Much of our suffering comes from wanting our lives or our world to be different than they are and, as a result, we can be in a constant state of resistance and discontent. We feel our hearts and mind close to certain people or situations. We rage at the injustices of the world. Our receptivity shuts down and, without realizing it, we close off our connection to creativity and divine inspiration.
When we can soften and open to what is happening right here, right now, (because, after all, it is already happening) we are available to receive the divine, creative intelligence that wants to emerge through us in the form of a wise response to the situation. We have the ability to see the next, highest course of action when we are in a space of open awareness rather than in resistance. This is not easy. I find that I can shut down and become resistant many times a day.
Our practice becomes one of constantly softening; of noticing that we are closed and resisting, of having compassion for ourselves and this human experience. We come back to the breath, soften our gaze, look for the divine in every situation and every person we meet. We learn to respond consciously rather than reacting blindly.
This poem by Rumi says it perfectly:
" Be crumbled.
So wildflowers will come up where you are.
You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.
One of my favorite quotes is by Mary Oliver, who poses, in her poem 'The Summer Day,' the question:
"Tell me, what is is you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?"
I love it. It inspires me, makes me reach...and adds a touch of pressure to 'get it right' !
There are moments in my life where I have felt so connected and expansive and full that everything I ever dreamt of doing feels possible and within my reach. There are also those daunting moments where I have felt so contracted and small that stepping out of the front door seemed beyond me.
I have noticed lately that those moments of feeling scared and small are taking more of a back seat in my life. When fear comes knocking on the door of my psyche, I am more likely to recognise it as the old familiar friend that it is and sit with it for a while, even when it feels really uncomfortable. When I can hold space for myself with tenderness through a fearful moment, I am less likely to be swept away in a tidal wave of emotion that affects not only me, but everyone around me. As a result, there is a lot less drama in my life. I have more energy to focus on what I do want, rather than what I fear might happen.
My yoga practice has helped me to recognize when I lose my center, when I am moving away from love and into fear. I know from experience that when I am centered, open and present, I am living from my heart, from a place of love. I know that I can access creativity and higher wisdom when I am open and present in this moment; not stuck in my head, fretting about what might happen tomorrow or what happened earlier this morning.
So, what will I do with this one wild and precious life?
I am aspiring to live it fully; one precious moment at a time.