reality bites. confessions of an imperfect yogi

holy crap. I suck.

Last night my sweet, patient, loving partner said these words to me: “If only people knew you weren’t the person you portray on your blog”. Ouch. I’m not?

Apparently, the person I am at home can be really impatient and snappy with a cynical edge…

And yet here I am thinking I’m on this pilgrimage toward enlightenment with hopes of being patient, kind, compassionate, witty and good. And, for the most part, that’s what the world sees…unless we’re related or I’m really hungry or I was just cut off in traffic, of course. And it never fails that when I’m mean-spirited, impatient, or brazen in a bad way, I experience a major guilt complex afterward and I get all judgy and in my own face.

some of the horrible things I say to myself:

 A real yogi wouldn’t act that way.

Someone who is really good or compassionate or kind wouldn’t do that really terrible thing you just did.

You’re a yogi hypocrite.

You don’t practice Ahimsa or Satya or Asteya, (enter any number of yogic terms, here), blah, blah, blah.

You need to get the hell out of contact with people. You’re totally irrational and super freaky, sister.

Wow, you have some serious karma to work off.

What the hell are you thinking? Are you insane? Yes. You’re insane.

Now you’ve blown it. That person sees the real you.

No wonder you got cancer.

wtf?!?

Ok. I’m lying. I’m actually way meaner in my head. And I curse more. Way more.  But I don’t know that it means I’m not the person I portray here on my little blog. Maybe it means that I’m constantly changing and that I’m totally imperfect, but in a human on a journey to be a better person kind of a way. Because every pilgrim and every seeker has different experiences and struggles that they need to go through in order to be a better person. My path might just be a windier one….

But here’s the grab. I’m open about my imperfections, and in a large part, I accept myself as a work in progress. This life is ever changing, and I am always working on cultivating forgiveness and patience. When I catch myself saying a variation of any of the cruel statements above in my head (about myself or anyone), I try to slow down to notice it. Where’s that coming from? Is that the real truth (answer: NO). And when that fails (as is often the case), I try to reflect later to think about what the real truth is; the truth isn’t that I’m a terrible person. The truth is that I may have had a moment (or longer) when I was irrational or mean (or any number of things), and that I’m a human being on this human journey. I make mistakes (sometimes really big ones) and I try my best to make up for it, grow from it, and learn about myself and others.  And that, my friends, makes me a freaking righteous yogi. Just one with an attitude.

10 thoughts on “reality bites. confessions of an imperfect yogi

  1. Blogging is our chance to get the world to see us how we want it to see us rather than how we really are. We can be as idealistic as we want to be. We can pontificate about the world as it should be, how we plan to do things and all the time we are sitting there in our underpants too lazy to get outside into the garden that we take selective photographs of and reject more than we use. We stage our blogs whether we admit it or not. Honesty sometimes goes out the window in favour of making it look pretty or trying to say something that we think is profound rather than sharing our real selves with our online readers. I was only saying to my long suffering husband the other day that blogging was great because I get to share all sorts of things with people that would probably dislike me if I was ever to meet them. We get to meet in the middle without all of that humanity and we can give people the essence of us that we want to be. I am antisocial. I am grumpy and uptight and bossy and opinionated. I want to run the show and none of this makes it into my blog (apart from a degree of perfectionism sadly lacking from my real world because of my defeatist attitude constantly fighting with my laziness!). Honest is refreshing and we need to understand that no-one is perfect and that we are what we are (much as a famous spinach eating fella once said). We are are incredibly critical of ourselves and our perceived shortcomings because we measure ourselves against an unattainable “perfection” portrayed in the media and now seen as reality. Is it any wonder that people are so unhappy these days when the reality is we are aiming for some advertising executives hook line and sinker? They don’t want us to be happy because “happy” doesn’t sell their merchandise. We all do those terrible things. We all say those nasty spiteful things. We all feel somewhat less than what we should be and so does everyone else! The most beautiful thing about humanity is its imperfection.

    • I so agree, Fran! I love imperfections- the people I appreciate most (and who I surround myself with) are the people willing to admit their flaws and who don’t dwell on the fact that those flaws exist. It’s far more interesting to be open and honest and unique than it is to try to cover it all up. But when you add putting it out there for the world to see…well that gets downright difficult. Reading “Daring Greatly” has been an inspiration for me to begin showing my real self…that, and having a partner who calls me on my shit!

      • Mine doesn’t call me on my shit, he just gives me that look (you know the one…the “partner look”). It doesn’t matter whether its male or female its that “partner look” when they are pulling your head back in because you are incapable of doing it yourself ;).

  2. “I’m way meaner in my head.” Yeah me too 😉

    So the thing with blogs is, we always only portray a part of ourselves. It’s part and parcel of trying to write something meaningful. I’m not sure we need to show all of ourselves on our blogs at all times.

    So yeah, yogis with attitude are awesome.
    Hari Om Tat Sat 😉

    • Thanks, Paula- you’re so right that we can’t show ourselves on the blog all the time. But I’m so much more interested in blogs where people relate as human beings with depth and with imperfections than the ones where they seem so flat and one dimensional. I love that I’ve gotten some positive feedback on my openness- more to come in the future!

      To yogis with attitudes!
      W

  3. I love your blog, Wendi. I have never met you in person, but I KNOW you and love you and respect you. Fran (above) said it perfectly, we “stage” our blogs, but that’s writing — you get to control the content. Since your writing is so good, I can “see” through to you in your fullness and….ready for this….I can tell you aren’t perfect! Which makes me love you all the more. Keep up the good work, girlfriend. 🙂

    • Yay, Christi- thanks! I feel the same about your most fabulous blog!!! Yeah- I suppose I have admitted that I’m not perfect already, right? I just haven’t opened up about the voices in my head until now 🙂

      To vulnerability in writing and Daring Greatly!

  4. I love this post. Your honesty is amazing, and I appreciate it as a reader and fellow blogger. I’m not always as I seem on my blog – I have bad days, I curse, and I drink wine – but the blog is just a part of us and a way to express.
    I’m very mean in my own head and can relate to some of those statements as well, especially “a real yogi wouldn’t act that way” – oh how many times have I said that to myself?! : ) But, I always say that I’m a work in progress as well and I have to go easier on myself. It’s awesome that you acknowledge this righteous yogi!

    • Yes- yogi works in progress! It probably is good to check in from time to time about this action or that thought to just see whether that’s how we want to act or react and to go/grow from there. It’s how we strive for better. Just like on the mat, right? We can tweak the ways we go through vinyasa and change everything about our practice. To be present and open to challenges or to be closed of and expect the perfect flow. For me, that’s just not going to happen!

      We’re totally real yogis.

dialogue is good- yes? comment here.

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