Evolving Yogi is roaming! I’m in my hometown of Hawaii; surfing, hiking, and exploring all that I can.
Traveling can be such a potent time to practice svadhyaya (self-study) because, like a jigsaw puzzle, our ingrained habits may or may not serve us in a new environment.
As with many island cultures, Hawaii is laid back (or what this New Yorker calls, “somewhat disorganized”). We were driving to the North Shore, using Google maps for directions and things weren’t matching up. Google was telling us one thing yet the roads were not well marked so we weren’t certain if we were in the right place. But this is also a remote area so it’s not as if we had a bunch of options besides blazing our own trail and cutting through a pineapple field.
We were very irritated and kept questioning ourselves, “Did we miss something? Did we misread the directions? How do we know if we’re lost? Why aren’t there better signs?” We kept coming back to the same conclusion that we didn’t have any other options and this had to be where we were supposed to be even though it wasn’t specifically labeled that way.
And sure enough, we got to our destination. We were fine the entire time.
I like to think living in an organized environment is easier, but is it? Like any muscle we work to build strength, are we exercising our faith or our instincts enough when we rely on external messages to give us reassurance? Do we notice how much time and energy we spend in working to find certainty?
All of this agitation made me realize how much I cling to specifics and details and how much I will fight to get a clear answer. I practice “struggling” a lot. I always have a lot of questions and tend to over-analyze. I can definitely let go of some of this need for precision.
Struggling is a form of pain but we always have the power of choice. We can choose to relax into the experience as it is, or to be at odds with it.
That’s one of the great things about yoga. By expanding our awareness with tools like svadhyaya, and bringing these irritations into our consciousness we have the power to change them.
Sometimes we don’t need signs to know we’re in the right place…