"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Impatience


My lower back is as twangy right now as an old-style country western singer. It shouldn't be. Six months of yoga is supposed to have strengthened my core so that my back feels supported and happy. I've spent the last year babying and nursing and listening to my sacrum, and I expected that by now we'd be good friends and she would not still be requiring constant careful nurturing.

It's possible I've gotten just enough stronger, just enough more flexible, that I've pushed myself too far beyond my edge. It's possible that impatience with the slowness of my progress has deafened my ears to my body's polite requests to keep that edge close in the same way a mother never lets a toddler out of her sight.

A most amazing thing just happened - just this minute as I'm writing this post. I had written a couple of paragraphs beyond this, all about chakras, control, support, and had gone back to check for flow. Suddenly this phrase became neon on the page: It's possible that impatience with the slowness of my progress has deafened my ears.

Damn! I've been so careful to keep my edge close and somehow it got away from me. Just like a wild and curious toddler determined to get as far afield as possible.

Lately I've allowed impatience, which I actually think is fear dressed in flashy clothes, to convince me I need to step up the pace a bit or I'm going to be left in the dust of all the younger, smarter, more flexible (and thinner) people who didn't take more than five decades to start to figure things out.

The thing that startled me most about that statement, however, is my impatience with yoga is nothing compared to my impatience with this other part of my life. The one I left a safe and secure (and stifling) career to pursue. It's March. The year is two-thirds gone. My book is not only not rewritten, but I'm still trying to find the frame of the new story, and worst of all I can't seem to find the soul of the story.

There's more of course. Once she starts talking, friend impatience can go on forever, and no thing is safe from her critical eye. But much like her friend, shame, she almost always overplays her hand. This time my body got wise and ratted her out pretty early in the game. I'm off to find my wandering edge, to bring her home so I can keep her safe, and to find a way to thank and comfort my wise sacrum.

image from Flickr

15 comments:

Gammary said...

Hi Deb

Yes, I'm still reading here. I FELL out of my chair with the following:

Lately I've allowed impatience, which I actually think is fear dressed in flashy clothes, to convince me I need to step up the pace a bit or I'm going to be left in the dust of all the younger, smarter, more flexible (and thinner) people who didn't take more than five decades to start to figure things out.

...dressed in flashy clothes....love it. There is a poem here Deb. Really.


Love,
Mary

She Writes said...

I love the last paragraph of this piece! And you are a doll. I see your new profile picture :).

Journaling Woman said...

I am there with you! Except -insecurity is MY "fear dressed in flashy clothes".

It's difficult to keep up the pace when I think I am going unnoticed or passed over because of my age.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

Good fill someone in on and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

Janna Qualman said...

First, how excited am I to see your new design, and that lovely profile picture of you? Very!

Second, how wise are you? Very! While we have to listen to those voices of impatience and fear and shame, because they guide us toward their opposites, I think it's okay to shut them off once in a while. Entirely.

*flips switch*

Take that, impatience!

patti said...

Deb, you are one amazing writer!
Hey, we both do the yoga thing!!

I LOVE your image of impatience!!

Sigh. One tough lesson that just may have been knocked in my almost 55-year-old noggin' is to SLOW down. Let things unfold. Or you will totally screw things up.

Patti

Suzy said...

"Go to your edge and then just a bit beyond."
It's that "bit" that's the fear part.

"It's March. The year is two-thirds gone. My book is not only not rewritten, but I'm still trying to find the frame of the new story, and worst of all I can't seem to find the soul of the story."
It will come to you, it's probably already there. When it's time it will appear, and I think that time is very very soon.

Love you
Suzy

M said...

Such a valuable lesson here...and thank you for sharing. It is so hard to be willing to give up the control (a control freak in rehab speaking here) and accept the fact that things take time...and things that are great take even more. Hang in there sis! Don't let the voice try to convince you to give up. I believe there's a reason that it seem difficult right now. And I believe that as you persevere through this, you will be amazed (as we all will be) at the masterpiece that is produced.

I love you
Mark

Wanda said...

It is hard to grasp fully the possibility that one can injure oneself doing yoga. However, it is possible. As my yoga teacher says..."only you know what it feels like inside your body"...and "yoga is not a competitive sport." Sigh.

Love. Your. Words.

Jan said...

Hi, Deb:

As everyone else has already said, this is it for me: "impatience, which I actually think is fear dressed in flashy clothes." In a nutshell. And why I keep reading.

And why you, wise friend, will keep on writing. And you will find the frame, and the soul, and the rest, in due time. I have complete faith in you.

And tell Miss Impatience to go out to the garden where she belongs, and hurry the spring along!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Funny (not really), I had copied the same line in this and was going to wax poetic about it here in this space, then kept reading and you'd noticed the same thing.

Fucking yoga.

Pam said...

Hope your back is O.K. Deb. I caught up on previous posts. Everything is always so beautifully expressed...actually, even the comment above, as I've had my own 'moments' with yoga,and it does teach us a lot!

kimmirich.wordpress.com said...

Love the beautiful spring feel of your blog! Adorable. Great insight on inpatience.

Carol............. said...

What a great post!

Have been doing yoga on and off for a few years (at 60 I'm more into the "beginning" stage! LOL)

But I really LOVE Tai Chi. The warm up exercises are wonderful...but when I have to do the real movement thing I turn into a pretzel.

Amber said...

"Lately I've allowed impatience, which I actually think is fear dressed in flashy clothes..."

How great is THAT line? love it.

So funny, because I ALMOST gave you a magnet that just said "BEGIN ANYWHERE"... but I couldn't figure out why it was calling me for you. lol

So go on, then.