As you may or may not have noticed I’ve been a little quieter these days, less excited about creating and posting the latest, greatest meditation or writing about the increasingly challenging adventures with my growing toddler.
The reality is that I’ve been in a dark, gooey, cocoony sort of place lately where everything that I once knew to be true seems to be crumbling out from underneath me. It’s like watching the tapestry of who I thought I was unwind: one thread at first and then several and then hundreds. Between uncertainty about my faith-practices, my fertility and my family’s future, I’m experiencing an all-hands-on-deck, code red kind of identity crisis.
And during this difficult season, instead of showing up authentically, it’s been easier to hide in my cave, pretending that all is well underneath my make-up mask and Vaseline smile (which, to be fair, is probably a wise evolutionary coping mechanism -- animal packs abandon the weird one, you know. It’s, like, a real thing that we mammals do to each other).
And what sucks is that I reaaaaaally love to tell you cutesy stories about the silly, inspirational things that my daughter says instead of my dark days in the cocoon. Light and fluffy and unicorny is better for business, or so they tell me.
So instead of arriving to this painful season, I’ve decided that it’s easier to just pretend that it’s not happening: to keep my headphones on and my music blaring as I shout “what cocoon, you guys?! I have NO IDEA what you’re talking about.”
Of course, it was in this Disneyland fantasy world that I, not surprisingly, found myself in a car accident: one that was painful enough to sit my ass down and cry out all of the tears that I had been holding in over the last few months.
It’s kind of a relief though, to have permission to say “I am hurting” out loud instead of pretending that I’m not.
But I have always been a scab-picker, dying to pick those babies off before their time, preferring to just strong-arm the shit out of my healing process, wanting it to unfold in my way and on my terms. But the emergence of spring plant life reminds me that I live in a universe that just… KNOWS… how to turn scabs into new skin and caterpillars into butterflies and embryos into babies and acorns into trees without my interference.
I can either let It work to heal and expand me or I can stubbornly cut myself off from Its Intelligently Divine Process. And so, because, whelp, the “do-it-myself” model got me into a traumatic car accident, I’ve had no other choice than to look upward, eyes full of tears saying “Okay, Partner. Show me the way.” And because God respects my free will, She either lets me try to design newer, stronger skin cells on my own (I am exhausted just thinking about that), or I can let go, relax into the process, and let Her do it for me.
Fighting the natural processes of God’s design has felt like swimming upstream -- way harder than heading straight into the turbulent water, knowing that I am surrounded by a team of angels, full of potential butterfly just waiting to emerge from the messy processes that lie ahead.
Wherever you are, whatever season you are in, I invite you to be still and know that God is good, that every challenge exists as an angel in disguise, spurring us into growth and expansion in a full-on, embodied way.
This week at Yoga Church we come together exactly as we are, perfectly imperfect, in whatever time and season we are in to connect with and trust in the Intelligent Spirit that is always leading us in the direction of our expansion, no matter how painfully beautiful the road may be.
Friends - it is my joy to gather with you tonight at All Souls to practice one of the most helpful techniques that I've been playing with: stillness and present moment awareness as the highest form of worship.
Personally, my life has been in major flux - lots of change and possibilities presenting themselves about where my life is going and how it will unfold. And boy-oh-boy, my mind is having a FIEEEEELD day jumping around like a wild monkey, thinking about all the things that could be, that would be, that should be, that might be. To be completely honest, it's kind of fun to let her go wild and fantasize her little monkey heart out in the beginning, but after awhile, that fun bouncy little thing turns into a monkey on crack -- thinking through all of the things that can go wrong - terribly, awfully wrong. Cracked out, bug-eyed, hyperventilating monkey usually ends with the conclusion that the world will end and I will be forgotten: left for dead, cold, alone and in misery.
Okayyyyyyy, maybe not that extreme, but usually, her story ends up being something similar to the apocalypse of my creation.
We live in a society that worships the head monkey, believing that thinking itself is the way out of any difficult situation or problem; however, my meditation and yoga practice have taught me the exact opposite -- that it's in the un-thinking place that the answers and guidance are revealed, one moment, one breath at a time.
If God is a living, breathing, moving organism of which I am a part, Her presence is right here, in this moment, Her guidance coming to me now and now and now, Her gentle movement like the flow of a stream that I can participate in or resist.
And while sometimes the 72 new books on spirituality I just bought from Amazon are helpful, most times they just get in the way of the perpetual and perfect the guidance of This Holy Moment.
This is why a contemplative practice of mindfulness that consistently grounds me into "what's true now" has been the highest form of worship lately. Because in it, I can feel that the living, breathing God within and around me is always directing me into perpetual resurrection one moment, one sensation, one breath at a time.
But if my body-mind-spirit instrument is bouncing around on-line shopping and Facebook browsing and email checking, playing with a huge list of what has been and what could be, I completely miss the guidance that's being offered to me in the Now.
This is one of the many reasons that we practice yoga: to tune into the present-moment-God-mind over and over again (which literally changes the functioning of the brain), so that when we enter that pivotal and intense moment where we used to clock out and let fear take over, the day will come when we choose to clock in -- to be with challenge and to face it head on do that really scary thing that we're called to do because we know we're guided to do it. Something bigger speaks through us, moves through us, lives through us, if only we can get still enough to let it.
Join me on the mat tonight to clear the mind and to ground into the Present Moment Reality which is holy, wise and unbelievable intelligent.
Yoga Therapist, Teacher, Speaker, Writer, Mother