Evaluating With Love and Compassion
Can you evaluate what you need to work on in a pose (or in life) without judgment? I want you to really think about this question. When you are in Chaturanga Dandasana and your hips sink or your elbows splay out to the side, do you think, “Here is something to work on. I need a bit more core strength in my torso and shoulder blades. Could use more tricep strength, too.” Or do you think, “Ugh, I am weak. I can’t believe I still can’t do it.” (Or, do you not even notice there is something to work on? You just keep doing the pose the way you have been doing the pose, assuming that is the way you will always do the pose?)
As a teacher, I am much more likely to hear the words of judgment
(and almost as likely to see the mindless poses.)
What does that say about us? Does that mean we expect ourselves to be perfect? To absolutely never make a mistake? To not have anything to learn? Kinda crazy when you think about it that way, isn’t it?
Or, if you are the person in the mindless pose, not really working on changing it, does that mean you don’t feel you are capable of change?
Makes you think, doesn’t it? At least, I hope it does. Where are you on the spectrum?
And for those of us who are teachers, what example are we setting? You may not say anything outwardly, but our students feel what we are thinking anyway. When we honor where we are, warts and all, with love, it makes all the difference.
Now let’s translate this thought to our lives. Do you make a mistake and berate yourself? Or ignore it since it is what you always do? Or do you note it, realize it is not how you wanted to react and put energy into figuring out how you want to react next time?
To be able to assess what we need to work on is a necessary and helpful skill when you are on a path of self-discovery. We need to be able to figure out what to work on next to grow and evolve. Yet when assessment is full of judgment and criticism, we will be stuck. And we will also be stuck if we feel that is simply they way we will always be.
Instead, let your assessment simply be, “hmmm…isn’t that interesting?” And see where that leads you.