I have to laugh at myself this morning. It’s 7:30am on September 1st, and I am sitting on my back deck, in an 8 Limbs octopus hoodie, laptop on my legs. I am teaching at 8 Limbs Wedgwood in 2 hours, and I need to write a newsletter and press send in the next 45 minutes. How I got here is part of my own answer to the question “what drives you?”
Now let me be quickly clear that in the past, I have been a VERY driven person. I’ve been driven by ambition, by the need to be liked (by no less than EVERYONE), by the extreme desire to be perfect. AND the last decade of my life has been dedicated to examining those drives. I’ve even written an entire memoir about it! And just this year the stickiness of these patterns is finally starting to thin. Part of the reason for this shift is that I am being shown how much of my conditioning comes from my training within a white-centered culture to be always climbing, always striving, always trying to be “on top” or higher than others. It’s a very seductive (and destructive) path, but I refuse to keep paying dues to that club. So I am having to really change and that has meant unraveling these drives and uncovering what REALLY drives me. And I am still so fully inside of that process that I could hardly answer the question publicly.
So what’s funny is that I only remembered I had a newsletter to write because I did something unusual for me, as a part or resetting those patterns that have “driven” me for decades. Today, instead of going to my practice room to do asana or meditate, or tidying, or making a to-do list for the day, I sat down in my kitchen to consciously DO NOTHING. I let my mind widen, in a space where I normally am a busy-body – cooking, cleaning, putting away dishes, making kid lunches. I was just beginning to see how this, this is how one learns to break this pattern, you do nothing, at least some of the time. BUT just as I was beginning to really settle into that widening, into space…I realized it was September 1st, and I’d completely forgotten to write this newsletter. And I had to laugh.
Now I need to get back to doing nothing!
Please have a lovely Labor Day weekend! Check the online schedule for the next four days as we are offering a reduced holiday schedule through Monday.
Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer, 8 Limbs Founder & Studio Director