As an entrepreneur stepping back into the world of figuring out how to make an income, I have been spending a lot of time these days trying to accomplish, to create outlines and spreadsheets and sequential to-do lists, and to cross things off – my Pitta energy has been hard at work. I can feel this activity in my brain, behind my eyes, driving forward without regard for anything below my neck. It is all about thinking things through, making a plan, striving towards perfection. It is hard work. As one of my teachers said, “Pitta gets the job done, dragging the bloody body behind it.” Body? What body?
As I tell my clients, however, we are born with access to many strategies to move through life, strategies inherent in the three doshas that we embody. Creating a list and crossing things off, you could say, is the Pitta strategy. (Perhaps my fellow Pitta-dominant folks out there are familiar with this method.) Blessedly, we can call upon our non-dominant doshas to step up if we are overusing one strategy and getting out of balance. I realized I had fallen into the mire when I literally could not remember the last time I went outside just to take a walk.
So this week, I am reminding myself of the Vata way to move forward in a project, a more creative and spontaneous method that is less organized, but can be equally (if not more) powerful when I have driven myself into the ground and all I can see are dreary numbered lists in front of me.
Vata dosha is composed of the air and ether qualities, and consequently it can’t be lined up or pinned down. It flows and moves effortlessly around obstacles rather than beating its head against a closed door. One of its qualities is lightness – the opposite of heaviness, which can be useful, but also full of illumination and brilliance. It is the unexpected flash of insight, the colorful spark. It is quick and mobile, darting around and escaping stagnation.
When I start depending on my Pitta one-track-mind to move through my life, I need to be shaken up a bit. By relying solely on one strategy for “making progress” in my fledgling business or indeed my fledgling life as a newcomer to Austin, I need a reminder of the restorative power of flow and spontaneity.
Nature offers an easy, instant system reboot. Surrounded by trees, plants and things that move in cycles, I am reminded that life exists outside of my head, that I have a place in the world, that I am already “there.”
Sometimes all it takes is remembering to look up as I get out of the car in the parking lot.