Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seriously Pushing the Boundaries of Acceptable Outthereness

If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you their time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then you’re probably a dog.

Quoted by Tara Brach, from an unknown source

...so...drove up to the Berkshires for a weekend at Kripalu...did some yoga, got lost in the woods a couple times, hot tubbed, and took part in this radical acceptance thing led by famous mindfulness person Tara Brach...in which I had a series of really really intense experiences...like, the kind where, attempting to describe them to people back home, I appear to be seriously pushing the boundaries of acceptable outthereness....then, I’ve kinda been doing that my whole life...

...biking downtown for a yoga class Monday morning, though, I was surprised at how easy and enjoyable it all was...the yoga class itself as well as the ride....though only my intention was particularly different...

....setting an intention is something yoga teachers like to talk about at the beginnings of yoga classes...at which point grumpy yoga students whose names won't be mentioned grumble silently about some bullshit positive affirmation I’m supposed to come up with...often ending up with something along the lines of hopefully feeling just a little bit less crappy so I can make it through the rest of the day...which is perhaps closer to desperation, if undeniably real....this time, I was simply there because I felt like it...nothing to do but enjoy...




*photo of my friend Fargo (who has no blog of his own, but is okay with that) gratefully stolen from my friend Aviva*

13 comments:

DaisyDeadhead said...

That photo is especially priceless. :)

the walking man said...

Why would anyone want to start a day without caffeine?

Eco Yogini said...

congrats on a fantastic week! Even if you can't put it into words- some things are better that way :)

I suppose the English Lit PhD feels the need to express in verbal language...

yep- totally have the grumbling desperation "intention". :)

Kim said...

I love the quote and the picture.

And I also love it when you push the boundaries of outthereness...

Brooks Hall said...

Hey, Dr Jay! I enjoyed this post! The photo is so great, and I read the quote to students today. It gets some laughs... And I want the GOODIES! Just letting you know... You mention "pushing the boundaries of acceptable outthereness" and then you appear to deftly shift your focus. Yea? Of course I realize that this is not the kind of thing you might want to TOTALLY SHARE. But, hey, you mentioned it! I noticed.

RB said...

The concept of acceptable otherness is so interesting, especially for the Western Yoga tradition. We like our yoga, but we want it in cute clothing.

Also I feel like there's nothing wrong with doing yoga just to keep you going. My friends keep saying, "You can't be upset, you're in yoga teacher training" and I usually answer, "If I wasn't f*cked up, I wouldn't have needed to do a teacher training in the first place."

Deborah Godin said...

Based on this, I'm not a total dog, but a have a few dog-llike traits. Morning coffee is not negotiable, however *showing teeth and growling*

Bob Weisenberg said...

Love the quote. Sounds like you had a great experience at Kripalu. I've been hearing about a number of those recently.

I'm afraid to go, because I'm not a group activity person and because I'm worried the actual thing would be a letdown after reading all of Stephen Cope's books.

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Robin Easton said...

I like this! It's down to earth and very real. Made me smile and just feel good...grounded. I appreciate that a lot. Thank you for sharing it. Robin :)

Laura Hegfield said...

Love the photo and quote dr jay...so true about dogs...I would love to be a dog (God spelled backwards-who wouldn't wish for that!) Actually I'd like to be my dog...she is so in tune with other creatures feelings a truly an empath and yet completely capable of letting it all go to just be in the moment and appreciate a good belly rub.

Yes...I would like to be a Dogess like my precious poody ellie may!

Mandy said...

Love it!

Melissa said...

Nice!

Lana Gramlich said...

Ironically, my husband & I were recently talking about how much better the world would be if everyone strived to be more like dogs.