A year ago I went through my instagram and unfollowed all yoga related pages (except for a few brands that offer sales, can’t miss the sales 😉 ). Each picture was perfectly crafted, beautiful, aspirational, meant to inspire, to share. Except they no longer felt inspirational. Each time I scrolled past one I felt a rush of envy, which slowly became anger and quickly turned into self-righteousness. I convinced myself I was better, I didn’t need likes and followers, my practice was more than that.
In mid-December I began to explore my intentions for the new year. Last year was full to the brim of changes– falling in love, moving, deepening that love. I poured everything I had into learning who I am and how to be a good partner. It was an intense period of personal growth. Last year a foundation was laid, strong, safe and supportive. This year, I build, I create.
This brought me back to my Instagram feed. After a few minutes of flipping around I realized something huge. EVERYONE’S practice is more than “that”. It’s more than Instagram, it’s more than Facebook. The women and men who have built a strong following have done so through sharing. They share their thoughts and lives with hundreds, thousands, millions, whoever will listen. They touch people, they teach people.
It is this I envy. Not their ability to stand on their hands or get 9000 likes. It is the audience, the ability to share thoughts and ideas and have them received. But, the greatest thing about Instagram, or any social media, is that there is always enough. Jealousy and envy come from wanting what another has, they create a feeling of lack, the belief that you cannot or will not ever attain what the other has.
Pressing up to handstand is an impressive feat to me. I have often felt the pull to work towards achieving this, as it looks impossible. I know from experience that the only way to reach new heights in asana is through diligent practice. You don’t get much without putting in the work. Progress is slow and I often become discouraged. I beat myself up, tell myself I can’t do it. Suffering comes from attaching to expectation or the outcome. Perhaps I will never press to a handstand. Perhaps I will. The idea is to approach each practice knowing that it is possible. It just might not be in this lifetime.
The same goes for finding your tribe to share with. Becoming attached to the numbers, worrying about the audience being there is approaching service from the wrong angle. In the famous words of Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come.” Maybe no one will show. I first have to give them a place to come to. So here goes 2017, putting it all out there once again.