Imagine you loved yourself So fiercely that you were dangerous To all the darkness clawing at you To believe you were not worthy? How different would your every moment be?
How would you feed yourself life? Would pleasure become a deep dive Into soul purpose rather than shameful indulgence To escape the reality of delusions We create with scarcity and fear?
How would you bathe yourself Acknowledging your skin coming in contact With your very of skin, Removing the debris that may have collected From days and years and lifetimes Of living on this Earth-plane?
What if every cell of you knew It was completely supported and Accepted in its very existence? How would you say yes and say no To the events that come your way As opportunities and lessons To fall more deeply in alignment with Your very own journey of now?
Would time be less threatening and more magical? Even if you were speeding along, Speed did not mean rush and Hurry did not mean worry, For you knew Love had your back.
I believe your gaze would be soft And your intuition sharp, You would think less and feel far more Than you ever imagined possible. Yes, you would have the courage to be vulnerable Because you knew it was meant for you.
I was practicing yoga on the deck today (one of many reasons I will never complain about being a grown-ass woman living with my parents: private home/yard surrounded by nature where the continuous sound of birds overrides the sound of traffic) and I had one of those common sense epiphanies. Always love those. And me being me, I got super meta about it. I was simply re-centering myself in Tadasana, the blueprint of all poses (aka standing in anatomical neutral). Just as I noticed tension in my low back I was guided by the words: “Just come back into alignment to avoid injury.” As I scooped my tail and relaxed my lower ribs, my back calmed.
Good advice, I’d say. Proper alignment it crucial to injury prevention. I’ve been practicing alignment-based yoga for years and have loved getting technical and geeking out about body mechanics and how they effect our non-physical layers. I also have a long history of chronic injuries, and I sense that a part of my fascination with alignment has to do with avoiding pain. The truth is that with my ultra sensitive nature I end up feeling pain after most of my practices. I have a tendency to look at this in two ways:
1. My injuries run deep enough that they will never heal.
2. I failed at alignment and that’s why I am in pain…I STILLLLLL need to work on boundaries. Typical.
Neither are very positive… At this particular moment I realized I have been approaching alignment as a form of protection, and have been ignoring the overall essence of what alignment is: It is what allows for all things to manifest. It is the foundation for us to reach out and create the pose of our choice with integrity and wisdom. It is what keeps us balanced and centered so that we can reach and stretch and explore sensations that keep us engaged and curious about living. It is the framework for feeling, rather than just doing and thinking. Form means nothing, can provide no nourishment when the alignment is not there. You can take any position you want, and it will not transform you unless you are holding yourself in such a way that allows energy to flow smoothly. Lack of integrity is what makes us scattered, compressed or unreceptive.
I will say that I have excellent form and integrity. Yet, I often “reach”because I should, and not as an authentic result of energy flow. It is interesting that my injuries keep nagging, while I keep nagging myself, to uphold structure and safety, and let possibility and potential stay on the back burner. I bet you will be surprised (not…ha!) to hear that I have lived my entire life playing it safe, and now I want to explore what alignment can do for my spirit, or rather how my spirit will guide me when I am in alignment, and can access the sweet space of expansion and freedom. (How exciting and scary!!!) We cannot make such things happen by fighting. I must not punish myself for having imbalanced flesh. It is only trying to communicate what I do not yet know how to care for.
We cannot assume that time is what determines the outcome. Time means nothing when our actions and intentions do not support our desires. Time is what happens in our minds while we learn how to live in harmony, and thus for dreams to enter reality. When things don’t manifest we often assume or worry that they never will, and that they are not meant to be (the job, the vacation, the love, the healing etc). This may not be so, for things will only manifest when they are meant to, which is when your intentions and your actions are aligned with what you seek. Things can happen, shift, transform, manifest immediately if we are ready. We can can learn in an instant if we are open to it, and if we can handle the shift it will create in us.
