“The next time you communicate with anyone, you can put aside your own autobiography and genuinely seek to understand…Don’t push; be patient; be respectful. People don’t have to open up verbally before you can empathize. You can empathize all the time with your behavior. You can be discerning, sensitive, and aware, and you can live outside your autobiography.”
-Opening Quote, Stephen R. Covey, Meditations from the Mat
Day 299 – As I wrap my mind around teaching epics and myths and literary elements to my students at school, most of whom are most unfamiliar with epic cycles and myths and plot lines, in general, living in the world of digital world and alter-reality (yes, yes, yes, I tap into the video games), this reading begs me to wonder how much do I actually live within my autobiography? Rolf relates that Stephen Covey identified “restlessness,” a hinderance, as one of the “main blocks to communication and connection to others.” Moreover, Rolf defines restlessness as “our inability to sit with what is.”
For me, restlessness is, as Rolf suggests, the offspring of abhinivesa, fear of death, but it is also my angst and worry and resistance to the “need for things to end.” Rolf describes this as a “manifestation of our resistance to this [need].” In the classroom, on the mat, in the car, “we do not want to relinquish control.” It is everywhere. In the classroom, in the car, on the mat, in the stillness of grasping a concept or listening to what is expected, shuttling, and meditation, “we suddenly have to fix our hair, adjust our clothes, scratch an itch, cough, sneeze or sigh. Our minds travel off into an imagined past or future, we make plans for events that will never come to pass, we make a grocery list for dinner.” We live inside our autobiography rather than the moment. This is restlessness.