Practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya) are the two core principles on which the entire system of Yoga rests.
Practice is having an attitude of persistent effort. The essential companion to this is non-attachment, not being attached to what it all looks like, how it is suppose to go, what it is, or who it is. This is the balance.
"it was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing, and dance while the music was being played."
Is everyone aware of the buzz that's going on about this post by Shirky re: how women need to man-up or face eternal second-best-ness? It was forwarded to me by a friend, and I read it not knowing that the author is a man. It rubbed me the wrong way anyway, but now that I know the gender of the author I'm annoyed by it all over again.
Personally, I'm just not that interested in acting more like a dude for the chance that my work gets more widely recognized or that I get paid more to do it...And in agreeing with that, I'm not saying that I'd accept less out of some sense of righteous indignation and refusal to be mannish, but rather that it does not occur to me that I would be worth any less in my own natural behavior and presentation, and it is only when presented with articles like Shirky's that it occurs to me that I could feel otherwise.
So, in my list of things about 2009 that, when all was said and done, weren't entirely horrible, I made one glaring oversight. I neglected to mention that my first manuscript, the one I've been submitting and re-submitting for longer than I'd really like to think about right now, has finally been accepted for publication! I got the news on Christmas Eve, so that was a pretty rad Christmas present. It was provisionally accepted while I was in China, baring a few minor revisions that, given my crazed fall of oral exam-taking and grant-writing, took me WAAAAY too long to complete, but whatever. It's done and accepted, and I should get the proofs in the next few weeks. I'm excited and nervous to finally have it out there in the world, but mostly just relieved that I can once and for all remove it from my to-do list. And start citing it in the two other manuscripts that I have underway. Here's to seeing my name in print! Hooray!