Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What I've Learned From Watching Reality TV

I know this title may sound like an oxymoron, but I truly have learned something from watching my two favorite reality shows: Top Chef and Project Runway. I know, I know its sounds really cheesy, but it's true! I have to say that over the last ten years I've gone from not having a TV in my home (by choice) to being a regular watcher of certain Reality TV shows. I know that Reality TV isn't the smartest, or most quality of programs available, but, dammit, I love my Top Chef and Project Runway! I can honestly say that I have, in fact, learned something from watching these shows, and what I've learned from watching is this: In the overall picture of trying to meet one's goals, winning doesn't really mean that much. What matters, rather, is that one keep moving forward in order to make and sustain real progress.

The reason I really like Top Chef and Project Runway is because we get to see the process of, well, the creative process. Week after week we get to see contestants create, cook, and design. One week we get to see someone win a challenge. The following week, that same person may rank in the bottom, and come very close to being eliminated. I love this-not people almost getting eliminated, but the look inside the processional nature of how things unfold when you are moving towards your goals.

Yesterday, I felt such resistance to my home yoga practice. I could think of so many other things to do, and so many reasons why it wasn't that big of a deal if I skipped my practice. I mean, I really DID. NOT. WANT. TO. PRACTICE. But I know that there are certain intentions and goals that I have come to understand are right for me, and in order to move into realizing these I need to allow myself to practice, to let go of resistance. Usually, when I begin my yoga practice, my mind almost instantly settles, and I become calm from within. Not yesterday. Nope! It was all chitta, chitta, chitta. So, instead of resisting, as I've done before, I just accepted where I was. I found my mat, rolled it out, and began my home practice with all that chitta going on. I slowly began to breath, to practice asanas, and to gently bring my mind back to my mat when it wandered, which it did almost the entirety of my practice. But, it was just one of those days!

I often struggle against resistance, and by doing so, I can make things much harder than they need to be. Lately, I've been slowly learning to acknowledge resistance, and to continue on anyways, just accepting it, rather than fighting it. Resistance is a pattern of mine but through my yoga practice and other inspiration (sometimes found in strange places) I'm learning that meeting one's intentions is a creative and sometimes winding process that requires regular movement forward. Practicing in the face of resistance, whether it is a "winning" practice or a "barely got through it" practice, is still, well, practice!