A few days ago I was online and unfortunately I have to go through Yahoo’s homepage to get to my emails. I say unfortunately because I sometimes waste valuable time and energy reading the quirky- made to sucker you in- “news” articles. I clicked on an article about how the way you sleep tells your personality type. If you sleep on your back you are one type of person. If you sleep on your side, it means… Okay I don't remember. I only remember what pertained to me. I focused in on what it means if you sleep on your stomach because even though it is not good for my neck and probably not good for my back, I inevitably turn on my stomach some time during the night as my comfort position. The article stated that you if sleep on your stomach it is tough for you to accept criticism. I balked at this notion. I pride myself on being able to accept criticism as a writer. I’ve been going to playreadings for so many years. I’ve seen writers defend their writing and deflect any suggestion as if it is a personal attack on their being. I pride myself on the ability to act more professional than that. I listen, write down the critiques and thank the person for the feedback. I feel very open and willing to accept criticism. But am I really that way all the time? I thought I was.
And then planning a wedding happened. Whomever coined the term Bridezilla was brilliant. I do feel a little bit like a monster who when family or my fiancée says something about one of my plans, fire roars out of my mouth, nose and ears. It’s a little scary how attached I am to material things. It’s very personal and I’m working so hard at being healthy for the environment, for the guests and for our bank accounts, but I’m not being so healthy for my emotions.
As Guruji says often, go to the teachings and so I did. In Guruji’s book, Inside the Yoga Sutras there is a very handy sutras by subject index. It didn’t have anything specifically about accepting criticism but it does have a whole page and a half on emotion. The index states that “Emotions belong to the mind, not the Self. They are reactions to external or internal stimuli that impact perceptions of our security and self-image. We fear, hate, or express anger at anything that threatens or belittles us.” That’s it! I feel so strongly that this wedding should express our unique creative, earthy qualities that when someone says something that goes against it, I feel he is going against me personally. I don’t like this about myself. I find it horribly annoying, and very much against the Yogi that I am trying to be when I create this “green” holistic wedding. Boy Oh Boy, the Yoga Life has some challenges!
The index goes on to review that the emotions should not be suppressed but analyzed. If it is rooted in ignorance then our goal is to transcend it. So how to do this? Guruji also mentions what Sri Patanjali suggests replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
As a good friend reminded me yesterday, “This is a party and everyone who is going to be there loves you and wants to celebrate with you.” I told her I need a t-shirt or button made of this so I can remind myself this every day.
Also as I have been feeling the need to do lately, Sri Patanjali suggests returning and going deeper in the practices. “Through purity comes cheerfulness of mind.” (Sutra 2.41) and “By contentment supreme joy is gained.” (Sutra 2.42)
And now I will go do a full Yoga class for myself so that the fire that might come out of my mouth turns to smoke—I’d much rather be Puff the Magic Dragon than Godzilla. (Hey I wonder why Godzilla was named Godzilla? Did the creators mean to put God in his name and if so why? Anyone know?) And instead of Bridezilla I will just enjoy the fact that my family wants to help me, are around to help me and that I have a wedding coming up in the first place. Isn’t that the positive that I should hold in the front of my thoughts?
And so my question to you this week is, what do you to combat your bridezilla?