November 2016 By Aparna Talaulicar Perfect we may not yet be, but we are okay where we are, says Aparna Talaulicar One of my mind’s favourite grooves is the one where I beat myself up for not being disciplined. Imagine a mind map inside my mind. Main bubble’s topic being “Lack of self-discipline”. Then there are a zillion little arrows shooting off into the many, many areas of indiscipline. There are subsets. Indiscipline in the area of mothering. Indiscipline in study. Erratic cooking habits. Disorganised state of cupboard, bathroom cabinet and junk jewellery boxes. Incoherent state of financial and medical records (if we include insurance then really I don’t have a clue – is it possible to be organised about something which feels as alien as the Pythagoras theorem? So it gets brushed under the heading of someone else’s name…my husband’s or brother’s usually). Then there is yogic indiscipline to which we had better assign a whole separate map or tree. And then there is spiritual indiscipline, connected to the yogic but can stand by itself too. When my mind got into this groove today, I tried to defend myself by coming up with the idea of routine. Daily routine. The thing that is highly recommended for well-turned out babies and all normal and disciplined human beings. So I began to make a list of all the things that I do every day without fail. Wake up. Brush my teeth and use the loo. Eat. (Many times) Drink (not as much as I should – just referring to water). Read. Already it was getting difficult to list more daily-without-fail items. So it wasn’t much of a defense. The all-important entries that would satisfy me that I was doing the right things were not there on the daily list. Things like lighting a diya at my little altar every morning. Sitting in front of it to pray and meditate. Do some japa. Sing or chant for a bit. Get on the yoga mat. Write a journal and other things…stories, a novel. Cook or bake. Call my mum…it goes on. Then I thought that if I could be accommodating and allow what I did almost everyday into my daily routine, I could add my yoga practice, a quick prayer, and maybe even lighting a diya, though I must admit that this only happens in phases. Suddenly, a new and even kinder thought dropped into my head. Aren’t there things that I do every day which are arguably as important as lighting a diya? Isn’t waking up my kids in the morning just as light-giving? Helping them to get ready, filling their tiffins, getting to the bus stop on time and being there for them? The thought helped me to relax into a new awareness about myself. Perhaps it’s okay to be where I am right now. And the time for prayer will come soon. About the author : Aparna Talaulicar practises Sivananda yoga and has recently trained as a Sivananda yoga teacher. She is part of Parenting magazine’s editorial team.
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