I’m having trouble reconciling the different parts of myself these days.
There’s the part of me that wants to become a yoga teacher — to spend my days in a spiritual state, practicing yoga, helping others with their practice, and writing. In some ways this feels like the truest path — the most authentic to who I really am, deep inside.
Then there’s the part of me that’s drawn to media strategy. I love it. It gets my intellectual and creative cylinders firing. And I care about media deeply — about the stories we tell, and how they shape our world.
I don’t know why I experience such duality between my spiritual and intellectual sides. Maybe it’s because for so long, my intellectual abilities were wrapped up in the false, or incomplete, version of myself that I shared with the world: the A student, the overachieving junior staffer. She was all brain, no gut — anchorless cerebral ability.
I’ve spent the past 10 years excavating my spiritual self, and maybe I’m being a little over protective — afraid that if I let my intellectual self take center stage for even a minute, she’ll take control. She likes control. And she’s ambitious. She makes it hard for me to be grounded in my body. When I get caught up with her, I forget to breathe.
How to think and breathe at the same time? How to bring the authenticity and groundedness of my spiritual life, into my intellectual life? These are the challenges before me.
Postscript: I think this tension between spirituality (which I associate with simplicity) and intellectual vigor (which I associate with complexity) is at the heart of my indecision over where to live, as well. Staying in New York feels like choosing the life of the mind, the life beyond the basic spiritual elements that fulfill me, while moving somewhere less expensive, with nicer weather, feels like following my heart, and choosing the simpler, richer life. But I see the biases I’m bringing to the table, and I realize they may not be fair.
How about you? Do you struggle to reconcile your spirituality with your intellectual interests and abilities? Or do you experience another kind of duality that you seek to reconcile?
The photo above is by Flickr user skooksie