Question 1: How do we make decisions?
Some decisions are committed to consciously, perhaps we weigh up the pros and cons, ask a friend, define our goals or our priorities. Other decisions we make less consciously, often unconsciously even. We might go with gut instinct, or follow our habit. Most of the time it’s probably some messy mix of these two styles, the conscious and unconscious.
Question 2: How do we unmake decisions?
This is the bit I’m stuck on. I’ve been carefully not thinking about a decision I made last year. It didn’t feel quite right at the time, but I put that down to fear and thought that I would tough it out. That this was part of the growing and learning process, the place outside the comfort zone where the magic happens.
Now I’m not so sure.
Actually I think I got it totally wrong. I asked the wrong questions of the wrong people. I was looking for answers in places where there are in fact only more questions. What I should have been learning in my yoga is that it simply is the journey, that’s all there is. There are no certainties, no destinations, no absolute knowledge or truth (I have to put Brahman aside, I’m so not there with my understanding… no offence intended to anyone!). No-one can really teach me my yoga. Only I can do that. I don’t know how, other than “practice, practice, all is coming”.
And the upshot of all this contorted thought? I’ve decided to withdraw from the teacher training course I’d signed up for. I won’t be doing it this year. I’m not even sure I’ll be doing it next year. It seems crazy to me now that I ever thought I could or should embark on this. I understand so little about how to practice on the mat or off it, let alone how to guide someone else in navigating their own practice.
So today I’ll begin my practice again. And tomorrow I’ll begin again. And on…
And it won’t be easy. I won’t have the safety in numbers with my cohort, or the security blanket of a destination: a course followed by a certificate, a tangible achievement to prove something to myself and to others. These are the things I crave, but they are not what I truly need. Instead I’ll have to define my own curriculum, find my own teachers, seek opportunities, ask questions, be humble, be proud, act with compassion and courage, judge when to push on and when to rest. And I will have to learn and re-learn endlessly as my horizons change and my body strengthens. It will be lonely, but I hope it will also be liberating.
Nobody said it was easy.
And there’s maybe a 0.5% chance I’ll wake up tomorrow and have changed my mind…
I’ll let you know!