I’ve been practicing yoga for over twenty years now. (I started before Madonna!). I’ve been immersed in a culture of healthy eating, moderation, reverence for all beings, compassion, empathy, and ethical living. And some days I have this irresistible urge to binge on Big Macs, Irish Whiskey and bad movies. I’m reminded of the cooking show called “The Two Fat Ladies” which featured Clarissa and Jennifer–chain-smoking, wine-swilling, excess aficionados who managed to incorporate bacon and heavy cream into everything they cooked. I adored them. I adored their contempt for low-fat cuisine, and their determination to do things their own way.
What is it about trying to be good that makes me just want to be bad?
Obviously I still have some issues with authority. I still have lots of ego to wrestle with (I’ve learned to enjoy my sense of being an outsider, and that nugget of selfdom is hard to let go of). I still have a lot of work to do before my ideals will match my actual behaviour, and I think I’m always going to have to make compromises with my inner imp. Every life needs a little dirt. Clear ponds can’t support any fish, and the lotus flower is born out of the muck. Too much discipline isn’t healthy, and neither is too much indulgence. For every road and every choice there has to be a middle way, and every so often we find ourselves upside-down in the ditch. If we’re lucky we get to start over and try to be a little bit more skillful the next time. In the meantime bottoms up! (I’m referring to downward dog of course).
PS I realize that I made up a word, and I’m not sorry. Selfdom…the imaginary kingdom that revolves entirely around me. So there.