There is a phenomenon that happens in live theatre. Well, actually with actors who perform in live theatre. You can be in the most amazing show, with the most amazing people, doing everything you ever dreamed of doing and at the same time be completely panicked about what you are going to do once this show closes. In fact, almost as soon as opening night is over if you haven’t booked your next show you are emailing, Facebooking, and Tweeting about your search for that next job. You are contacting everyone that you’ve worked with to see if they know of a director or producer looking to cast your type. You bother your agent. You send out random postcards, head shots and resumes to countless theaters. You are on the hunt.
I found this the most annoying part of being an actress. You weren’t allowed to enjoy the present moment. You had to be so hyper aware of whether you had work ahead, or if once the show closed you would be heading to audition after audition in search of that next job, that you couldn’t enjoy the show in which you were currently performing. Most of the time I felt you had to be incredibly aggressive and I always ended up stressed out and uninspired.
See, the problem is I didn’t believe there was enough for everyone to get what he or she wanted. If someone were cast in a role, that meant I would not be. So I was constantly grabbing for the next thing instead of allowing the good things to come to me in their own time. And the thing is whether I was grabbing for it or not, what was intended for me was on its way anyway. There was no need for the struggle. The roles I was destined to perform came to me usually when I was not in “grab” mode anyway.
And that’s the trick isn’t it? To really just allow all of the good stuff that life holds to come to you? Sure you have to work hard and be willing to learn and grow in any activity, but, whether it is your job, dating, relationships, or just a hobby, the good things will come. It’s whether you are grabbing for it or allowing it.
When you grab for things, life is a lot more complicated and dramatic. There isn’t enough for everyone. You have to struggle. How is it possible that everyone can have their dreams come true and their goals achieved? But what most of us don’t realize is that everyone has different dreams even if it looks or sounds like their dreams are the same. Every person, though made of the same stuff, maintains diverse perceptions, histories, and beliefs, making no two dreams exactly alike. So why not?
In the hot room I often see when a student is in grab mode. They grab for the water bottle, the hand towel, even their air. They force a posture refusing to acknowledge the incorrect form, corrections offered by the teacher, or where their body is in the healing process. They want everything RIGHT NOW!
But that’s not the way yoga works. Yoga teaches us to be patient, to allow the good things to come. Because it is out there. If you have a consistent practice than everything you wish would happen for you in the hot room is waiting to unfold. That impossible posture won’t seem so impossible a few years down the road – or maybe even a couple of weeks down the road. And the day it really clicks and you see it happen in the mirror and feel it in the body is such a grand day.
And as we cultivate this patience, this surrender, to our practice, we begin to surrender to what is actually possible within our own lives outside of yoga postures and oodles of sweat. Because we never really know what incredible thing may be just around the bend, but if we are too busy grabbing for things we think we need we could miss some of the best things in life.
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