a desk answering phones, opening doors, and directing people to offices that I am somehow morphing into a one-dimensional secretary from a 1950s sitcom.   It’s easy to latch onto anything that I’ve done in my past and use it to define who I am—label myself a blah.  Then in sheer fear of the person I created, I search to strip down and recreate.

But, the idea of recreating me suggests that I somehow created myself wrong.  And I don’t like that—not one bit. 

In yoga, the belief is that we are all already whole and complete beings.  We have all that be need to be great within ourselves, in the same place where we keep our struggles and our fears.  Everything is inside.  A Native American proverb says it simply,
A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too.The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, Which wolf will win?
The old Cherokee simply replied, The one you feed.
I posted before about how there are no “wrong steps,” for without what we perceive as mistakes, we would never be where we are today.  In the same way, some of the things we’ve done do not define who we are, but rather help shape who we are becoming.  When I practice yoga, I need to remember that I am connecting to my true self, not getting rid of a version I don’t like.  In the same way, when I push really hard in a CrossFit workout or challenge myself to try something new and scary, I am not recreating myself.  Instead, I am finding a part of me that was left unattended and unfed.  Over time, in the moments that we allow, we can see ourselves as whole and complete human beings.  This reminder comes at a perfect time, as I am faced with some tough choices.  One is daunting, fresh, yet exciting; while the other is safe, boring and tiresome.  

We have the choice of which wolf to feed.

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