Reframing Flakiness

Last month I decided to enroll in an online 300-hour advanced yoga training. There are a couple things of note about that decision. First, there was a time in my life when I would have scoffed at taking an advanced yoga training online. I mean...Online? Yoga? What? Thank you, pandemic, for opening my eyes to different possibilities. Second, I really thought I was done with yoga training and the like. I do still teach, and I still practice, but yoga had receded toward the back of my list of deep interests. Something just moved me, last month, to dive in again. I think the decision was driven by the lingering sense of ungroundedness that I've carried since leaving our home in San Antonio and hitting the road. When I sat down to contemplate year-end training expenditures, yoga bloomed in my mind, and the souls of my feet softened toward the earth. I felt a deep yes move from my big toes up into my ankles, calves, knees, and beyond, and I knew it was the right decision.

There was a time in my life when I would have beaten myself soundly about the head and shoulders with judgments about that decision.

First, I would have unkindly called myself names for NOT staying focused on yoga in the first place and flitting about toward other interests that never quite stuck. Then, I would have reminded myself about my departure from face-to-face yoga training back in 2018 - I couldn't handle it then, what could possibly have changed? Finally, I would have called myself silly and other meaner things for stepping into advanced yoga training, now, at THIS age (a ripe, old 52, if you're curious).

There was a time when I just couldn't get it right no matter what I did. I didn't stick with things long enough, I didn't finish things, and I stepped into things at the wrong time.

I was a judgmental, critical, and very scared person. I believed that I should be more solid, more single-minded, more dedicated, and I believed that there was a RIGHT and a WRONG about everything I did.

I was driven to achieve, to be better, to get THERE. I believed there was supposed to be a straight road and a mappable destination, but I often found myself on curving back roads that ended in the middle of nowhere or connected to a dirt track out in the woods that twisted and turned and wound me back to where I'd started.

I was "a bit of a flake", my Mom used to say.

And I am so damn glad.

How would I have known that yoga was just the grounding medicine my ungrounded self needed if I'd never been passionate about yoga to begin with? There's that.

and there's this:

My flights of fancy, shifting moods, and lack of stick-to-it-foreverness have allowed me to experience so many people, places, and things. My deep, short dives into different interests have yielded treasures that I would not have experienced had I walked down a single road forever and ever with determined grit. Some of those treasures are simply stored away in my memory - tiny stories to delight my mind on cold dark nights. Some of those treasures are out in the open all the time. They feed me and help me feed others, and because I am well-fed with the delight of those treasures, I have the energy to enjoy new and different adventures.

The notion that we should all be single-minded, achievement-oriented, and driven toward some outside idea of what is RIGHT comes from living in a hierarchical society where some folks are BETTER than, RIGHTER than, and MORE than others. I am so glad that aging and a life on back roads and twisty turning puttering trails have allowed me to see the truth: There is no greater achievement than living a curious life. It doesn't matter if one deep and driving curiosity enlivens your heart for 90 years or you dive into one curiosity only to dive into another and another the next day and on and on and on and then back to the first one. A curious life is an open life, a heart-filled life. It's a good life.

Here's me. Jumping back over onto the dusty trail that leads over that a'way. It's my yoga trail. I only know about it because I've walked on it before.

So, Yoga. Again. Now? Yes. Yoga. Online. Really? Yes.

And what about tomorrow? Well, who knows? Maybe I'll trip over a basket-weaving rabbit trail that leads me to fiber art that leads me on to sky-diving. Or maybe I'll rest in Mountain Pose for a while feeling the souls of my feet.


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