Do you like to exert control?
Do you chase perfection or know when to let go?
That dosha – or life energy – which Ayurveda calls Pitta has to do with our ability to take and exert control. It’s part of every person, but it’s more dominate in some than others. Like all other qualities, control is great to exercise in some contexts, but useless – and even directly harmful – in others.
If, for example, we want to get results or fulfil our deepest desires, then undoubtedly it’s Pitta’s fire that we use for action and taking control – for a certain amount of the way.
Typically, those people who are particularly dominated by Pitta find it easy to set goals, have intentions and act on them. This takes them far, but at some point it may be necessary to let go of control and give things the opportunity to develop more freely. But why is it necessary to let go of control every once in a while?
It’s in the control-less mode that we can be innovative and original. It’s here that our perspective and horizons of the new – that which we don’t yet know or haven’t yet tried – are opened. This open and receptive state is natural for people with a lot of Vata, but Pitta energy experiences resistance to letting go of control, because it would mean also letting their guard down and disarming their inner warrior. Without control, we allow the world to see us as we are. When we take a – well deserved – break from managing and controlling, we become, in other words, very vulnerable. Because suddenly, there we are, standing there as a whole person. This means that even the sides we’re not so proud of are also visible, which forms the theme of this blog – daring to be imperfect.
For me the Ayurvedic lifestyle is very much about recognizing life as it is. To understand that all living consists of three life energies and that none of them is better than the others from a moral point of view. In short, you can say that Vata stands for movement and ideas, Pitta for transformation and action and Kapha for persistence and manifestation. They are all indispensable to draw upon in different situations. And because people have different and distinct combinations of the three, we then have – naturally – some personality traits and physical tendencies, which we can call strengths and some we can call weaknesses. But I’d actually like to get away from this judgment and these contradictions.
When we dare to look at ourselves and then our surroundings without this judgment, Ayurveda provides us with an invaluable tool for accepting ourselves and others. And even more than that, we can begin to appreciate that we are different and thus complement each other. Because balance, from an Ayurvedic perspective, is not just about balancing all three doshas within ourselves; it’s about knowing that we are a part of the whole and thereby reaching out for help, when our natural abilities are not enough.
So how does letting go of control and asking for help make you feel?