Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tending Your Garden

Last Wednesday Regina and I were, for separate reasons, both feeling shitty. We numbly, glumly sat in her bed, assessing our options: We could get drunk and go to sleep, or we could go to yoga. We independently mulled it over for a while and when I came back to her later to tell her I was going to class she replied, "Well yeah, was there really another choice?" We agreed that if we still felt like getting drunk afterwards that we would reserve the right to do so.

Of course, after a Divinely inspired kriya of Relieving Misplaced Anger, all we felt like doing was getting dinner at The Citrus Club and talking real about life and love. I am inspired by the ways in which Reg and I have been (are being...) transformed by our spiritual practice. According to the legend she spins, I was the first person she met in San Francisco so many years ago, and since then we have become completely different people together. I (barely) recall a New Years Eve in Las Vegas in which our response to the end of a bad year was to get wasted. Now? We breathe and chant that shit out. I'll speak for myself when I say that I still make a big ol' mess of things sometimes, but little by little I am being mastered by this powerful science and technology of elevation.

There is incredible power in making a new choice. If you're consistently responding to a stimulus (pain) in the same way (boozing) and you're unhappy, maybe it's time to try something different. Changing our lives requires changing our habits. Duh, right? But seriously. We operate in our habits largely automatically and it takes consistent consciousness and discipline to break out of them. Change is hard work, but it's only as hard as you make it. And, speaking from experience, it's a lot harder to do the work when you're intoxicated, be it with alcohol, anger, relationships or whatever you choose to dissolve yourself in to in pursuit of avoidance.

You're welcome to remain fumbling around in the darkness of unconsciousness, miserably indulging in all your favorite unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. Far be it for me to tell you what to do. But here's what I'm noticing: avoidance doesn't get anything done. It's like a garden. You can let weeds take over the garden and ignore it for years. But at some point you might want to have a nice little barbecue back there and you're going to have to take care of the weeds. If you opt to ignore it, the weeds remain. If, on the other hand, you tend your garden early on and keep it up, it will always be available for you to enjoy.

Such is the mind. It has to be tended regularly to keep it clear and sharp. My favorite tool for this work? Kundalini yoga! Easily the best new choice I've ever made, thanks in large part to the steady encouragement of Regina. May you find such enthusiastic support of the new choices you are striving to make in order to change your experience of life. I'll be right along side you, rolling up my sleeves and digging into the dirt. Let's tend our gardens!

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