Let’s Talk About “Stupid”

I have friends who won’t use the word ‘stupid’. They see it as too negative, and so unhelpful in their spiritual growth.

They get upset if you describe something as stupid, they get very upset if you jokingly say something they have done is stupid, even if it is (some people don’t see a distinction between having a laugh with someone and making fun of them, which is exhausting); and, bizarrely, they even have a go at you if you describe yourself or something you have done as stupid (because it’s not ok for you to judge yourself negatively but it is ok for them to patronise you for some reason).

Personally I think all words were invented for a reason, and they all have their place. Yes, finding a positive way to look at things is a good thing to do, but sometimes no matter how hard we try we end up doing something stupid, and there’s no getting away from that.

my view of the satsang

A couple of weeks ago I was offered the chance to go to India for a month to help out on a Teacher’s Training Course. I said no.

I’ll pause for a moment to let that sink in…

I’m guessing most of you reading this would have jumped at the chance for what I believe would have been an expenses paid yoga ‘holiday’ in India. I know I’m starting to think I might have made a boo-boo.

So why did I say no?

For one thing, that was my knee-jerk reaction. Being asked to help out with the TTC was interesting. But then it turned out they wanted me to go to India, to do the technical side of things – sound mixing, lighting, etc. – and it was in a month’s time. Each new bit of information made it sound like a less and less attractive prospect. But why?

Taking each point as mentioned:

There’s an assumption that is you do yoga you have been to, or want to go to, India. I personally have very little interest in doing that. It’s just not on my radar. I have a big list of places I do want to go, and India isn’t one of them. If I’m going to spend my money it’ll be going places I want to go.

Though I do a technical job, I hate it. I just do. I mean, I know a lot of technical stuff, and I’m actually pretty good at it, but when it comes to what I like doing I err on the side of the creative. I like thinking, and making, and doing. Plugging in wires and adjusting sound levels is just boring.

I can do stuff at short notice, but going away for a month in a month’s time is a daunting prospect. I mean I have a flat, and work, and all kinds of stuff I want to be doing over here. To just up and leave so quickly is a bit mind-blowing.

And that’s another thing – money! Even if the flights, food and accommodation was taken care of, it still would have cost me £1000-1200. What with rent, bills, etc., plus the fact I wouldn’t be earning any money while I was away, I’d certainly be out of pocket by the end of it all.

But would it have been worth it?

As is natural, I started to second guess myself. Had I been too hasty? Perhaps I could have gone after all. I mean, it would have been an interesting experience. Most would give their right arm for such a chance. And I could certainly do with the holiday/sadhana time.

It’s hard to turn down what, on paper, is a good opportunity.

I started leaning towards the idea of going. I started persuading myself.

A few days later I contacted the swami to get some more details, but it turned out I was too late. They’d already found someone else. I wasn’t sure how I felt?

So I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Was I stupid to turn down such an opportunity? Should I have said yes straight away? Should I at least have thought about it for a while before saying no? The fact of the matter is, I don’t think so.

Sure, maybe I should have gotten some more info and then sat with it for a while, see how it felt, but my initial reaction was to say no, and if I wasn’t excited from the offset about going, if I had to persuade myself into saying yes, then I’m not the one for the job. It’s something for someone else to enjoy.

So, was I stupid in saying no? I was not. I didn’t really want to go, and besides, there’s a lot here I want to be doing instead. Stupid would be to not learn from the experience. To spend the next month doing nothing, instead of writing, or teaching, or getting on with one of the many other things I keep saying I want to do. To sit on my fat behind eating pizza and playing video games. Now that really would be stupid!

A Landmark Year!

Well, I think it’s safe to say that 2012 was a landmark year in the life of the Yoga Bum.

For one thing, the Yoga Bum was invented. I started off the year working at a satellite broadcasting company, doing 12 hour night shifts in a sealed, windowless, air-conditioned room full of TVs, and I ended it in 40 degree heat in the west of Australia (at a rodeo, which I’ll go into detail about later). I’m now a qualified yoga teacher, I spent 2 months working at an ashram in the Austrian Alps, I’ve been to San Francisco, Sacramento, the Santa Cruz Mountains and Los Angeles, doing all kinds of interesting stuff, some of which I was fortunate enough to be able share with someone special, and most of which I didn’t know I’d be doing when the year started. With that in mind, I wonder what delights 2013 will bring. I mean, like last new year, I have an idea, but as we all know, anything and everything can happen (and usually does! ..lol..).

As a greeting for the new year, and to maybe inspire you to take some risks of your own and go do something ‘silly’, here’s a re-cap of my ‘Landmark Inversions’ series that I’ll be working on throughout 2013. I hope to add many more as the year goes on, and I can’t wait to see how many I get up to by the start of 2014; or indeed where they’ll be! I tell you what, it’s going to be fun finding out. 🙂

1. hahnenkamm headstand
2. twin peaks headstand
3. alcatraz headstand
4. golden gate headstand
5. hollywood headstand
6. santa monica headstand

Good luck for the next 365 days everyone. I hope you have much fun, some excitement, plenty of smiles, warm hearts to share it all with, and just an all round omming good time! 😉

Om Namah Shivaya. 🙂