Sunday, January 25, 2009

18/25 - Humility

Day Off

Yes, I blew the challenge today.  And I did it deliberately.  Yesterday, I caught myself looking at the sign-in board, seeing who had missed days already.  Then it hit me that I was getting a bit competitive about that sort of thing again.  I don't want to do the 60 days to impress anyone else, or even to impress myself.  And I don't need to prove to myself anymore that I can do it.

Instead, I just want my practice to improve.  And my knees and hips are asking for a break.  So I decided to take a day off.  Now, I don't have the challenge to live up to anymore.  And I may end up going to every day from here on out.  But I won't feel like I HAVE to go, and that by itself makes class better.

In an odd way, I think this decision fits with the humility Gates discusses in today's meditation.  By skipping this day, and blowing the challenge early, I was trying to take pride out of the equation.  Now that I'm not going to end up with 60 in 60, I can just do the classes, which is all I really want in the first place.

Gates brings up another interesting idea about humility.  He says that humility should be an aspect of truth or honesty.  Of course it tempers pride and ambition.  But it should also temper fear and avoidance.  Basically, he's saying that a false humility can act as a sort of pride as well.  Thus, a person might avoid trying a pose because they aren't built that way, and won't be able to do it.  Their self image tells them that the pose is not possible, so they don't apply themselves.  But the humble person in the same situation will think, even though I might fail, I will still try as best I can.

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