Welcome to the next chapter.
Every next level of your life will demand a different you.
I am sitting with the truth of this statement, trying it on, feeling around it, stretching out and letting it penetrate.
I like the idea of balance, yet in some ways in the past, it’s been quite elusive, sprite like, always flitting just outside my grasp. A concept other people have in their lives… but not me. Ever since the words came out of my mouth, in the courtyard for the property I am currently building, “I would love to take my Yoga Teacher Training” the whole universe has been conspiring to make it so. In a very Kali like fury my whole world has been pushed through the last tight bit of a knothole, completing a long journey of healing and self discovery.
Have you ever been inside of a moment and had the conscience awareness that you were indeed inside of something? Not necessarily great but something significant perhaps? This has been happening to me a lot in the last few months. Unintentionally I have been brought into awareness during these ‘moments’. During them, the sensation manifests in the same way each time – It’s a second, and in that second everything seems to slow right down. Time just stands there, still, holding space. There is no judgment, everything just is. In this space I look around and listen, feeling my breath, or I smile noting the flutters of a million beating butterfly wings knocking around in my chest, or I embrace the gravity of this earth and humanity and all of the broken loneliness weighing upon me, threatening to fracture every one of my bones into dust. It’s devastation in the rawest form.
Then, just like that everything resumes it’s speed and I blink and there I am, right where I left me.
Tonight begins a new pathway, it’s completely unfamiliar and unknown. I am here solely by my decision to listen to the universe and allow it’s signs to guide.
We were asked to choose two definitions from Patanjali’s Yamas and Niyamas; which are two of the eight limbs of yoga to take into our practice with us. Over the last month I have been revolving in my mind which to choose from, in a way any and all would benefit my evolution and learning, as I touched on earlier I am out of balance and clearly the universe has noticed.
I think where I have been tuning in during the moments of stillness, the moment with in the moments I have been experiencing I am going to focus first on this; Brahmacharya sometimes translated to Celibacy but in the point of my practice will mean the focus on my acceptance of the ‘right use of energy’ and a mindfulness practice. I will explain in a moment. Second, and I feel it goes hand in hand with my first chosen Yama, is the Niyama Tapas or self discipline.
The word Brahmacharya actually translates as ‘behaviour which leads to Brahman’. Brahman is thought of as ‘the creator’ in Hinduism and Yogic terms, so what we’re basically talking about here is behaviour which leads us towards ‘the divine’ or ‘higher power’.
Regarding Brahmacharya as ‘right use of energy’ leads us to consider how we actually use and direct our energy. Brahmacharya also evokes a sense of directing our energy away from external desires – you know, those pleasures which seem great at the time but are ultimately fleeting – and instead, towards finding peace and happiness within ourselves.
This is where I am at. Did you ever see that great scene in American Beauty where the two main characters are sitting on the bed watching the home video of the plastic bag floating in the wind, it’s being tossed to and fro.. frolicing.
That bag is me. I am being tossed in the wind, I am a true force and share with the world that there is so much more than what is right here, right now if we open up to it. BUT as human, being tossed to and fro isn’t exactly what is serving my body or mind in good health. IN fact, it’s creating a deterioration at an alarming rate. There is no structure, no regulation, no boundaries or healthy walls. It’s a life of reaction and chaos. It’s addictive this boundaryless world of irregularity, it serves my stories and helps me with my perfectionism, by creating the highest of standards, I rise again and again and again so that is the only thing I have to attach on to. From the outside, I imagine it looks like a successful, driven, together woman. And it actually is all of those things, but at what cost.? From the inside, I am drained and exhausted and emotionally frail.
The third of Patanjali’s Niyamas is ‘Tapas’, which often translates traditionally as ‘austerity’ or ‘discipline’. The word Tapas is derived from the root Sanskrit verb ‘tap’ which means ‘to burn’, and evokes a sense of ‘fiery discipline’ or ‘passion’. In this sense, Tapas can mean cultivating a sense of self-discipline, passion and courage in order to burn away ‘impurities’ physically, mentally and emotionally, and paving the way to our true greatness.
I am choosing the concepts of Brahmacharya and Tapas to set a new intention. Like my moments, I need to slow down. I want to invite the opportunity to examine all the ways I spend my energy in a day and release the ways that no longer serve me. I want to practice the discipline it will take to do this, not just in the area of high achieving and workaholism but in daily practices of joy development, personal health, and the cultivation of important familial relationships.
I can see the little yellow flowers, which signify new growth and potential all around me. I know I am on the right path. There is a deep calm here, even if I am going to slide into this first practice scratched and worn and scattered. Today is the first day of the rest of my life, I embrace this newness. I welcome the opportunity to learn about this new woman, this version of me that is making her way into the light.
words by | db