A couple of years ago, I was coming out of a yoga class, climbing the stairs leading to the street together with one of the women who took the class that day. We were both in the lovely haze that is created in the aftermath of a connected yoga practice, and started to chat about why we need to come to the class anyway. I remember saying to her ‘I feel like we are here to reset ourselves over and over again.’ and she whispered ‘and to be ok with that…’. We both walked into the beautiful, crisp autumn air outside and then it hit me, she had just given me one of the most beautiful and elegant lessons of my life: to reset ourselves over and over again and to be ok with that.
I have thought about it often since then, especially in the times when it feels like the weight of my life and the drama of the world is too much to bear. As a mom, woman, free-thinking citizen of the world, I notice the deep drama going on in our individual and collective lives. The issues that keep coming back are not new. Yet we all seem to struggle on some level to make peace within ourselves and to create the peace we seek in our outer lives and in our immediate and far communities. Yoga is just one refuge in this confusing mess. One that connects us to our reserves of hope. And then we go back into our daily lives and come back to the practice over and over again to renew our connection to this healing balm. The practice of coming back itself becomes the hope that helps us survive the unruly chaos of our reality. And yet every time we lose touch with this connection, we need to re-believe that hope is a possibility.
Today is one of those days. I choose to believe that we can change our reality. I choose to believe that my practice matters, my conscious thoughts, words, feelings and actions can lift the world. I choose to believe that even though I have to reset my beliefs, my nervous system, my digestion, my posture, my relationship with myself and the world, almost every single day, that it matters that I connect with my truth. And that truth is accepting and seeing the beauty that my hope stays alive despite everything. The hope that my/our consciousness is evolving and that we will go beyond the current struggles of our species and make peace with ourselves, with other human beings and all the other residents of the world.
The fact that we are not there yet, and that it takes courage to exist right now in this time, and that I/we still need to believe, hope, practice, reset ourselves and come back to the world with a renewed courage and refilled peace reserves, and to be ok with all of this, is the real practice of yoga.
~with special thanks to Patty Welch for her wisdom and her quiet, courageous presence
photo credit: @dlopezt