leena holmstrom

photo by leena holmstrom via pinterest

I’ve been having a bad day. ‘Bad’ is such a puny little word to have to act as a bog umbrella over so many kinds of things: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.
What do I mean by ‘bad’? Cold symptoms, a twinge of an old rotator cuff injury, feeling low in myself and out of relationship with my husband, and an extremely slow blog connection right at this moment. See, even my computer is conspiring to bring me down.
I must be levelling out because I detected a little humour in that last line. Also, I did get myself out of bed a while ago where I was hiding, crying under my doona.
Okay, back to that three-letter word. Why do we say that someone in my straits is having a bad day (incidentally, it’s only 3/4 over)?
For someone like me who likes to keep a measure of control over my life, it’s hard to have things not go smoothly, not go as expected. I’m not supposed to get a cold; I’m a yoga teacher. I thought I fixed that pesky rotator cuff long ago. I’m supposed to be bright and always a good wife. And, my computer is meant to do my bidding at all times.
Funnily enough I came across this bit of writing this morning and tucked it away for a rainy day. Little did I know….

The spiritual path is not a matter of becoming enlightened. The process of becoming always leads to intellectualization, which is lifeless. Spiritual practice is not about becoming a more perfect or a better person. We are letting go—letting go of all our ego-trips. We are letting go of any and all attempts to take possession of anything. These possessions are fig leaves that we use to cover our nakedness. We are innately nude or vulnerable, and the paranoid mind sees this as our greatest liability. But this vulnerability is in fact the source of all our wealth.*

Do I really want to do the dog doodoo work of spiritual practice if it involves seeing vulnerability as strength, as the last bastion of authenticity? It’s just too mind boggling – never mind how true.
And yes I do want and need to do the work….
*If you’d like to see the whole Elephant Journal article by Benjamin Riggs, click here.