24. Spot-on doesn’t need a spotlight

“I once did yoga quite regularly, and I suppose a lot of us have, and a lot of us still do. For about a year or so I looked on it as being a great way to keep limber, and it came with an implied bonus of getting a grip on that restless headspace that we probably all get sometimes — or the implied thing was at least a nod towards options to explore in that regard, which became more obvious later on, but I know that it’s not something that works for everyone.

“There was one really annoying guy I remember who seemed to have three or four different pairs of those baggy yoga pants, and regularly varied which one he wore to the classes. Not that there’s anything really wrong with that I suppose, but it all just seemed too selectively done. And then there were the ‘yoga’ t-shirts, and then I noticed the beads on his wrist, but it was more than these trappings. There was just something of an empty showiness to this guy, and he seemed to latch too readily on to outside embellishments. I mean, who says ‘namaste’ to everyone? Although maybe I’m being unfair — he could do all the poses as well as anyone. But really no better than anyone. And that’s part of the point I’m getting to I guess… that behaviour, speech, dress, all the overt particulars are not really where anyone’s priority needs to sit.

“If anything, the sort of thought wanderings I’ve been taking, and the destinations, could have so easily led me to have that kind of attitude — to wear what I’ve come across on my sleeve, and take up some kind of posturing. But something told me that’d be a mistake” () “and that making any sort of a big deal about having a few moments of clarity would be like flashy yoga pants.

“I suppose wanting to get any kind of attention is the default setting we come with, that we’re all set to being ‘me’ focused. But I’m convinced it’s one that can be turned around. Again, it’s the view or the attitude that seems to make a difference, not the actual physical action involved. But I’ve seen that before — attitude affects everything.

“Ages ago there was this guy who asked for any little bit of money I could give him to get some food. I remember being distrustful at first, but there was a lot going on in my mind at that moment. I coincidentally had a spare 50c in my pocket at the time, and right then it was an uncomfortable coin. My relenting and letting go, my putting this other person’s need ahead of whatever I thought my needs were, ‘worked’. Thinking about someone other than myself made a big difference. And this was just because of a turning over of the usual attitude that we probably all take, that ‘me first, others next’ response. But that can change, with just that re-focus I was talking about. But making a big and obvious deal over something like that will just put you in Mr Pants territory. Not helpful, and not the end you’d want. The best outcome, for all of us, seems to be to change our attitude but remain natural about it. So yeah, people can aim for whatever sort of internal amazingness they want, but externally nothing needs to change.”

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