I don’t like messes – physical or the less tangible kinds. I prefer order in my environment – bookshelves organized, laundry put away, gardens weeded, to do lists filled with more checked off tasks than not. In short, messes make me uncomfortable, antsy, and agitated. I am learning through my practices of yoga and meditation that many of life’s messes, though uncomfortable and sometimes painful, can be the fertile soil of growth and change – but only if I resist the urge to clean them up.
“I was thinking about the GPS in my car. It never gets annoyed at me. If I make a mistake, it says, ‘Recalculating.’” Have you ever considered the spiritual role model your GPS could be? Calm. Even keeled. Gracious. Creative. Endlessly patient. Even (especially!) when finding solutions to some ludicrous mistakes and wrong turns. Can you imagine accepting your mistakes and wrong turns with such poise? Can you imagine extending the same grace to your partner or your children? What would it take (short of being a piece of technology) to navigate life with such a certainty that all will be well? That all that is needed is a moment to calculate a new route?
We live every moment at the frontier of what we know and what we don't know. It is at this frontier that we explore the growth and possibility of our lives. Living here - as I learned as a child from Laura Ingalls and her family - requires grace, courage, focus, and a willingness to embrace the reality that none of us know where we are going and that is wonderfully OK.
"You can be the sunshine for another person." It is simple - love one another. It is also difficult. Love takes effort, courage, creativity, generosity, and trust. It is also the most empowering thing we can do. Sharing your light in this world does not dim your light at all. In fact, sharing your light actually makes your light shine brighter. It is in giving ourselves away that we receive the riches of this wonderful life we're here to share.
A truck drove into a bridge in front of my house, inviting me to imagine how a yoga practice could have helped the driver avoid some of the mess he made. He might still have had the accident (nothing, not even yoga, makes us perfect). Yoga could have helped him minimize the swath of destruction caused by his reactions - which he and my neighbors would have appreciated very much.
"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." Accepting (even welcoming!) change takes great fortitude. Unlike the rigid strength of resistance, however, it is a flexible strength that allows us the resilience to bow, bend, and bounce as we choose to allow life's changes - welcome or unwelcome - to become growth opportunities.
Sometimes life leaps out at you with a well-timed “BOO!” It is in these moments of startled upheaval that your practice comes into play. Seasoned meditators, experienced yogis, and deeply spiritual folks may seem calm on the surface. But I assure you that they are, like the proverbial duck, paddling like the dickens to maintain what looks like serenity.
As Yoga With Spirit emerges from the "pause" of the last year, it feels a little like emerging from a chrysalis. All growth requires us to let go of old things and old ways. It is no different for me as I step forward into this new phase of life. Read about the additions and changes to the offerings at Yoga With Spirit in this week's blog.
"How does an apple ripen? It sits in the sun." Patience and persistence can be far more effective agents of change than the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. Keep showing up. Trust the process. But recognize that you don't need to be in control. Leave some space for unimaginable possibilities, surprising twists and turns, and miracles too great to even hope for. Life won't let you down.