This is not to say that I expect to accelerate through all my lessons, and quickly reclaim my status as back-bending queen. Not at all. I don’t even know if that would serve me. (As long as I can do Mermaid Pose and embody my Disney childhood I’m happy.) However, I do claim a new intention and a renewed relationship with alignment on and off the mat. That is to play in the realm of what is possible and what I am wanting, rather than containing myself for the sake of wishfully imagined safety.
I’m pretty fed up with the masculine mass consciousness that tells us that in order to evolve we need challenge, pain, discomfort, and suffering. Sure, all those experiences can be perfect learning tools, helping us discover boundaries, survive life’s bumps, and climb out of pits of doom. Let me just say that i’m writing this cuz I’m terrible at practicing this. Ok not terrible, but I’m definitely a slow learner here, and still feel pulled toward anything that would make me feel like a conventional badass rather than self-assured outcast.
Sure, in struggling the intention is to become aware of your disillusionment, and wiser as a result. But, the design of the soul is not to be stuck in suffering. You aren’t destined for darkness or heaviness. We must not think that ease is empty of wisdom, that there is no growth in a period of peace. Your energies want to play and explore and expand, and they can do so when they feel free. Freedom is the result of peace and ease. In choice-making, path-carving, and soul-searching, the way that creates the most peace and ease is always for your highest good. It is a way of powerful transformation and expansion.
I’m not talking about that fluffy high ya’ll get post spa-treatment during which you spend your entire time on pintrist fantasizing about your best life, or the care-free “YOLO” lifestyle, or the lazy “I’m just going to ignore all my responsibilities and not care” sort of ease….that shit doesn’t last, and it often is our way of feeding our preexisting imbalances. It doesn’t even penetrate us. It lives on the surface. I’m talking about the deep sense of ease you get when your soul can truly rest confidently in it’s ability to take care of yourself. The type of peace that allows your cells to breath your entire body in alignment with your higher self. Sometimes the path is still really fricking hard, but you know you are creating a life that is authentic to you. And that is what makes all other struggle bearable. This is not just a matter of softness, but of immense strength.
Imagine how much free creative energy you would have if you were not in conflict. Most of us probably can’t even imagine that because we are so far removed from such way. Imagine how empowered you would feel if you weren’t stressing the fuck out all the time. You could use your creative energy for so many live-giving things that you can’t even imagine yet. Imagine you are in a bubble, and the hand of stress comes along and crushes that bubble right up against your body, so close that anything that moves could pop it. Now imagine your bubble extends beyond the walls of the room you’re in. Your awareness can extend beyond what is right in front of you and you forget about the 1/6,348,428 chance that a bear is going to attack you at any moment. (How could you ever grow when you are constantly worrying about the bear?!) WOW! Now, from this perspective, what do you want to do with you life? I imagine it isn’t quite the same as the crumpled up bubble prison.
But, alas, we are taught that growth is only made when we do what is hard, or something we don’t actually want, because we need to learn “discipline,” “respect,” “duty,” “selfless service,” and that basically we don’t actually deserve all that we have ever wanted and more. This is bullshit. It all creates noise and disease that cuts you off from your life force and purpose, which is to be a soul and expand. You deserve it all, and you can take full ownership of the internal peace you maintain in your life. The overall concept can be that simple, but of course it is hard to practice this when we’re trained to do the opposite. We have so much information trying to confuse us and convince us we don’t know what’s best for us.
We are in such a strange time….our lives are overflowing with imposed responsibilities and our intellects are bombarded with information that we can’t even process our days, or even say hello to our tender hearts, our true guides. I will propose that creating ease in our lives is more simple than we assume. We already know what would make us feel more human again. We already sense what we want, even if our intellect tries to stomp it out. Fundamentally ease is simple, even if it isn’t easy. Our lives aren’t simple, and maybe that is just a matter of our thought patterns. How have we strayed? How do we return? When we listen, the message is clear, and when we have clarity, we understand that our desires are simple. When we allow our hearts to guide us, the internal world no longer has to fight with the external world.
My practices that quiet the conversation with stress include:
being in nature
gazing into the distance
giving myself permission to feel what I feel
Please share ways in which you already do or wish to create ease and peace in your life, be it a simple daily task, or a larger undertaking. Thanks for reading 🙂