Patience

I'm currently learning to program. At thirty-six, it's relatively late to start something new. That said, I think of friends, role-models, and sometimes great artistic heroes who've started something late in life for inspiration... 

I've never had trouble with academics, but at the same time, it's a challenge to recontextualize my brain around concepts that are long dormant, eg. anything 'math'. It's hard not to compare myself to the professionals around me, to know that everyone is ahead of me, or better than me, which will always be the case.

I wasn't expecting an emotional roller coaster of the magnitude that I'm experiencing. Being unable to solve a problem for hours, thinking I have a solution, and then learning it's incorrect or, worse, inefficient and elementary -- interspersed with moments of self-proclaimed genius when I have solved something --- can be intellectually and physically nerve-racking. I feel a small shiver go through by body just writing about it!

We're told that women constantly battle feelings of inadequacy, and I feel that now more than ever. I question not only my own intellect, but whether I've truly challenged myself and powered through frustration in the past, and whether I am able to. Sometimes I have to remind myself be patient and compassionate with myself.

Often in yoga, we counsel non-striving. This can be a difficult concept to buy into in the corporate world, even if you're conscientious about it. 'Non-striving' runs directly counter to the generally accepted principles of goal-setting, high-performance, and 'getting ahead'. Is it possible to align both schools of thought or are they naturally opposed? Yoga helps me dial back my inherent intensity, but the in-the-moment contentment is only temporal, like a patch. 

In yoga we often notice how our bodies are different from day to day. A pose that we can ease into one day might be challenging on another. We tell students to be patient with their bodies, and to not push past where they are today. Is it possible to apply this same patience to our minds? I'm still figuring this out.