Opportunities to practice
I’m on the last stretch of my return journey home from teaching in Canada. It has taken me three days to arrive. The delays encountered on this trip have taught me a lot about the way uncertainty and total lack of control make you feel. Not knowing puts you in a state of vulnerability. Being at the mercy of someone else’s decisions requires having to surrender and trust. In my personal experience, being in situations where I just have to sit back and trust another brings up a lot of anxiety, frustration, fear and therefore often unskillful interactions.
I had a small revelation this time around. I found myself stranded for the second day on the second leg of my trip, but this time with no arranged accommodation. The airline just announced that all flights would be canceled for the rest of the day and into tomorrow, that we should call the airline directly to rebook our flight. No other help offered. After two days of traveling and not being able to make it to destination you can only imagine the internal turmoil. In the midst of that turmoil, endless calls, and needing to make a decision on what to do, I found an opening within myself, a little space between one anxious thought and the other, where there was a sense of stability. A space where this time, labeled as wasted by my ego, was a a time where
I could choose to be miserable and continue to spin around on the anger and frustration, on the longing to be home, or I could take this moment as an opportunity to choose what I’d like to do.
We can’t pause time, or be on hold until the perfect condition for us to be ok presents itself. Life is made up of many moments, our job is to be able to adapt to what is and make it as livable as possible. Just like we train to do that on the mat by learning to breath with steadiness and ease no matter the level of challenge presented by any given posture. I felt my ego wanting to continue to assert its anger and frustration to someone, to let someone or everyone know how upsetting this condition was, but beneath that existed the knowing that no one has the power to make things ok other then yourself. There is no one there looking out for us to be in a good condition at all times, all we can do at any given moment is make decisions that will allow us to be ok with what is. So I sat in silence and observed the anxiety, the anger, the frustration, until I could find enough space to feel below that...how can I make this moment in life ok? What action can I take to come into a state of presence and recognize that all I need is within, no matter where I am home is here. Mishaps, Tragedies, uncomfortable situations are unfortunately part of the human experience. We are bound to be affected by them, and I am by no means suggesting to not feel, or to ignore, or to bypass something that brings you suffering, but I am reminding us all that we can choose to be here now, and by doing that we can be more efficient in stepping out of our suffering and act in the moment to help ourselves or others. To see that suffering is amplified by our minds focusing on it.
I am aware that I bring this up in at a very delicate time. this past week we have had so many tragedies happen in the country, and who knows how many tragedies go untold on a daily basis. I find important however to learn to see the things that unsettle us in our lives and learn to deal with them gracefully, so we can be present for others, so we can provide support for our society, grow healthy supported children, be engaged in the world from a place of inner peace. That’s when the work we do can really make a difference. I strongly believe that if each of us worked on themselves and understood the importance of being at peace within, this world would be very different. I know we are not all so lucky to have the time, or living conditions to do that, but if you do it’s important that you realize how fortunate you are to be able to do this kind of self work! Take it seriously and take it into your interactions, into the world. You can change someone’s day by acknowledging them, by realizing that if we make an effort to connect with other humans, we all will be happier. Let’s all Practice to achieve this.
FOLIAGE FALL RETREAT in the Hudson Valley - October 11-14.
Yoga & Ayurveda with Bibi Lorenzetti, Maria Rubinate & Carlota Portella.
PUERTO RICO WINTER RETREAT in Rincón January 25 - 30
@Tres Sirenas Inn. Yoga & Philosophy