Emerging from a dark place, back into life and into myself I realized (not for the first time) how important a daily practice is to my well-being.
To allow space for fear and sadness and grief to seep out of my bones and release into the earth, I must make time to practice.
To allow space for compassion and kindness and love to flourish and grow, I must unroll my mat and (sometimes) nudge myself onto it.
I must move and breathe and sweat and laugh and cry.
I must be present with whatever arises, resisting with compassion the urge to shutdown or flee.
I must give myself permission to surrender, to feel and to be present with myself.
For two weeks I have been practicing, consistently, every single day. With respect and love, I listen to my body and allow her to expand and contract, to slow down or speed up, I tune into her pain or her joy and I wrap my arms around all of it.
Around all of me.
I am aware that I have been treating myself with extra care lately, but as I practiced today, mat-to-mat, in a jam-packed class, guided by two teachers I adore, my realization was that somehow, remarkably, ahimsa had settled into my soul.
To do no harm. To practice non-violence in speech, thought or action, to oneself and to others. To practice self love.
The last one is my favorite.
As we moved, with the theme of ahimsa beautifully woven into each word that was spoken, I felt myself come alive with this revelation.
I’m not sure when it began to happen or if it was even a conscious decision.
It could have been when the moon was at its fullest.
Or, it could have been the first time I saw Moonrise Kingdom and suddenly saw all of my quirks as completely lovable and adorable, instead of something to be ashamed and hidden away.
It could even have been when Venus transitioned the Sun.
All of a sudden (but not really, for we are all evolving, every moment of every day, even when it feels like we are not moving at all), my rush and worry for all of the time that I felt was slipping through my fingers, while I wasn’t really doing anything, or being anything, or making any contribution to anything at all, melted away. The voice in my head admonishing me for being in this place of stuckness, shrieking What is wrong with you? Do something! at first grew raspy, then weak, until there was no voice at all. The pressure I felt to get things done, eased.
And I could see that instead of speeding up, I had to slow down. Instead of rushing ahead, I had to linger behind.
With love, kindness and compassion.