The Cowardly Lion

My yogini generally starts class asking everyone to set an intention for the class. Pretty standard stuff in yoga classes.

Saturday she started class by asking what we would want to ’embody’ on and perhaps even off the mat. That got my head going. After wondering if I should channel Wonder Woman or Supergirl, I started thinking about the virtues.

Which virtue would I want to embody? Which one would suit not only my personality but also serve me the best?

To begin with, I wasn’t even sure what is considered a virtue. I went to Virtues for Life and found a list of 78 of them. (I think. I lost count. Twice.) That was a lot more than I thought there would be. Which made me wonder what the definition of virtue might be. After all, a whole lot of things seem to qualify.

According to the online dictionary a virtue is “a behavior showing high moral standards.” It could also be “the seventh highest order of the nine-fold celestial hierarchy”, but I have no idea what that means. We will therefore stick with definition number 1.

Virtues run the alphabet from acceptance to wonder. They also go from determination to flexibility and detachment to enthusiasm. Hmmmm. Maybe it has to do with how well the virtue matches the situation? If it doesn’t match and ‘work’ then the virtue is not a virtue? Yes/no/maybe?

Anyway, leaving the really heavy philosophical lifting behind, which of those 78 virtues do you think you would need to embody to get through the day? Which ones do you lack but you think it would be helpful to have?

I know I am obstinate, stubborn and pig-headed. Dressed up to look pretty, that is determination. I use that a fair amount.

I could probably use more of the flip side of determination. Especially now that I am older and have low vision, I could probably use more flexibility and acceptance. In the words of those wise philosophers, The Rolling Stones, “you can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime, you just might just find, you get what you need.” Being open to other possibilities and trusting the Universe to provide good alternatives is not a bad thing. Sometimes it just takes a little courage.

And speaking of courage….Experiencing vision loss, I believe we all have embodied courage. We just may not recognize it. Being courageous is not an all or nothing thing. Sometimes we express it and sometimes we don’t but it is always there. Think the Cowardly Lion. He needed a medal to recognize it, but his courage was there all the time.

Going back to speaking personally, I have a tendency to be pretty confidence. Go ahead and read arrogant there if you wish. I am self-aware enough to know that. After 63 years, it comes as no surprise.

However, what also comes as no surprise is life teaching the lessons I need to grow just at the time I need them. Humility? You folks are (trying ?) to teach me humility. AMD limiting my abilities just makes me mad. Then I feel ‘noble’ fighting it (See? Arrogant.) Hearing your stories, what you are going through and the kind comments you make? Those are humbling.

So back to the question: which virtues do you think you need to embody to get through? Make yourself a ‘medal’ and pin it to your underwear. You just might find you have had that virtue the whole time!

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