Saturday, July 14, 2012

next level, yoga and video games

Art imitates life. Video game: Space Invaders.

I don't know if it's my own perception of things or not, but it seems that since I started to reap the calming benefits of yoga I've noticed two things:

One: That my responses to stress have undoubtedly gotten better. I'm more cool under pressure. I'm not so easily thrown off my A-game. Though, admittedly, Manila traffic still gets the better of me from time to time.

This in itself is a huge deal. My father once gave me a book called "Who Moved My Cheese?" in response to my inability to cope successfully when things did not go my way, a trait I think he really knows he passed down from his own genetic code.

Two: That the issues and various crisis that arise alongside my growing bright new attitude seem to be increasing in intensity. So, as my ability to maintain calm seems to increase, so does the intensity of stresses that arise, which, ironically, threatens that newly established calm.

This confounds me somewhat. It feels as if I barely have time to enjoy peace of mind before something entirely new and rather weighty--compared to the last crisis--threatens to throw me off balance in fresh new ways. Just when I think I have a handle on things...things go in a direction that once again test me.

It's a little like playing video games, a past-time I never developed much of a liking for. On top of the my poor hand-eye coordination and generally slow response time, I never enjoyed how there was never an end to the drama of it. Always another level, another abyss to vault over, another treasure to find, another monster to wrestle, another ship to gun down, another dot to eat through. Endlessly frustrating way to waste time.

I guess what I am starting to see, though, is what video gamers live on. This "leveling up" is about ascension. You can only go to the next level once you have passed new, more difficult challenges, because that's what helps make us grow. And I guess what I've suspected for some time is true: I am still growing.

Through practicing yoga, not only has my hand-eye coordination has improved, but my entire awareness of my body has definitely deepened. I used to feel a huge disconnect between my mind and my body. Used to! And now, my ability to respond to stress has also progressed. Not lightning-speed, mind you. But I'm definitely sharper than ever before. As for each mounting challenge, though each continue to shake me, I can't help but feel that the force of it seems less and less. I am responding to the issues and problems quicker and more pro-actively. Recovery time is faster than ever.

What amazes my is how the universe knows when you're ready for the next challenge. I've been studying quite a bit of yoga philosophy recently with my dear dear friend James Boag, who has been teaching here in Manila these last 3 weeks (lucky us!) and he's said more than once that we are never given a challenge/lesson that we are not ready for. And this amazes me. Comforts me. Awes me. It makes me feel that we are supposed to grow and learn and ascend. It makes me feel that there is great purpose to living and to meeting life's challenges head on--because, hell, they just keep on coming!

So true. Wall paper from 

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