Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Maintain Integrity

I've been thinking a lot of the word "integrity" lately.

in·​teg·​ri·​ty | \in-ˈte-grə-tē \

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :INCORRUPTIBILITY

2: an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS

3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS


When we practice our yoga poses,
as we move into the full expression of these asanas,
we're told to go ONLY as far
as we can maintain the integrity
of the pose.

After a certain point, 
we're negating the benefit of the work.

We have to acknowledge the boundary
between our safety and strength
and being over-extended and weak.

We yogis are notoriously bad at this, I think.
We see the videos, 
the instructors,
the Instagram photos,
our classmates,
and we can't help but judge ourselves against them.

We compromise ourselves
to fit someone else's expectations
and perceived accomplishments.

In our lives, we pull the same shit, of course.

We have a solid, whole foundation of our being
where we are productive, safe, and strong.

And we're flooded with external stimuli
that we think inform us about whether this foundation
is good enough.

We humans are notoriously bad at interpreting the data, I think.
We see the TV shows,
the celebrities,
the social media posts,
our friends and family,
and we can't help but judge ourselves against them.

So we push.
We add more workouts at the gym,
we stay at work longer,
we eat shit we hate,
we say "yes" to more obligations,
we give up our sleep.

And our foundations shake.

If you are constructing a building,
every brick you lay 
should add strength and stability to that unit.

Every time we try to add one more thing
that isn't moving us toward our foundation as a being,
we're just stealing those bricks
and throwing them on the ground nearby.

We're adding nothing.
We're weakening our foundation.
We're not building our home.

It takes a LOT of self-reflection,
maybe a lifetime of work,
to understand what our core values are,
what our true homework is.

But once we identify what builds us up,
what makes us strong,
what sustains our being,
the sooner we can stop wasting bricks.

At that point, 
when our building is complete,
everything we do further solidifies our whole.

-C McG

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