hyper-vigilant

I watched the sunrise as I drove to yoga class this morning. It was a great image to have in my mind as I went through Sun Salutations. As my instructor was saying at the beginning of class, "Yoga is not competitive", I realized that's part of why I like it so much. Then I noticed myself trying to be competitive about it the rest of the morning.

I don't think I've mentioned my struggle with performance here. Phyllis said in her comment to the last entry that some people should just "try to be who God made them to be". She says this first, because she is wise, and second, because she knows me very well. For some of us, being comes very easily and it's the doing in life that requires extra intention. For me, it is the other way around.

On the Enneagram, my type is the three, the person motivated by the need to achieve. Achieve what, you might wonder? Anything. Everything. In yoga class, the threes are among those who take advantage of the bonus opportunities: "For an added challenge, now that you're twisted like a pretzel, simply inhale your arms overhead". A constant fear is that I'm doing it wrong. Doing what wrong? Anything. Everything. What part of town I live in. How I spent the last fifteen minutes. According to a book about the Enneagram and Parenting, my type is hardly ever 'just' a mom, and if we are, we become the Super Mom. Even my leisure activities are tied to achievement or multi-tasking.

Yoga = Relaxation + Strength-training + Flexibility

Knitting = Relaxtion + Tangible Results

You get the picture? On auto-pilot, it can be a very tortured existence. That's why I'm so drawn to the contemplative life, to centering prayer, to sabbath. They are my counter-balance. Left to my own, I'd probably self-destruct. It's not aided by my state as a recovering Evangelical. It's easy for me at times to think of God as having Janet Jackson's accusing stare and singing "What have you done for me lately? Ooh-ooh, yeah."

So most of the time I'm learning to just be and find peace in each moment. But I still get these attacks of self-doubt and judgement that one woman I know calls my "hyper-vigilant mode". In those moments I'm always thankful when my friends remind me to relax. Thanks, Phyllis.