I was lying in the bathtub Monday evening when Gracie, my sweet pup, fumbled her way into the bathroom and curled up in a corner. She always comes to get me when she feels a seizure coming on as if to say: "Mom, it's happening." Naked as a jay bird, I jumped out of the tub and to her side, placing my arms high in the air around her (as if to ward off the demons) as I watched her fall into a full-body trance. Instinctively, I began coaching her through it. "It's okay," I cried. "I'm right here. You're not alone, and I promise this won't last forever. You're doing great." Tears flooded my eyes and dripped onto the tile, my deep empathy and compassion for her suffering overcoming me.
As I spent the rest of the night cradling her tired little body, it became increasingly clear to me that my intuitive reaction to Grace's pain is (more than likely) the exact same reaction that God must have as She watches us struggle through Earth School (after all, I am made in the image and likeness of God, aren't I? :)). Hovering over us. Rooting us on. Cheerleading from the Invisible Realm. Promising that we will get through it and that it won't last forever. But if we are locked into a trance on our phones and computers, with faces down and minds full or thoughts, how can we hear and feel and comprehend this All Pervasive Loving Supporter? I surely can't.
For me, my yoga mat gives me the perfect place for what my teacher Tara Barach calls "a Sacred Pause." Here, I can finally quiet my mind. I can hear my Guidance. I can feel my Spirit undulating with my breath.
With every passing winter season I watch the trees in my yard faithfully say "okay" to the challenge of winter, gaining wisdom with each passing year. Instead of resisting what's happening, they accept it, using it to better prepare them for the next inevitable winter that will come around. This, to me, is the paradigm of Divine Evolution of which we are a part: that it takes challenge for each creature to refine her skills and evolve beyond what it once was. In fact, it seems that the challenge of the cold is exactly what those trees might need as the perfect push toward evolving into their fullness. And if that's True for them, how can't it be True for us?
My wish for you is that amidst whatever challenges you are facing, you take time to find your Sacred Pause and underneath the thinking mind can hear: "You're not alone, and I promise this won't last forever. The way through is through."
Yoga Therapist, Teacher, Speaker, Writer, Mother