Hello Stranger….

Yes, I am talking to myself. As I continue to recognize we never have it figured out…really…on some level we are constantly reintroducing ourselves to a part of ourself that at one time was nothing more than a stranger. (That and I haven’t posted anything in months).

I was listening to advice being given to my sister about having a new born baby. (Yes, if you know any of her story, she has a healthy little 7 week boy!!!) But the advice was in reference to parenting in these first few weeks. “As soon as you have it figured out, just know it will all change”. I’ve thought on this for a few days, as I think, in my late 30’s, this is still true. No I am not a parent, but in reference to my own life…there is always something changing.

The other day the class I taught just barely touched on the topic of the 3 malas, or what I like to call “that which hides your deepest truth”. Afterwards a participant in class confessed to his practice being one of those practices where he was being bullied by his mind the whole time and he apologized. This caught me by surprise as he later went on to say, if my mind is my enemy, how can I make friends. Right?!?! But the surprise was, for me, I don’t see the mind as an enemy, nor do I see a reason to feel bad for having a practice where you are working through the shit storm of your life. The practice of yoga is BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT. So, please don’t ask your mind to shut up, instead give it the acknowledgement it deserves. Yes, sometimes the mind dresses up in tough guy gear and bosses you around, and sometimes it starts to cry when you hear of an amazing triumph, but it’s not an enemy, not for me at least. It’s just asking for attention, acknowledgement, acceptance and then there is a chance for transformation.

Though I don’t always have time, I love listening to people after class. For one, since I was the one leading, hearing people’s contemplation then leads me to be a better guide in the future. Maybe I am just curious, but I find an individual’s thoughts during their practice to be just as significant as their body’s movement. So I had the time to listen to the insight of the participant that shifted from wanting to find friendship with the enemy and train the mind to hold only peaceful and loving thoughts. Yes, this is what we are told a yoga practitioner is supposed to do. But then the conversation went onto how no one is immune to hardship, sadness, or even being bullied by their own self not to mention each other. Recognizing that we can greet these ‘strange’ or unwanted feelings and thoughts and allow them to be noticed rather than silencing them, there is a way to celebrate the many expressions. Sure, witness the emotional roller coaster, but each emotion is the one great love dressed up in different clothing. It’s part of our nature to see the darkness and well, it becomes a more simple yet sophisticated practice when you realize you can choose the light.

 

One of my teachers shared with me the practice of meditation is the practice of making friends with your consciousness. Rather than the mind being a stranger or an enemy that your trying to control, it’s a beautiful expression of the divine that helps and assists in the recognition of the beauty and love life holds.

Yes we will battle our own thoughts. Our own thoughts will frighten us and even make us feel heavy and insignificant. Alright then…come on we are human. For me the practice of yoga, seated or moving, isn’t about emptying out or leaving your troubles at the door, nor is it a practice of perfection. Rather it’s a practice of listening to the full gamete and learning how to connect, hear, and trust the many expressions of love. This process/practice allows one to choose in the highest way available at that moment. Because it’s all going to change. Yep, as soon as you think you have it all figured out…

 

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