“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying, ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
Sometimes, seeing the flaws in the world you live in can be a good thing. It’s what allows us to improve and keep humanity moving forward, making people’s lives easier and better. But even water is lethal if you drink too much. I’ve been feeling extra critical lately. And it’s really not something I’m proud of, and I’ve been hiding from that admission for a while. I’ve been dealing with the need to critique, fix, and ultimately control everything around me. I’ve been on a serious roll and it’s exhausting and draining and outright depressing. And as much as I hate to admit it, I feel like it’s something I need to get real with real quick, before it totally consumes me.
I’m sure I sound like the biggest hypocrite on the planet right now. After all, I lead my yoga classes encouraging people to view themselves without judgment, encouraging them to embrace themselves just as they are. I remind people to release the thoughts that do not serve them. But here I am, mentally breaking down the world around me, one detail at a time, as if I were obligated to put a label on everything. As if I were responsible for everything. And not just that, I’ve been beating myself up too – You’re almost 30 and just an admin – how embarrassing… You only teach 2 classes a week – some yoga teacher you are… You write this blog but you have nothing unique to offer – what a fraud.
Ick. Enough. I’m sick of letting this toxic negativity live inside me.
I went on a hike through the woods in Tehachapi this weekend and found myself looking around at all the beauty surrounding me. I didn’t feel the need to critique. It didn’t matter that each tree was different, that some were much and green, and others sparse and brown. It didn’t matter that some were tall and some were short, and that in some places there were none at all. Somehow it was easy to accept them just as they were, without even considering that it might be different. I felt a sense of relief, like a weight lifting off my shoulders as I settled into a universal acceptance and appreciation of my surroundings. There is such peace in just being.