Of the many things that working in a kindergarten taught me, one lesson I remember is this: don’t poke. While often a literal lesson, don’t poke has come to mean much more for me in my life both on and off the mat. While I may no longer be talking about cuts and people, the teaching is the same. We must take the time to let things settle. Prudence gleans providence.
And, yet, we do not like this. Like our child counterparts we prod and test ourselves. We test each other. We poke. Sometimes, we poke under the guise of love. And, sometimes, we know better. (All nighter? Really?!) Either way, each time we challenge ourselves and our instincts by poking our tender soft spots we build reactionary defense around our sweet vulnerability. Simply, poking leads to defending. And, defending keeps things everything out. Even our sweet selves.
"Your wounds of love can only heal When you can forgive This dream." Hafiz
So what are we to do? How do we stop testing our limits? How do we love instead of dive into the fray? How do we stop poking at our under-belly? Like our yoga practice, these challenges require softening. As much as we’ve become accustom to staunch, austere, ways of negotiating our relationship with ourselves and our asana there is another shade of practice we need to acclimate to—our own tenderness. Instead of poking ourselves into some form of submission, we need to love ourselves here. Then, and only then, will we realize we are exactly where we need to be.