Desperately Seeking Drishti
By Cheryl Hansen
I hear the Yoga Pod teachers talk about drishti a lot, often offering up specific focal points or suggesting we find one ourselves. The idea, I’ve learned, is to give our minds a place to look, something to focus on so that the rest of our thoughts, the rest of the world gets quiet.
I’m admittedly unfamiliar with quiet. Uncomfortable, actually. I work from home and had a TV hooked up in my office before my desk was in place. The TV is on most of the day. I don’t necessarily pay attention—I’ve always said the noise helps me focus, which would be funny is it weren’t so wrong.
Last week, out of the blue, I announced that it would be No-TV-Tuesday. I went the whole day without hitting the power button. I heard no news from Hoda and Savannah. I missed every renovation on HGTV. My kids, who initially doubted I was serious (which speaks volumes in itself), followed suit. They played checkers. I wrote and emailed and cooked and listened to music. And I survived.
But it still wasn’t quiet. Not really.
I’m not sure why silence scares me, because the idea of turning down (or off) my thoughts seems like one of those daydream vacations where you get to relax in a hammock on a sunny, breezy day. It’s possible that all of the noise is my way of drowning out the noise in my head. If I’m focused on the Dateline mystery or the Billy Joel song, I can’t really worry about whether or not I’m a good mom or what I’m going to pack for my trip tomorrow.
While my technique does technically get the job done, I suspect the long-term effects aren’t as positive as something like drishti. I suspect that the ability to embrace quiet, to train myself to control the volume inside my mind is far more useful than “Say Yes to the Dress.”
I’m learning that cultivating habits like this are as important, if not more so, than diet and exercise in my quest for true transformation. These breaks I’ve taken—no Facebook for three weeks, No-TV-Tuesday—are little trials that give me a peek into a sunny, breezy, quiet world that may not be out of reach after all.