I recently bought a new hammock for my back porch, the kind that needs to be drilled into a support beam and hung from the ceiling. Now I am not very handy at all. I have very little experience with power tools so when I saw the instructions for installation involved drilling a hole as the first step, I was bummed. My husband Zach wasn't home to install it for me and the thought of waiting all day to enjoy this hammock sucked.
I was like "you know what how hard can this be, I am gonna give this a try." I dug the drill out of storage. It clearly hadn't been used in several years so the battery was dead. I plugged it in to charge, but my impatience is strong and after 20 minutes I slapped the battery on the drill, climbed up high onto a ladder to drill the hole to install the hammock hardware.
Now I don't use power tools, but a drill is pretty straight forward, you push the trigger and (insert drill sounds here) in it goes. So I was surprised to meet resistance. The drill went in a little bit, but then it seemed to stop, as if it was drilling into concrete. I thought to myself it must be the barely charged battery. So I climbed down off the ladder and plugged in the battery again to impatiently wait for it to charge.
I only lasted another 20 minutes or so again, climbed up on the ladder for attempt #2. I pulled the trigger, expecting it to go in and nothing. I was using all of my effort, muscles trembling, arms fatiguing, sweating, pushing, saw dust in my eyes. It shouldn't be this hard. Again I though to myself it must be the battery. I climbed down of the ladder, plugged in the battery and decided to let it charge over night. I gave up on my dream to spend the afternoon relaxing in the hammock before going in to the studio to teach all night.
The next day was a new day, a freshly charged battery. Today would be the day. I would install this hammock all by myself, make a cup of tea, and enjoy some peace and quiet in my hammock. I excitedly climbed up on top of the ladder, put the drill bit to wood beam, pulled the trigger expecting (insert drill sound here) in it goes. God damn it...nothing, It made no sense. It was like I was drilling into solid stone, I questioned, was there something inside this wood beam, it shouldn't be this hard. I thought, it must be the battery. But this time the battery was fully charged. Still I climbed off the ladder, frustrated and confused and charged the battery again.
We have all done something like this in our own lives. We repeat the same pattern again and again and again expecting different results. Think about this in the context of your #yoga practice for a minute. I bet there is some pose that you wish you could do, but currently can't. Every time you come to class and it is offered, you repeat the same approach, maybe you force, maybe you hold your breath, and each time you expect that to be the day it goes differently. You take the same approach, but expect the outcome to be different. We do this in our own lives too. Look at what I did for 2 solid days. Climbed up and down a ladder, barely charging a drill, trying to drill a hole with a weak battery, but continuing to try again...never changing my approach.
We spin our wheels. Over and over, wishing for a different outcome, but using the same approach each and every time. I think about all the exhausting times as a parent I try to get Addison to do something and I use the same approach that clearly isn't working and yet I keep trying "brush your teeth, brush your teeth...come on Addison we are going to be late...brush your teeth, please brush your teeth" Till I am blue in the face. You get it and hopefully giggle as you recall your repetative ways seeking new results in all matters of your life on and off your yoga mat.
This causes us to spiral out of the #presentmoment. We have talked about this before in class. When we disconnect from the present moment, we loose sight of clarity, insight and wisdom. Thankfully with practice we are learning to keep redelivering our attention back into the present moment. As we practice #mindfulness we spend less time spiraling and more time pausing, getting present again and that is just the time when the answers to our dilemmas emerge.
So for 2 days I spiraled, repeated the same pattern at least 4 times...up and down the ladder, charge the battery, try again...same results. In my frustration I eventually paused, got present, "what am I not seeing?" I look down at the drill for the first time in 2 days, and saw a button. "OMG" I thought to myself, "Jessie Kates, how could you have missed this"
A tiny button right by the drill head, could it be...I pushed it. and (insert drill sound here) IN IT WENT....the fucking thing had been in reverse for 2 days. I had been drilling backwards for 2 days." I laughed outloud, called my husband to laugh over the story together. I installed the hammock, brewed that cup of tea, sat still with a sense of lightness for the lesson I had learned. We repeat our patterns often, on and off our yoga mat and expect the results to be different. I am sure you have heard it you do what you have always done, you get what you always get. Overtime, with practice we evolve, we return our attention to the moment and realize maybe we should change our approach. With that simple shift, our results also change.
As I relaxed in my hammock I reflected with #gratitude for the many lessons this life reveals, if we are open to see that sometimes the drill is in reverse.