Sometimes I get a little lost in the journey. Do you ever feel that way?
We get caught up in the movement that we exhaustedly sit down at the end of the day and we simply... with a sigh... wonder what happen. We made plans. We set the calendars. We made lists. We did every conceivable organizational thing we have been taught or promoted to do but yet we think about all that we did not accomplish. We think back on the day and become aware of a lost fifteen minutes driving.... or ten minutes standing in line... or the phone call or project that took a lot longer than we had planned for.
So, what do we normally do? We begin to think that we need to just either be more disciplined or we need to plan better or we need to just be more focused... or perhaps... maybe, we need to give ourselves space.
In the past four months, I have been working on my balance and flexibility. It has been a difficult two years and the tension of the inner struggle for health has taken its toll on me. However, I know that what I am doing in the present is beyond my wildest imagination. I look back at photos that were taken prior to my diagnosis of cancer and I am reminded that I was not as healthy as I thought that I was at that time. My body was betraying my own sense of health. I was running and preparing to participate for a half marathon but the whole time my body was silently dying inside. The thing that I thought was normal was actually anything but normal. I have very little recollection of the first month after my first surgery but I do remember at times driving around the streets of Denver feeling exhausted and confused. I, now, realize it was the lack of glucose and other vitally important nutrients. In that first month I had not eaten or drank anything of measurable value.
Four more surgical procedures later, I was walking out St Luke's Hospital for the last time. Well, more like shuffling out of the hospital for the last time. A year after that last surgery, I am sitting here planning on going on an exploratory / immersion trip to Nicaragua. I will have my personal trainer certification from the NCSF at the end of the month. We will be in the second semester of a graduate school program in Counseling/Psychology at Regis University. We will be Level One certified in the practice of Reiki. We will start the completion of a book that will hopefully encourage and inspire others.
Inwardly, I smile that it took me almost a half a century to realize that the act of balance comes not from juggling a lot of projects or tasks. I am now aware that being stable is not the same as being sedentary. But the journey of health and healing came from within before it was seen from the outside.
I remember my yoga instructor, Julieta Claire, inviting me to come back to the practice of yoga. I knew that I was going to be very limited due to the devices that I had to carry and was attached to at the time. To me the invitation meant more than the actual participation. Since that time, I have had not been able to practice with Julieta but I have carried on the practice in my home. I am aware that for me the invitation was an external gift of belonging. The internal gift of belonging is found in being mindful of my own longing to "be". To be authentic. To be faithful to my own practice. To be content not in things but content within my own sense of self. To not be judgmental. To not be critical of self.
The Buddha says that we should only speak when these four criteria are being met:
§ Is it True
§ Is it Timely
§ Is it helpful
§ Is it kind
Christ said that we are to love others as we love ourselves. But how many times do we forget the second part, "as we love ourselves" The act of metta.
A good friend Rachael Medd said, "To help cultivate a state of balance and stability; among the suffering and noise, [we need to know] what it is to be ‘alive’ and to be able to make sense of this, accept this and use this to not only realize, but explore… who we truly are."
When I read those words, I was reminded of what John O’Donohue wrote. He writes, “The beauty of being human is the capacity and desire for intimacy” It is not an intimacy that is met by the presence of another but by the presence of ourselves. We become so deeply aware of who we are that we reflect it in what we do. It is on the “mat” that we are drawn deeper into gently embrace the spiritual tension that we feel. We want to embrace the tension not in the sense that we approve of it but that we acknowledge it. We are present with our own situation that we learn from the emotions that those tensions create. We become mindful that the presence of tension promotes within us the inflexibility of being able to give ourselves the space and the grace to just be whom we truly are. O’Donohue leads us in seeing that the intimate awareness of who we are is the greater angel that comes along to interact with the emotions that insecurity and doubt may create. And this interaction is not an internal session of struggle but acceptance. Because with acceptance comes understanding. This understanding leads us to know more deeply and safely where we need to redeem the lesser part of who we struggle to be. Because without this redemption we lose our balance and stability.
Breaking script… Namaste