After finishing my Spring Yoga Challenge last week a friend asked me if it was hard. "No," I responded, "it wasn't hard, just time consuming." The question has however propelled me into much thought this week on the topic of the exchange of energy. I found myself diving headlong into questions of what is hard, what is a challenge, and what makes something difficult? Is difficulty or hardship necessary to gain something of value?I have spent much of my life pondering deep questions like this. Questions like why are we here, what's the point of life, and what is the universe made up of? There are many possible answers to these questions depending on the perspective one wishes to view life from and take their stance of knowing upon. Perhaps I would have been well suited to study philosophy, perhaps I still am, yet I can't ever seem to slow myself down enough to sit in a classroom and call myself that kind of student. Needless to say one does not have to be an academic to pursue knowledge and understanding, or answers to the deeper questions of this thing called life, answers which inevitably just lead to further questions. Despite identifying with the artist type personality I have come to discover much of myself to resemble characteristics of a scientist as well. As I dig ever deeper into the well of knowing myself through the practice of yoga I find myself more commonly looking for what is, like a scientist with a control group, what does not change? The common answer I come across is that Everything changes. Perhaps it takes billions of years, but no matter the shelf life of any one thing be it a piece of plastic, a human life, a planet or a galaxy, a self identity, everything changes. Underneath the fluctuations of change one thing is constant, the energy that exisited before the materialization of the beingness and dissolution of its existence remains. Energy is what is. What is energy made up of? I don't know. What I do know is that it is the most replenishable resource in the universe. Though it may change form it is never gone, it is just being transfered. Where energy is flowing creation is happening, be it sustained, dissolving, or in the resting state before form. It obviously takes more energy to do some things, like growing a child in your tummy, starting a business, and doing a handstand than it does to take a nap, mow a lawn, or lay happily in savasana. However, as I have come to see it this week, challenges or effort only become hard when we are fighting against the natural flow of the energy. Things become difficult when the output of energy is forced. We are where we are at any given moment. This does not mean we will always be here or there, for like the constant that exists in the universe, all things are changing all the time including ourselves. If we wish to learn to do something new, something different or other than that which we already know it is going to require from us different levels of energy output. Perhaps willingness, courage, time, persistence, and steadfast commitment. However, if we can be in the flow of the energy recharging it intelligently with food, rest, patience, laughter, joy, and playfulness, all things are possible without hardship. It seems to me that the word hard is what makes it so, eliminate the word from the experience and the experience is transformed to something of more value. Are challenges necessary to experience a life of value? Perhaps, and perhaps the word challenge is like the word hard, creating a framework of an experience of learning that could be more playful otherwise?
With the understanding that all things are an exchange of energy, and some things require more energy output than others, and our experiences are direct reflections of how we choose to label them, life and the ever unfolding exploration of the adventure of uncovering the new have the potential to become an ever increasing time consuming playground of delight, time-travel, and afternoon naps! Or at least, this is how I'm choosing to see it today.
Einstein was pretty smart and this is what he had to say about it too.
I hope this Sunday evening finds you enjoying the sweet energy of the unconditional love of nourishing sunlight and the ever blowing winds of change.
With love, Genevieve