February 2, 2013

When Good Enough…Isn’t.


My husband will tell you, when fly fish with him, that I’m not particularly good or even bad. Mostly, I’m just acceptable.

In fact, the way I know when a particular cast has hit that minimum operational standard is when my husband tells me simply, in his very nonplussed British way, “That’ll do.”

Actually, that’s just fine by me.

You see, I’m not super interested in honing that skill, or at least not far beyond waving my rod around pretty, acting like Brad Pitt in A River Ruined It. (Another Robert-ism.)

But lately, I’ve realized I’d been treating parts of my yoga practice a little like the way I fly fish…by being okay with just good enough.

Now…perhaps you’re reading this and thinking I’m about to humble-brag and tell you my whole yoga practice is completely underwhelming. I’m not. I have many strengths, I’m much more devoted to my yoga than I am to fly fishing— and I’m most certainly seeking more than to jump around, pretty.

But what I will tell you is that I’ve also been a little too casual about those areas in my practice that are not particularly good nor bad and merely—good enough.

We are wisely told: function over form. But at some point, what was once functional may be no longer. Because good enough only gets us so far, before actually becoming the very threat that stands in the way of us ever realizing dreams or a life’s long ambition.

Which fly fishing is not…but ashtanga’s third series may very well be.

Yet, since I’ve begun that journey, it’s become abundantly clear that I’m about to go nowhere fast unless I address some voids from my past (in primary and second) that I’d never been forced to examine before.

I happen to be a big fan of the “If it ain’t broke” method; the “whatever it takes to get the job done” mode of action.

But you and I both know, that’ll only take you so far. And while the ache in my low back is not a signal of something broke (yet)—the weakness that most surely exists there certainly ain’t getting the job done well either.

At least, not any more—and certainly not enough to progress.

In fact, there comes a time for each of us, when good enough simply isn’t, anymore.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

~ Anais Nin

David Garrigues said recently, that in order to do third series, you have to have a love for asana. Not a like. Not an affection. Not a “that’ll do.” But a love.

Oh and Lord knows—I do. But third series is really, really hard.

Though perhaps no more than saying “I do,”or raising children or going back to school. No more difficult or strenuous than starting a business, changing careers, or putting together a book proposal.

In any case, good enough just ain’t gonna be—and shouldn’t befor that special person, that impassioned dream, that love. Each one requires demands something more than we’ve been willing to ever offer before.

I mean who among us really wants to work through old shit, face steadfast fears, scout out our weaknesses and develop new strength? Especially when we’ve spent our lives (or in my case, two previous series) keeping it so well hidden.

As it turns out…I do. And I’m hoping, you too.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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