Thursday, April 11, 2013

Learning to Stay.

"Dis-ease enters the body when the space of now is unoccupied. The space of now is ease." -Guru Singh

This is hard this is hard this is hard this is hard this is hard this is hard. THIS. IS. HARD.

We've been in Virabhadrasana II for what feels like 108 long, sacred breaths. Prior to now, I've spent a lot of time shrinking away from committing when it really counts. A psychic named Miss Tina called me out on this years ago. She peered in to my palm and delivered all kinds of intimate details that made my blood boil with their truth. I've been thinking about her a lot lately. If Miss Tina could see me now! My thigh is parallel to the ground, making a perfect 90 degree angle with my knee. I want the deepest, fullest, realest experience of this pose that I can have today. I want the deepest, fullest, realest experience of this crazy beautiful life. So I keep that perfect bend in my knee even though my leg is shaking and burning, beads of sweat are rolling down my temples and my ego's squawking about how this will surely kill us this time. Deep inhale, slow exhale, smile, be easy about it. Committed. Devoted. Grateful. Loving. In It.

One of the great gifts of yoga are these moments when we get to observe and refine how we receive all the flavors of our experience. What happens when shit gets real...real hard, real painful, real intense, real scary? Do you lean in to it or do you cut and run? Do you feel the fear and do it anyway? This is the way we grow. When we are met with resistance in whatever form it takes, we learn to stay with it, listen to it and come to understand what it has to teach. And make no mistake; you will learn the lesson now with this challenge or you will learn it later when it resurfaces looking different but feeling oh-so-familiar. How many times do you want to cycle through the same pattern? Our bodies are rentals. The only thing that truly belongs to us is our time. How do you want to use it?

Learning to stay is not just reserved for moments that are difficult, though. We slip out of the now in moments happy and mundane, as well. There are countless distractions in every moment which require we leave realtime in exchange for the illusion of pastmemorytime or futurepretendtime. You're always going to run in to trouble if you attempt to relate to realtime from either of these unreal places.

Viewing realtime from pastmemorytime, you inject all your old stories and habits in to the present, limiting what you can do because pastmemorytime you is not who you are in realtime. Realtime you has learned things and grown! Realtime you is capable of more than you were before! Give yourself some space to create something new by expanding and refreshing how you see yourself and what can be.

Viewing realtime from futurepretendtime, you attempt to inject the sand castles you've built in your mind in to the present, but they can't exist outside futurepretendtime. When they crumble and wash away with the tide, it creates frustration and suffering. We cannot force fantasizes into being. What we will envision will either come to exist in realtime or it won't. Can we learn to meet our reality with joy?

Our Big Work is to learn to stay in realtime as much as possible, regardless of the conditions. We practice this in yoga, matching breath to movement, showing up with our full attention even though it's sometimes way more fun to fantasize about pancakes and kissing, or easy to slip in to anxiety and fear. We show up with courage in our hands, over and over, giving it the best we've got...on and off the mat.

This is your life. This is your time. Devote it. Commit to it. Make it a work of art worth admiring. Be here now, babes. This Is It, so Get Into It.

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