nothing to fix (lake tahoe)
Recently I discovered that it's highly possible that I have never loved without a personal agenda attached to the outcome. Tangled up in my love are some subtle needs like wanting someone else to be happy, so I'm happy too, but I think my favorite personal agenda has been the desire to fix others.
Ouch! This was a painful realization. Especially since I have already done so much conscious work on my co-dependent behavior. Nevertheless, this past year I dug into my fixing habit. Because of this work I've found that loving what is happening in the moment without a personal agenda is actually pretty difficult for me to master.
The way I've been learning a new response is by practicing not reacting when I sense I want to fix someone or the conditions of a situation. I've found that one of the best places to grow my practice is in the Bikram yoga studio. When you put a lot of stressed out people in a extremely hot room for 90 minutes, it generates some weird experiences that test your trusted strategy for fixing.
For instance, if the teacher makes a mistake and skips a posture, I pay them no mind but just continue to follow their dialogue. If the studio feels too hot, too stuffy, or too cold, I don't ask the teacher to change the conditions of the room. If the gal sitting next to me runs out of water, I don't offer her my water bottle, but let the teacher handle it. If the person next to me starts crying, I don't react.
This all might sound pretty unfriendly and cold, but there is a difference between remaining aware of a situation with the conscious belief that everything will unfold naturally without me meddling (and may actually be better off for it), and not offering help because I don't want to get involved.
I'm practicing an awareness where I choose to focus on the situation without reacting so I can see what will unfold without me trying to fix it -- a strategy to meet my own needs for balance, safety, happiness, peace, etc. Many times if I remain aware but don't react, the person or conditions that I want to fix magically transform in their own unique way that I couldn't have imagined. It's like watching a movie for the first time, but in this case I didn't write the script with my preferred solutions so it's a complete surprise.
The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga.
To shop for yoga charms that celebrate the different poses click here to view this blog post Sterling Silver Charms for Bikram Yoga Postures.