money has been tight in these parts lately.
like, really tight.
on top of paying for yoga teacher training, i’ve been working less hours so i can actually attend class and focus on homework and not feel completely stressed out all the time.
the only thing is, my spending has stayed the same.
i’ve insisted on my daily coffee fix–a soy latte made with a delicious helping of honey. an expensive, indulgent choice. feeling the strain and stress of too much going on, i’ve stopped at the taco place or Yats or other take-out place because i just didn’t have the energy to cook. i’ve bought clothes on credit because i got a killer coupon in my email, and spent more at Target than i’ve had budgeted for 2 months.
i believe in living simply, in sacrificing “stuff” for chasing dreams, in doing without so you can pursue a higher calling. i just don’t believe enough to actually do it.
a couple weeks ago, i woke in the middle of the night in a panic. i decided to try meditating and calming my breath to see if this would help (sometimes i am able to feel relaxed enough after meditation to go back to sleep). it didn’t. i was still wide awake. so i reached for our yoga homework and began to read about suffering.
her general argument was simple: most of our suffering is not born of the circumstances around us. that is pain, yes, but suffering results from our own attachment to the circumstance. slowly, but surely, the lights began to go on upstairs and i began to realize, without judgment, that i am the author of my own suffering. at least in the area of money. if i do not have enough, it is not because i am the victim of not being paid enough or of my poor decision making re: student loans, but because i spend more than i make. plain and simple. i am unwilling to deny myself pleasure to take care of business.
a couple weeks ago, one of our instructors for teacher training mentioned that regular, steady practice helps bring behavioral and thought patterns to the surface. only by encountering ourselves in a similar situation, over and over again, do you begin to see what we so often try to hide behind busyness and noise.
so, here i am in one of the most stable places in my life–great relationship, living in the same place for nearly 2 years, same job for almost a year. and these money issues are surfacing clear and bright. for so long i’ve believed that money was only an issue when i wasn’t making as much. on more than one occasion in the past, i’ve gotten tangled up in money issues, quit everything i was doing, and took on a more “responsible” job to help heal the finances. once they were in better shape, i considered myself better.
but the truth is, the problems were always there, i just had more money (therefore, more margin). but the problems were always there.
the new challenge is to continue ignoring the issue or accept the invitation before me, the invitation to learn from this challenge. the invitation to accept my limitations, embrace them, find a way to let them go and try on new patterns of behavior. and so, layer by layer, i come to see myself in a much clearer light.