Agony Aunt – Doubting Dora questions the grand plan
Are there any wise and comforting tips you and the yogi universe can share around uncertainty. Life at the moment is not what I thought it would be, nor what I want it to be ideally. And in a perfect world, I would know it wasn’t going to be like this forever. But then that damn niggling voice says, but what if it is. I realise that a lot of what comes into our lives or the options we have to choose between is outside our control, so how does someone survive and prosper in the times when we don’t know what is going to happen next, but we just know right now isn’t right?
Yours desperately seeking certainty
I think every single person reading this blog would have stood in your shoes at some point in their lives. I know that I’ve been there many, many times.
A decade ago I moved from the UK to Australia and I was not a happy camper, unimaginably homesick and confused as to why things were so difficult in this new country with new ways of doing things. I seriously doubted I would ever settle in this strange land and dreamt of a plane ticket home (spoiler alert: I settled, I consider Brisbane hOMe).
There was a long old period between 2009-2012 when I was heartbroken post divorce and dated a smorgasbord of unsuitable men. The life I had envisioned of me in my 30s with a family was way out of my reach. While the work aspect of my life was flying, the personal aspect of my life was oh so lonely and I seriously questioned whether that is the way it would be forever (spoiler alert: it wasn’t).
More recently (as in yesterday), I continue to question whether I made the right decision to come back to the UK for this long sabbatical. I’m homesick for Brisbane and my people there but more than that, things here are difficult, we are job hunting, I’m setting up a business which is never an easy task, our $$ aren’t going as far as we thought they would, are family aren’t so close they can offer regular help with Frank so we are largely on our own as we were in Brisbane. We looked at this trip with rose tinted glasses, and while I could also list the things I love about living here in Falmouth, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t full of uncertainty as to why we have been thrown so many hurdles (mostly ones that have cost a large amount of money!). Luckily Buttons is the eternal optimist and keeps my chin up when I ready to let it drag on the floor.
And there have been other times, like the period when I thought my little sister was going to die and I knew that I would too without her in the world, or when I lost a beloved Uncle and I was on the other side of the world unable to comfort my family, when Buttons and I went through a really rough patch and I glimpsed the gritty possibility of life without him as my partner and single parenthood. None of these were fun times.
The thing is, it would be so easy for me to tell you what I tell myself when things are a bit shitty:
- Change is the only constant
- This too will pass
- Nothing lasts for ever, neither the good times nor the bad and we need to find contentment in both
But…when you are in it, the thick of the muddiness, when you are doubting if you’ll ever trudge out and fear tells you maybe this is all life has to offer, no positive affirmation will do the job of turning your frown upside down.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the protagonist of the tale Arjuna starts every single chapter in a world of pain and doubt, unsure what to do on the cosmic battlefield, unsure how to truly worship his God, unsure of his actions and that of his family, the poor man is suffering. And Krishna, the author of the tale, isn’t always the most helpful. While its true he reminds Arjuna that he must follow his path above all else, he also spends each chapter guiding Arjuna on how to live a truly spiritual life and of all the different paths he offers (the path of selfless service, the path of devotion, of yoga & meditation and of study) he ends each chapter saying that way is the only way. Poor Arjuna! So confused and rightly so.
The teachings of the Gita are of course complex and layered but on a simple level we can see that what Krishna is teaching Arjuna that any way is the right way as long as it is done with devotion. He reminds Arjuna that there will be good times and bad times along each path, but that Arjuna just needs to stay on his path, follow his Dharma with utmost faith and all will come good.
I love and have absolute faith in this teaching my dearest Seeker. Stay on your path (as long as you are on YOUR path and if your not, its time to shake things up but maybe that’s another blog for another time), have faith that the confusing tough times will come to an end as they always do and in the meantime do your yoga practice with devotion and it will help you trudge through the muddiness. Without yoga I would surely have fallen apart many times in my life and I’m not just talking about the time I spend on my sticky mat but the meditation, the teachings and the wisdom can be a wonderful comfort in times of confusion.
I had the good fortune yesterday to read my beautiful business partners latest blog before it goes live on her website. Keep an eye on her Facebook page – Evolve Therapies with Jacqui Sellers – in her latest blog she’ll be offering up her seven daily keys for happiness. Worth a read. As is this by yoga teacher Alanna Kaivalya
I’ll sign off with a quote I adore – “On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far, is 100% and that’s pretty good.”
Stay on track Seeker, I am 100% sure these times will be a changing for you. And in the meantime, do your yoga whatever path you are on and if you need a little guidance on more good yoga stuff to read, drop me a line.
Om tryambakam yajamahe, sugandhim pushti vardanama, urvarukam iva bandhanan, mrtyor mukshiya mamrtat