April and May were filled with some really sweet moments, including the adventure of the Isis Advanced training, and our first Beach Cleanup of the year (see pics on facebook!). However, in my private life these months also brought the physical moving away of significant family and friends, as well as the anniversary of a poignant family death that is still a bit steamy around the edges.
When life presents big emotional situations that require deep coping and processing skills, I turn to my daily practice to ground myself before taking any other supportive action. Mantras, meditations, and fresh action (even if that action is sometimes rest) help pull me through.
Sometimes, I resist. I find myself shying away from my home altar, or making excuses not to take my morning walk. I recognize these actions as red flags indicating that I’m running from myself; I know that when I sit at that altar, or do the yoga, or take the walk, I will by necessity face the core of what my life experience is at that moment, and sometimes it hurts to be that present. My inner capricorn knows how to trudge forward with tireless determination, but trudging is not always necessary.
Then, as night falls, I sit with myself in silence. I allow for space. I let my talking personality fall quiet. I allow the wisdom of my wild inner child to speak up, and then my heart to speak up. Truth comes up in those moments, when we allow for that uninterrupted time.
It doesn’t always come up right then, but eventually it senses the opening I’ve offered, and pounds its way to the surface with seeming perfect synchronicity. Sometimes I realize that there are things I need in order to come back to myself: a trip to the beach, a hike in the woods, a stop at the ice cream shop with a friend.
Other times, just acknowledging that life is complex and that in that moment I don't like the rules, is enough for me to let go of judgement and come back to center. I can melt back into my body and the practice of living with a sense of renewal.
We are all such warriors! Everyday, we are facing new adventures, old wounds, great choices at the crossroads of our lives. Nobody can lead us safely through our pathway. Our paths are all different. We have soaring mountains with snowbanks that have hidden the path markings, and blissful jumps to make from the top of emerald jungle waterfalls.
In key moments, we alone must make the critical decisions for how to live, how to self-care, when to jump, when to play dead. However, our family and very good friends can be a part of our safety pack, offering love and listening ears where needed. They reflect back to us who we are (and often unintentionally who we are not!).
Our practice is a part of our toolkit too. While there may be times when there just isn’t a moment to sit and Ohm because we’re face to face with something beastly, your daily practice will bring you back to the nuts and bolds of reality, putting that beast into perspective. Of course, as the name implies, daily practice requires consistent effort, and while it can certainly be joyful, it may not always be easy.
Do you know how I got solid biceps? Regular exercise! Haha. While some of it was unintentional (carrying a 40 lb kid on one arm), some of it most certainly was (ie the ever-challenging-for-Dailey plank pose in yoga).
Just for now, I can think of 14 or 15 friends and clients who are going through very grueling, horribly intense processing. My heart is always with you in the work. On this end, I’m praying that you’re well bundled for your snowy sojourn and that you’ve packed your swimsuit for the eventual sun.
But I’m also reminding you to find your daily practice. If you’re having a hard time touching into it, then reach out and find a friend or stranger who can help motivate you. Or, like me, turn off the lights. Get dark. Play dead. And with amazement, watch your own inner sunrise.