If you know me, you know that I don’t have any trouble conversing one-on-one (or two or three) or even talking to large groups of students in a yoga classroom. However, I do have trouble speaking my viewpoints in a group where other individuals are more voluble.
I have no idea why this is, probably one of those things bequeathed to me by my seen-but-not-heard upbringing. I just wish it didn’t still bother me. For a while, I entertained the idea of dropping out of my book club because I felt I couldn’t insert my ideas into the discussions. Others are louder, more certain and, to my mind, they are also more impolite, as they interrupt each other’s opinions mid-sentence.
I’ve made myself hang in there, and I’m still there. It probably sounds odd, but I’m using the book club as a stage for me to watch myself play out my attachment to being seen and heard. This old behaviour has been a particularly irksome to me, generating feelings akin to being left out, unrecognised, even invisible.
Today our club met and it was just all right… meaning I wish I had been better at including myself.
Bernard Bouanchaud says in today’s Sutra commentary that it is difficult to remain detached in the face of outside influences. One should always remind oneself of a person’s best qualities. He could add, ‘and not take things personally.’
Karma asukla yoginah trividham itaresam
A yogi’s actions are neither white nor black. The actions of others are of three kinds, white, black or grey.*
*Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, B.K.S. Iyengar