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A few years perspective
One of the greatest challenges when starting to practice is believing what your teacher is saying enough to actually try it out in your own life (or for that matter, in class!). This is because most of what is suggested seems risky and improbable and might be a significant departure from the way you are accustomed to doing things. I am here to tell you that it is improbable that you or anyone else will actually listen and change. Don’t be a statistic!
A comically sad aspect of the practice is that the most basic information that was shared with us on day one we only begin to consider, and somewhat possibly understand even a little bit of on day 1000. There are a few things where any inch of straying away from the path can lead to being thousands of miles off course. You know, those little one liners like “movement starts in the feet.” I thought that would be a favorite for all of you students out there! Sometimes, it actually is a good idea to just watch and listen how someone is suggesting to do something instead of figuring we know better! Who would have thought? A few years into my practice, I think I can finally feel that I have feet ! (ha ha ha).
Anyhow, the knot that we hold inside, you know that thing we all know about and know we have? Whatever form or incarnation is takes; its against what we ultimately want for ourselves. Lets say for instance I am a stubborn person (I am). Why would applying my stubborn ways to my practice help me overcome my stubbornness? Is it really that obvious that I am working against myself? It is! There are so many things like that. In the beginning, there’s just so much useful information, we’re in overload. I do this, then this, then wave my arm this way, and my muscles spiral through the whole body, and then I am supposed to be a good, decent happy person too? What is this, some kind of sadistic boot camp? In a lot of ways, it is like a sadistic boot camp, but remember, you joined, and are responsible for who you have become, so the joke’s on you!
Changing to the first person perspective a little bit here; I’m really glad that I have been practicing for almost 5 years now. When I started out, I had a crooked spine and attitude (funny how they relate). Because I was in so much pain, I was painful to be around, and just liked inflicting pain. Perhaps I just needed to go through that, but boy o’ boy did the practice help sort that out. After awhile, I just couldn’t look at myself in the mirror any longer without thinking I was full of shit. Why didn’t I just start doing the things I knew were right on target for me to do, especially since they felt so good? It takes a long time to start putting your eggs in the right basket, or really in any basket at all. We just have a lot of holes and energy drains that we are absolutely 100% committed to keeping no matter what. Its illogical to the extreme, but still, we do it.
So, if there’s anything I can conclude about the practice; it does take you somewhere you haven’t been before, that it works to the extent allowed, and that in the beginning you need to try out the information that is given to you (whether you believe it or not, or want to or not....remember, it’s just an experiment to learn & reflect from). We’re not talking about being some kind of self-loathing monk or being a sheepish follower, but just a person who can hear some things, work with common sense, experiment with some alternative possibilities, and answer y/n if they worked. That’s it! Just like when we were kids, someone showed us something, and we tried it out. How did we ever get so far away from that? If you’re still reading this, go ahead and keep practicing. It is doing yourself a favor, and you will never forgive yourself if you give it up. Because, really, truly, just for a second here lets admit it; giving up your practice is giving up on you(rself). Never starting a practice, is never knowing yourself. Oh, and I'll add the common disclaimers: I don't know everything, I'm not the best, I'm just beginning, etc. etc.
Best of luck,