I have been desperately searching for my faith these days, and the constant chaos that clogs my newsfeed hasn’t made it an easy find. The once bright faith that spurred me out of my old life of addiction and shame has now worn off, asking to be matured as I enter adulthood more acutely aware of the troubled world around me than ever before.
Yoga and meditation (and the occasional Facebook detox ;)), though, have allowed me sweet moments of relief from this world, moments when I get a small glimpse into a Kingdom that is not of this place, one where I can feel the intelligence of a Loving Universe breathing through my breath, pulsing through my heart, living in my body.
I also get glimpses of it in nature, too, surrounded by the intelligent and awe-inspiring System of Life, which is why my daughter Maple and I have adopted a small obsession with “nature shows,” as we like to call them.
Last night we snuggled up with our latest pick, a BBC special called Great Migrations. The documentary follows and uncovers all of the many species who use their genetic antennae to lead them in an unending dance of brilliantly-ordered movement.
Last night’s episode focused specifically on a unique species of antelope, the white-eared kob, that only lives in and migrates through the vast National Parks of Sudan.
Sadly, due to decades of ruinous civil war, the animals were entirely annihilated, or so the scientists thought, completely decimated by guns and human hunger. My heart felt heavy as I witnessed the eternal desolation that came at the greedy and prideful hands of humankind.
Surprisingly though, years after the fighting had ended, a small herd appeared, a group of only 10 or so animals at first: the small few who had found a way to quietly survive during desolate times. Over time, the small herd multiplied -- first to a hundred, then a few more, then to over 100,000. Maple and I watched with tears in our (okay, my) eyes as the animals freely roamed in all their abundant glory, wild and free once again.
And its in the depths of meditation that I can find the same Life-Force energy in my own body: that the same resilient Spirit that rose the antelopes from the dead, is rising within me too, pushing me forward to shape the very nature of Life with my presence here.
I watch this Force pulsate through Maple as she tirelessly falls down and gets back up, and then learns to fall better, and then one day doesn’t fall much at all. I watch how she’s moved from a crawl to a walk to a run, not so much from my prompting, but more so from an innate place that is the fabric of her nature, too.
My ego-self likes to trick me into thinking that I am a culmination of the straightness of my teeth, the size of my jeans, the number of people who love me, or my current hairstyle. But yoga has taught me that, in fact, I am so much greater than I realize, that I am the very pulsation of Life, arising from the ashes of my ancestors, creating a springboard for my descendants with my every word, action, and movement.
Brene Brown has found, via years of research, that those who live Wholeheartedly (our area of focus this winter/spring) have the ability to “Cultivate a Resilient Spirit”, to find their innate ability to persevere in the face of the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of life, with belief that their presence here is not by chance, that they, too, are part of a larger web of Life.
What we will discover in Yoga Church tomorrow evening is that a resilient spirit is not something that can be taught, but something that is uncovered, like a hidden treasure buried underneath the very place on which you stand. Beyond the measuring stick of the Ego, you will find that are Divine Intelligence incarnate, refining and recreating Itself with every breath.
This gently grounding and stabilizing core-centered class will help you to feel that truth, the truth of who You are.
Yoga Therapist, Teacher, Speaker, Writer, Mother