I don’t know about you, but I’ve been sensing this very heightened, somewhat bizarre energy sweeping through the universe of late. By this I mean I’ve noticed that an unusually high number of people in my circle (myself included) have been experiencing significant life changes lately including births, deaths… loss of people, jobs, things. Generally, not things that signal the end of the world. But very noteworthy things. Of course, certain periods of life will always be more charged with such energy than others and, to be sure, there is death and loss (and greater horror, even) occurring all across our planet all the time. But the past 2-3 weeks, I can’t resist the urge to shine a light here, take it in, and try to come up with some way to interpret it all. Shall we attribute it to the latest Mercury Retrograde? [For the record, I dislike blaming a tiny, red planet for moments where life may go awry, but right now…. who can tell?!]
As a result, I’ve been reflecting (and doing my fair share of freaking out and behaving irrationally!) But in large part, I’ve been reflecting on what it is that keeps me in yoga. What has kept me showing up on my mat and in the classroom for the past 12 years, anyway? I can think of few things I’ve stuck with for that long. I value the community and the consistent growth available and the connections I get to make between life and poetry and human behavior. In the end, it’s about resilience. “…the process of adapting well in the face of diversity…”. Being able to bounce back when life brings you those, “are you kidding me right now!!?!” moments. It’s about being able to move through and overcome challenge, perhaps much more skillfully than you once could. The progress I notice in myself when adversity arises is exactly what keeps me committed, and I want to learn how to be even better at it.
I came back to this timeless poem by Rumi and have been sharing it in my classes this week.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Just when life seems unmanageable, think: could your “guest” just be clearing the way for something new to be born? … perhaps even in a realm of life you’ve resisted doing some necessary “house cleaning”?
I’m curious. What keeps you on your mat? Or, if you don’t identify as a yogi, what is it that keeps you moving forward in this life? Leave me a comment and let me know.