For some ungodly reason I found myself awake at 4:45 this morning. This is a gift, something said to me, Take it, and get up. But I resisted. I felt too tired. No, I reasoned, I might be able to go back to sleep. But the something was insistent. No really, this is a gift. Just get up. Up. Up. Up! I relented at 5:30, after confirming to myself multiple times that I really wasn’t going to fall asleep again, no matter how hard I tried. I went upstairs, sat on my cushion, meditated for 30 minutes. Although I felt tired and kept wanting to be in bed asleep, I was surprised when my bell rang to signal the end of my session. Whenever I lose track of time, it is a good sign that my meditation was deeper than usual. It’s easier to go deeper when everyone is asleep and the house is perfectly quiet.
Back downstairs I made myself some tea, got some quinoa started in the rice cooker, and sat down at the table to write in my journal. I witnessed the first rays of the sun, the way the sky changes from deep blue to pastel yellow-orange-pink-red. The trees silhouetted by the sun, the contrast of their dark shapes with the colorful sky behind them–such beauty witnessed all alone; I thought about painting a watercolor, wondered if I could capture even the tiniest hint of that beauty so that it might be shared later.
I wanted to read about svadhyaya, the fourth of the five niyamas, which comprise the second limb of the eight-limbed path of raja yoga. I’ve been stuck in my other blog, posting infrequently, because the pressure is so much greater to be authentic, to speak from experience, to draw on the knowledge of the masters with the hope that I might transmit this knowledge with honor, with clarity, with enthusiasm, so that students might want to continue exploring this path. I get myself so worked up looking for quotes to share, and real life examples to ground this philosophy in something tangible, something that can be grasped by the every day human being. So much pressure makes writing a drudgery. But this morning, I figured I might be able to tackle a post. I set all of my favorite yoga books out on the table. I lit a candle. I had my journal, my laptop, some post-it notes, lots of colorful pens.
And just when I was ready to really dive into it, I heard my son waking up. Ahh yes, I said to myself, I have everything ready, everything set up, and I could write for hours. It must be time for the children to wake up. I cleared the table of my books, my journal, the laptop. I blew out the candle and put it on a shelf out of reach. I fetched the boy child from his room; he was fussy and din’t want his normal morning banana. I was glad to see him.
Zzzzzzz. It’s almost ten and I’m falling asleep trying to formulate clear sentences. I’m exhausted beyond description. This day was long, full of challenges, and I’m ready for it to be over.
Part of my yoga practice is identifying my limits and modifying to meet those limits with clarity and compassion. I have reached one of my limits. I simply cannot write anymore today.
Blessings and sweet dreams…may I awaken ready to awaken.
(By the way, pausing to celebrate one full month of posting every single day. One month down, eleven to go. Good-bye January, hello February!)