When I believe my thoughts I am anxious. When I connect with reality, I am at peace. I have known this for a long time, and now more than ever it holds true. It is so humbling to admit that all of my training couldn’t prepare me for this reality. Yoga is fun and neat when you’re sitting in a room with 30 people, learning how to teach people yoga in a thriving studio on a normal day. No one prepared me for a Pandemic. No one told me how it would feel when I couldn’t see my students anymore. No one explained what it would be like to go into a store and find empty shelves. No one described the despair I’d feel contemplating bringing my children up during a widespread economic collapse. After so many years of encouraging my students to breathe, I find myself holding my breath. After teaching my students how to stay present, I find myself feeling anxious about the future. After guiding my students into deep relaxation, I feel anxiety alive in my body. I remember that this will one day be a memory. When this is all over, I’d like to be able to tell the story about how I realized I could just fully relax, how I spent my time creating wonderful things and then the Pandemic was over, and I could look back on the quarantine feeling proud that I stayed strong… I guess I better start breathing and staying present, just like I’ve been teaching all these years.
Worrying doesn’t help, so don’t do it. A break from the routine is a chance to appreciate the minute daily occurrences that we take for granted. That which appeared insignificant in an unconscious repetition suddenly becomes profoundly meaningful. The mundane becomes sacred in the light of such deep appreciation. We find we yearn for what we had, so many little acts of connection and familiar places we can no longer access because of unforeseen changes and uncertain futures. When we aren’t involved in an unconscious routine the space of uncertainty lets loose a discomfort for the one who needs the calm familiar, the safe, the known. My friends, be not afraid. This is an awakening. How you experience this is entirely up to you. Take a deep breath with me, now, and breathe again. Now is the time to cultivate appreciation. The molecules of gratitude for everything you love coursing through your being bring tidings of light and health to every cell of your body. Drink in what you love, now through smiling deep breaths of YES YES YES to life, YES! Do not let fear pickle your cells in darkness and despair. Let me feel your shining smile through the ethers our friendship now inhabits. Stand in your one little spot of earth and declare that you are an anchor for peace, for gratitude, for love. My friends, be not afraid. This is a sacred time. Let the visions that were trampled under the daily stampede of traffic now float up in a whisper an inch behind your eyelids. Listen to this whisper. It promises the joy you have yearned for in the deepest center of your soul. Now is the time to create, to express; in the space of the unknown you have so much room to choose how this goes. Sweethearts, this…is…a…VACATION! Celebrate! Love! Sing! Dance! Enjoy the beloveds you have the privilege to share space with! Show us your art! Sing us your songs! Let us hear your laugh! Let us see your funny faces! Share with us a video of something beautifully boring! Let us send little resonances along the web that connects us to tickle and delight and uplift what the outer world cannot touch.
I want to get creative. I want to paint draw write dance sing knit sew cook do yoga. I look around my house. It’s cluttered, disorganized. I can’t create with my house like this, I tell myself. So I pick up. Dust. Vacuum. Put away. Organize. I look around my house again. It’s beautiful. Neat. Luminous. But now I’m so damn tired I no longer have the energy to create! Maybe I need to learn how to create regardless of the neatness of my space.
I’ve come to discover that my art liberates me from stories about having to be perfect, or better educated, stories about having to be accepted and fear of ridicule and rejection. Upon contemplation I discovered I don’t need anyone to like my art; the point is to create, to allow what wants to emerge in me to be expressed with as much openness and grace as possible. It takes courage to push through creative blocks, but each time I do I get stronger. I’m excited to keep engaging the process of creativity with no goal or agenda— just the act of creativity is what my heart wants.
I know now that it had to happen. I’ve come to this realization before, so bear with me, but you know how this works. We keep circling and circling and circling back to the same old stuff until one day we get it, and we can finally set off on a new trajectory. It had to happen. I was comfortable, and comfort was making me complacent. I knew deep down I was meant for more. I longed to be met at my depth, to be seen and held and loved by someone capable of seeing my value and loving the woman that I was. It wasn’t happening, and a part of me grieved deeply. It wasn’t happening, and I resigned myself to a love not quite deep enough to be congruent with my true nature. I yearned for more, so deeply in my heart I yearned, and a voice said that I was fooling myself, that such a love wasn’t possible in this world. I was determined to do the work inside myself, to search for where I felt unmet and dissatisfied, and discover how I could meet and satisfy myself. Hence the meditation, the writing, the reading, the sewing, the knitting, the kombucha making, the therapy, the workshops, the trainings, the research, the practice, the commitment to arete. I secretly thought I was doing him a favor putting up with his lack of depth, his lack of vision, his inability to penetrate me fully to the core of my being, to flower me open to bigger possibilities, to take me open to God. Well if this is it, I told myself, then I may as well make the most of it. So I kept going. And then it happened. He dumped me. ME. Me, the mother of his children. ME, his WIFE. Me, his yoga teacher. Me, his partner, his best friend. He threw me away. It had to happen. It took a while, but I see this now. At times I look jealously at intact families, and I’m triggered by what was stolen from me. But then my new mindset arrives and reminds me It had to happen. The comfort was making me complacent. I had to be made extremely uncomfortable to be forced out of this nest, this cocoon, this cage of material wealth, where my needs for food, clothing and shelter were met, and the price I paid for it all was my authentic happiness. I look back on who I was and I shudder. I look forward to who I know I will be and I shiver. I look within to the one I am now and I smile, at peace with the fact that sooner or later, it had to happen. ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨
We’re born, we die, in the blink of an eye. Might as well enjoy our time here. Might as well train in creating and expressing joy so that this world is a brighter place for our having passed through here. Are you willing to take responsibility for your own experience? How could you feel empowered otherwise? Are you willing to wake up to what is truly yours and leave me to handle what is truly mine? If just a few of us did this we could create heaven on earth in no time…
Industry. Productivity. Recommitting to creating a financially sustainable livelihood doing what I love. Being willing to go the distance, to pay whatever the price to live a life in alignment with who I am at the center of my being. I care not for the opinions of those who settle for mediocrity; they cannot help me. I will not ask for permission to walk this path of living heartfelt into my divine destiny. My clarity is my gift to myself. I don’t need to change what I feel and I am no longer afraid of what arises from my depths to be seen and heard and embraced like never before. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so I live this day as if it is my last, heartfelt, walking my path of divine destiny.