"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Some days it seems to me that time drifts by so slowly, and yet I find myself rushing to complete tasks, trying to make the most of my productivity as if I am attempting to live out the lyrics of a Righteous Brothers song. Other days go by so fast it feels as though I blink and the crisp brightness of morning has flashed into the dark of night, leaving me breathless with wonder watching the day go out like a blister in the sun.
Admittedly, doing nothing, is not an easily found skill in my skill set. I like a honey bee, buzz around all day picking up, putting down. Some days there is clear vision behind the movement, a more beautifully choreographed dance of this and that, stuff and things. Other days, I am a mish-mosh of clamoring about like a heavy footed boot wearing grunge kid in a mosh pit, moving deliberately, without much grace.
Regularly, making a conscious effort to be more present in the moment, I observe that the moment becomes more clearly a dance in the space of time rather than a race with time. Like all dance parties some songs are fast, others are slow, and some, one just has to sit out.
It is when I sit one out that sometimes a storm rises in me, telling me that in sitting it out I loose momentum, I miss the opportunity to move forward, sideways, back, around in circles, but to move nonetheless. Perhaps I am more like a shark, fearful that if I stop moving I will sink to the bottom and die.
However, with time, in time, I am learning to sit on the sidelines, if only for a moment, and catch a breath as I enjoy observing the undying flow of movement on the dance floor of life before me.
In stillness I observe that I am never truly still, as my hearts is always beating while this body that houses me continues to breathe, lungs expanding, blood flowing, thoughts sometimes racing and other times drifting across the horizon of my mind like clouds. Movement on the dance floor of life never ceases. On the days when life feels stagnant, like momentum has ceased to move me forward toward my desired goals, or even backward and sideways away from them, I now acknowledge that the appearance of the feeling of inertia is only an illusion.
The human ego when in a state of myopic self perception demands to be in control of the state of ones life journey, demands to be the DJ choosing the music. When we become skilled in the practice of balancing our ego state into a perception of ourselves in a bigger picture, where all things are moving together and our actions contribute to and evolve from that net, we come to realize something greater than our small ego mind is really weaving the story and is truly playing the roll of DJ on the great dance floor of life. Letting ourselves arrive to the dance party without concern of what the DJ will play, rather, aware of our own passionate desire to dance, or sit on the side and watch the glorious movement of life around us, is the gift we are given when we step out of the stream time management and into the present perfectly timed moment. When we permit ourselves to be swept away in the current of the perceived concept that it, whatever it is, needs to happen right now, we steal from ourselves the grace we can bring to the steps of our own dance led by a partner we may not see, but have the opportunity to trust. In trusting an energy greater than ourselves, we lift the pressure of perfect timing, the pressure of how and who, the pressure of control, and we open to the delight of being in the flow of the magical presence of the conscious universe, which when we allow ourselves, we see is always conspiring for our greater good. Stepping out of the seat of control we come to find ourselves responding with ease to the songs this great DJ chooses to play for us, be them sad country songs, heavy metal ballads, or that happy song you call your jam. Over time, we find ourself waking up with songs in our head like "time is on my side" and "sittin on the dock of the bay, wastin time" without a worry or a care for missing a step or a cue.
Today I acknowledge there is no race, nor place I need to be. I sing "time is on my side" as I look around and perceive all of the choreographed steps of perfect timing being executed by the brilliant magic of nature in the fullness of the season on the precipice of the harvest moon.
We can all enjoy more of each moment by breathing deeply, acknowledging the movement that is always present and does not stop, and the gift of our present awareness in this magic moment, time after time.
With love in joy, slow dancing,
Last week the grandfather to yoga in the western world, B.K.S. Iyengar transitioned from embodiment to whatever comes next. Had it not been for the many health ailments he suffered as a young person, which resulted in his pursuit of a life-long dedicated practice of yoga, the world of yoga as we in the western hemisphere now know it, would likely be as much a mystery to us as Unicorns. Looking through his quintessential book Light on Yoga, it is clear to see that Mr. Iyengar was a masterful practitioner, however, before he was an adept in the physical asana, he was already a great yogi for not giving in to giving up on the possibility of a long life of radiant health. In his seeing an invitation given to him by health ailments so severe it would be easy to label them only misfortune, not only did he realize the possibility of a long and flexible life, his optimistic choice by proxy has enabled me, as well as millions, if not billions of others to live radiant healthy meaningful lives too.
The opposite of his choice, seeing the detours of our lives, the ailments, and the challenges as misfortunes and direct assaults to our personal happiness, is not taking the invitation to expand and grow in the face of the hardship. When a wider perspective is taken, one of optimism and confidence in ones capacity to traverse the sidesteps of the extreme ranges of being human while maintaining inner peace, we come to know not only our innate strength and grit, but also the value of being open to enjoying life however it appears in front of us. This openness is the spacious place where steady inner peace can always be maintained. Successfully dancing the complicated steps of this waltz while sometimes tripping over our own feet and maintaining inner peace, first and foremost, requires the desire to do so. Starting with clear focused intentions, and a heart full of passion enables our capacity to pursue wellbeing and resonant harmony within and without no matter the shape of the adversity we are experiencing. When we only perceive love, joy, and health as being available to us in one way then we limit ourselves to the myriad of other ways contentment and harmony can walk through our doors, for in the only one-way perspective, there is only one door. It’s like playing that game as children where you put the correct shaped pegs into the holes of their corresponding shape. Some holes will never correspond with some pegs no matter how much we batter them with our little plastic hammers. Allowing the circumstances of our lives the opportunity to manifest into their most full form of serenity and joyfulness without forcing the world around us to be as we think it should be, is living with an unconditioned heart, practicing really good yoga, and leaving room to shine some light onto Unicorns.
If you have not thumbed through the pictures of Light On Yoga, I recommend it. I offer that there is no need to feel like you are less of a person if the asana demonstrated in the book appears to never seem attainable to you, truth is, one never knows what the future has in store, and as far as I understand being able to put your feet behind your head does not necessarily make you a better person. For myself, looking at his photos and remembering that his journey to that amazing expression of his being was a long and patient walk, reminds me that no matter the foundation we may start with, through passionate focused intention and dedicated practice, many, if not all obstacles can be surmounted.
In the wake of Mr. Iyengars departure I find myself in deep gratitude for the so-called misfortunes of the human experience. Reflecting on my own personal journey as well, I know, that were it not for my hardships, my illnesses, my personal dance through discontent to content, the contentment I experience in the spaciousness of this knowing perspective would not exist. Something would be there, but it would be less evolved in empathetic understanding, less capable of compassion, and less knowing of my resilience.
Truly, it's just more fun to think it may be a Unicorn not a monster that shows up in that deep blue of the mysterious unknown.
In Love, Joy, and a never ending search for Unicorns, Genevieve