Friday, July 8, 2011

Negotiating Tensions and Limitations

I have found myself in a very non-yogic state of feeling tension as I negotiate my schedule and make decisions about how to spend time.  Some of it is a matter of obligations, some is a matter of not quite knowing when to say "no" and when to say "yes."  There have been so many things I'm dying to say yes to:  visits with friends around the country, Lyle Lovett in concert in a tiny mountain town, an extra night in a beautiful setting... but I have to also acknowledge that I've made commitments (for work, for practical reasons) and my "free" time has gotten shorter than I anticipated.

There are sillier negotiations and limitations I place on myself that really shouldn't exist.  Time spent  wondering what to do instead of just doing is not productive and ends up frustrating me.  Yoga on Thursday evening reminded me that "limitations" (at least according to Douglas Brooks) are actually spaces that offer up greater freedom.  And I understand that--within a structure, I am most often able to feel most free.  But when I'm building new structures, or when my routines are shifted by travel (whether for work or play), I need to develop more grace as I embrace the shifts.  Of late, it seems, I am being haunted by tasks that I can't seem to complete, and even as I take a "break" these tasks are weighing on me.  Instead of giving myself the absolute break I need, I try (futilely) to direct my attention and energy back to these tasks.  This will pass.  I've seen this before in myself.  Apparently I have more work to do in this area.

There are also tensions that arise as I try to negotiate intimate relationships.  A dear friend reminded me recently that despite the fact that I have long harbored dreams of being a hermit, my relationships with the people I love are the most important aspect of my life...and with these, there will always be some clumsy moments when we try to make sense of what we need and what we have to offer one another, and there will always be compromises.  And, for the first time in my life, I am realizing that all of my intimate relationships are indeed equal--there is not a different criteria for romantic relationships vs. platonic friendships.  When I can view them equally, I make better choices, and I am able to be more honest in my romantic relationships.  

I am also trying to wrestle with the balance of how much time I need alone and how much I am able to spend with others.  This is a recurrent theme for me.  Introverted as I am, I need time to regroup before I can enter back into social realms.  And when trying to include new relationships in the picture, I find myself stumbling and clumsy...but learning.

And my own limitations may just open up new spaces and everything seems to.