Don’T WoRry AboUt iT

Isn’t it funny how encouragement comes just when you need it? After having a hard time letting go of some of the actions of others, I was reading some articles from the yogajournal.com and this excerpt concerning equanimity written by Frank Jude Boccio really stuck out to me:

Appreciating and delighting in the qualities of virtuous people will inspire us to cultivate such virtues ourselves. And finally, when we are faced with those we deem nonvirtuous, the classical yoga tradition teaches that we should strive to have an indifferent attitude toward them. Often, we indulge in judging and criticizing those who we feel are misguided. This hardly helps us maintain a serene state of mind! Commentators in the classical yoga tradition point out that the yogi should not divert attention from his or her own practice in order to try to reform those who are unlikely to heed advice. As Satchidananda points out, “If you try to advise them, you will lose your peace.”

I have always noted in those I look to emulate an ability to be what I may have described as ‘detached’ from situations in a way that allows their character to SHINE. It is not that they do not care about others. It is more like they care a lot about all others, but have found a way to allow things to happen around them without letting it ‘get’ to them if you know what I mean. I always wondered how these people got to be the way that they are. Perhaps there is an element of natural giftedness, and perhaps it has more to do with coming to know and fully accept one self to the point where the perception of others truly has little to no control over the inner spirit. I would like to get there one day.

6 Comments

  1. lynda says:

    Hey my sweet!
    Well that is a noble and achieveable goal…a couple of things I’ve learned – we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intent and there is ALWAYS more to the reasons behind seemingly random acts.
    One thing I continue to find very useful is to “pause” – create a space before acting/reacting and it amazes me how things become clearer in that moment.
    A number of creative and brilliant thinkers posit that the only true freedom we have as human beings is the freedom to always chose our reaction to any situation and for me that is a heady yet very real power i have – my ability to decide how, when and if i will react to any stimulus or circumstance and that i am solely responsible for that reaction. It is truely freeing to not give my power away to others to influence my actions or thinking. I continue to try to “choose” but its not always easy. The japanese have a concept of “shibumi” that i aspire to – we’ll have to chat about it when you get home….its about a kind of perfection without seeking perfection, beauty, simplicity and authenticity.
    Anyway…love ya. stay strong
    L.

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  2. lauren says:

    Ashley, this post is really beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I always struggle with the idea of “detachment”. It’s hard to get your heard around and I like the way you write of it. Being detached does not mean you are an unfeeling or unaffected person, it just means you make intentional choices about what does and does not affect you. Thanks for sharing. Thinking of you often.
    Love,
    Lauren

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  3. Nanny Kay says:

    Hi Honey: There is only ONE influence that I want to control my life and that is the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, we have a right to view those of no influence but no right to judge where they stand. Everyone around us can get our attention but we learn WHO we want to be like and when we see and appreciate those who live well, influence others for good, keep a tight grip on those whom they love, then we know that love prevails. love you lots
    Nan

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  4. Farrah says:

    Ash, this concept is particularly fresh in my mind since I am starting out teaching. There are many fine lines in the leadership of a teacher. If I have a ‘saviour complex’ I will soon burn out — students need someone who is constant, yet they also need someone who cares anough to take on some burdens they may have. Yet the question remains: whom do I choose advise? For me, I have to have a balance of carrying burdens and detaching myself from them. This is where I see my role is as a catalyst where it is not up to me to change students or to fix their lives, but it is up to me to be a catalyst in their lives from whom they can be empowered as they are presented with options of choice; and to provide the power of choice is to build bridges.

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    • Farrah,
      I believe that there is a challenge in leadership to guard your own heart against taking the burden of others’ problems onto your personal life. I have not perfected this yet. I think you are right in perceiving the need that your students have to be guided and mentored, and it is also important for you to care about them. I love the way you describe yourself as a catalyst. I would say that as a leader it is your responsibility and privilege to present options to your students. The hard part (I find) is letting go and allowing the individual to make his/her own choice. I have to set boundaries for myself with respect to my involvement in order to guard my own personal balance. Not because I don’t care, but because I have my life to live, and others have their lives to live. The closer I am to the individual, the more difficult it becomes for me to respect my boundary.

      Frank Jude Boccio, in and article from the Yoga Journal, said the following:

      Cultivating the qualities of kindness, compassion, and joy opens your heart to others. Equanimity balances the giving of your heart’s love with the recognition and acceptance that things are the way they are. However much you may care for someone, however much you may do for others, however much you would like to control things or you wish that they were other than they are, equanimity reminds you that all beings everywhere are responsible for their own actions, and for the consequences of these actions.

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  5. Mum says:

    Just reading your comments on leadership and boundries Ash and Farr. Interesting, I’m sitting here watching and listening to the wind blow. I just drew a visual of boundries: the more solid the boundry the stronger it holds when the pressure is up against it. That big old rock wall in the back isn’t going anywhere. That boundry has been carved in stone. Not to say all boundries have to be carved that way, sometimes they change with the need eh?
    Food for though.
    Love you both.

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