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  • Writer's pictureNanci Sherman

My Third Eye Needs Mascara

There is no formula, nothing to get “right” here

If we can’t be flexible in mind, our body will never follow. It is always time to give yourself a break and a laugh, on the mat and off.

How do you feel when you think you won’t make the yoga class due to traffic?

How do you feel when you don’t get your "usual" spot on the floor?

Do you look around to see if anyone is more flexible than you are?

I noticed a very cute dude in front of me in a Bikram class. It didn’t take long until my mind accused him of having eaten too much spicy food the night before. I couldn’t believe the odor of his sweat… until I realized the scent came from me.

I was in a morning yoga class and the instructor asked us to close our eyes and gaze up at our third eye. All I could think of is my third eye must need mascara! I laughed out loud at how ludicrous and ironic that thought was. Here I was supposed to be uniting mind, body, and spirit, and my initial thought was to look more attractive in a room full of people with their eyes closed.

Comparison is the thief of joy. I know that, so why do these mind burps come up for me on the mat, at Trader Joe’s, in the theater of life?

The ego and the subconscious are in cahoots. Meditation teaches us to tame the mind, but it is a master of “survival”—playing the same game it played a million years ago as if a lion is at the door to our cave.

The key is not to take yourself too seriously. The “cessation of againstness” must be the underlying goal of yoga. Don’t fight with yourself or anyone else. Allow things to be the way they are and allow them to be the way they are not.

Blame no one. Traffic happens. So do bosses.

You didn’t get your spot on the floor? Teaching moment–not every expectation gets fulfilled. Besides, you might make a new friend in the back of the room.

Our path can never be the same as another’s. To expect ourselves to “measure up” is ludicrous. There are seven billion paths on this planet. Yours are unique. So is mine. Yoga teaches us to tune out the nagging neighbor in our heads.

To be spiritual doesn’t mean to be vegan, wear purple, and not have sex. Because I love the Grateful Dead doesn’t mean I ever dropped acid. (Or if I did, I’d pick it up for sure).

Expect paradox and irony. That’s pretty much all there is. When someone claims they are holier than thou, look behind the curtain. No guru comes tied up with a bow as squeaky clean as they would like us to believe. Feel free to eat a kale salad and chase it with a shot of tequila. Should you feel judged, it has nothing to do with you. It is the righteous keeping their sense of superiority in check. Check, please!

The spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you, and I still want to look good. I may not look as good as you, but mascara makes me happy. Do what makes you happy, too.

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