Embracing what is.
My son just turned one month yesterday. It's been a month of deep learning. I decided I would celebrate this threshold by carving out some time for myself for the first time since birth as a means to rebirth or reconnect with 'the me' before motherhood. As I sit here staring at a wall waiting for inspiration to come, I find myself looking back at this month of life as I have never experienced it. Looking at pictures it seems like years have gone by as we went along learning to attend to this new human. Before this moment in time, I thought I had some kind of understanding of what 'embracing what is' could mean, but it is only now that I’ve given birth and am a mother that I have begun to get a glimpse into what embracing really means. We encounter this word - and other derivates of it like surrendering, bowing down, adapting, being flexible - a lot in the yoga practice and philosophy, but we rarely fully embody these qualities. We may conceptually understand them, or experience them in practice, but it's not until we are able to see ourselves in action with them that we fully embody the extent of its meaning. I'm sure a lot of you have experienced this in one way or another, but I figured I would share my experience of it as I feel this practice of embracing is much needed during this time of quarantine and unknown.
Embracing entails an expansion of the heart or the ability to selflessly give oneself, otherwise known as love and the ability to trust. It requires being able to drop your storyline in order to be fully available in the moment. It requires presence. It requires a commitment to being honest with what is. When we embrace what is we experience freedom, we are able to adapt to the given circumstance with resilience. There is an element of lightness when we are able to embrace what is. It's like sthira sukham asanam. Ease and steadiness in the experience of the now, like when we master an asana and can breathe with ease for an undefined length of time, despite the level of challenge. There is no friction, no doubt pulling us in many directions.
When you live in a state of 'embracing what is' time blends together and you find yourself floating in a timeless space where nothing you knew is and all you thought would be vanishes. You experience the now. All you have left is accepting being here and now with no plan just an open mind and an open heart. Gently listening and praying to be guided. This is yoga.
Learning to serve another human, learning about unconditional love, learning that days and nights have no boundaries, learning that sleep can take a whole other dimension, learning how to hold being myself/a mother/and a lover, learning about being still, learning to wait, learning to watch and feel my heart expand, learning about priorities, learning that blissful joy can coexist with deep sadness, learning about grief, learning about full union, learning to love a partner deeper and in a completely new way, learning a whole new way of being, this has been 'embracing what is' for me this month. I invite you to take a moment and see how you have gone about this month, or past few months and observe where you have embraced, adapted, surrendered, bowed down, given in. Where and when you may have experienced tightness and greeted it with surrender, with resilience. How have you embraced the changes that this time has forced upon us? And if you have not experienced this time as such, think back on a moment in your life where you were asked to 'embrace what is' and as you revisit it see if you can welcome that into your life now, and now, and again now.
There is profound delicacy and perfection in the unfolding of life. Learning to sit and observe it, watch it unfold, without interfering, as a gentle observer of what arises, and being nourished from its constant transformation. That is the journey.
Moments of love, moments of craze, moments of wonder, moments of awe, moments of madness, moments of joy, moments of sadness, moments of grief, moments of fear...embrace it all.
There was a time before this moment. It lead to this present, it laid the ground for us to be ready for this moment whatever it may be for you now. How will you embrace it? what will you learn from it?