Warning: This is a rambling post ~ pretty much within my nature…
This concept often comes up in my hot yoga class – finding ease within the bind. But what does it mean? In terms of postures, it simply means being able to relax in binding move, such as Wind Removing Pose (it’s ok to giggle, and believe me no one is removing their wind during the posture that I’ve noticed).
At this point in the 26 posture series, you’ve been giving it your all in standing, balancing postures for 50 minutes – you’ve just gotten to the floor and chances are you’re a hot, possibly fatigued, mess. Try holding your legs like that when you’re absolutely drenched in sweat, believe me, it ain’t easy. But this is exactly where learning to find ease within the bind comes in; learning to relax and/or make small changes that allow for ease when circumstances aren’t easy. Beyond the hot room, it is trying to make small changes in stressful situations so you can find ease. It seems like an easy concept but it is very, very, very challenging to put in to practice (at least for me).
I find in life, that I cannot find ease within the bind if I’m struggling against my nature. There are plenty of situations that arise that are difficult to begin with, but if I’m trying to do something that goes against my natural inclinations I’m just making that situation more stressful and cannot find relief. I’m going against the grain; struggling unnecessarily to try to achieve something in a way that does not compliment my nature and just leads to frustration. In that situation, I cannot find ease within the bind. I cannot relax enough because I have created unnecessary stress in an already stressful situation. I can cope with the original stress but only if I go about it a way that works for me (but maybe not for you). We can both arrive at the same destination, but we might have divergently different paths.
This concept really crystalized with me when I started to love house painting. I dreaded it before because I am one of those people that ends up stepping in the paint tray, dripping on the floor, painting myself, plus I don’t have a fine hand at edges. My mother-in-law and husband, they both can edge a wall and not get a speck of paint on themselves or the ceiling – no masking off necessary. I tried –really tried to ‘be neater’ but it was totally going against my nature – my gross motor skills are GREAT but my fine motor skills…well, not so much. So instead of TRYING to be something I’m not and continually feeling like a failure – and forget any ease within that bind, I changed my bind. I realized that my nature is to be sort of totally inclined to spill and splatter. So I decided to spend a lot of time prepping the painting area. I mask off EVERYTHING and use copious amounts of drop cloths, watch for wall drips and put my supplies well out of my way as I maneuver about the room. So instead of trying to adapt to a style that doesn’t suit me, I found my own style. I found ease within the bind. The bind, in this case, being a splattery painter and the ease making the area around me forgiving of that inclination. Now I look forward to painting and people even hire me to paint their walls. Who would have thought?
The other night I was talking with one of my friends (who I just adore) – we were discussing some ideas he’s had for various business ventures. Although the ideas were sound, he never implemented them – but rather shared them with others (and some of those ideas have panned out for them). Why? He was not inclined to become ‘married’ to a business that would keep him rooted in one place. You see he’s a one of those people that is constantly moving about – seeking change. Needing change. When something becomes too familiar, he feels he’s in a rut. Being in one place too long goes against his nature. I call him my itinerant, peripatetic friend. Our natures are completely opposite in this aspect. I dread starting new jobs, making big moves- he can jump into something different at the drop of a hat.
In his life, it’s created some stress for him – he’s under pressure to settle down, start a family, put down roots – fit within the mold of mainstream life. But why? Why should he have to go against his nature? Why does everyone expect him to change to satisfy them? That is not his makeup – that is not his nature. For him to continue to struggle against that nature, especially for other people’s benefit, will always cause him angst. How does he find ease within that bind? It comes through small adjustments. He goes – he comes back…he stays for a bit – then goes but comes back again.
Intimate relationships? That’s a bit harder – but he will eventually meet someone that has that same nomadic spirit. Either they will travel together or travel apart always to come back together at some point. At least that’s how I envision it for him. Ironically, that wandering spirit, which is a very attractive quality about him, is probably often the point of contention later on for the one that was attracted. I would imagine that for some, that they convince themselves that he will ‘change’ for them or rather that they will be the one that can ‘change’ him and ultimately only frustration and disappointment can ensue. His nature is not going to change. He is who he is – he follows his nature to find ease within the bind.
In my opinion, this life we live is about realizing our nature and adapting to our environment in a way that works with those inclinations. Not ‘fixing’ ourselves, like so many self-help gurus would want us to do because we are not ‘broken’ to begin with. Or following the ’10 Habits of <insert any adjective> People’. That can only lead to constant dissatisfaction about our nature – we need to accept what we are and learn to make small changes to find ease in the world around us. That is what will inspire us, that is what will calm the inner turmoil and allow for peace. That is what will ripple out to touch and inspire others. That will allow us to find ease within the bind.
I leave you with Firewater