Friday, October 3, 2008

Grace in the Face of Change

Grace: Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action

Even yoga teachers lose steadiness in the face of change, especially change that is unwelcomed, when we have these ideas about how our life should be structured or how the cards should fall and attach ourselves to certain outcomes.

I have had one helluva ride these last two months as I initiated change in my life that I felt, and still feel, to be quite positive and then as I experienced change that was not welcomed, as a matter of fact, it was quite a blow and sunk my spirit and my heart.

I have turned to my practice of yoga to anchor me--when I thought I had no where to turn, I turned to the mat. I knelt, I surrendered, I cried and opened to the emotions I was feeling. I searched for meaning in my practice--guidance in the symbolic dance of the asanas, groundedness in my breath, peace in my mind and calm authenticity in my spirit.

All of that was wonderful and has certainly taken me deeper but there was another element to this experience. Attachment and it's hold over me and my experience.

In the face of the change, asked for or imposed upon me, my attachments to certain outcomes present a real barrier to healing, to accepting the change and moving forward with total awareness and acceptance of my situation.

We want what we want, right? We don't want what we don't want, even more correct? So here's the schtick, the challenge, the 'it' of living this life without allowing ourselves to sink into a tailspin...surrender.

Not surrender, give up but surrender, give in, allow, accept. You can feel the pain or the loss or the disappointment of the situation, you can allow for heartache and tears, you can even allow for doubts and fears--these are our emotions and deserve validation and release in much the same way the sanctity of our life deserves their relinquishment once we have allowed for their expression.

This life is beautiful--the darkness teaches us something of the light and the light teaches us something of the dark. Our practice can be what smooths the edges of each, facilitating transitions into and out of the realms of darkness and light.

We may come to our knees at certain points in our lives or our feet may barely touch the ground but we will live--the breath will still come, the heart will still beat, the mind still seek and the spirit still unfold--from the center.

For me, after weeks of giving myself to my practice and the universe, I surfaced all of sudden. Maybe it wasn't all of a sudden but it felt that way. I felt okay--more than okay, I felt healed, I felt centered, I felt reborn. Certain songs that I wasn't able to listen to before had no more power over me, certain places I wasn't able to go, no effect. Certain thoughts that I couldn't allow for were processed.

I smiled--not just physically, I smiled from my center, from the inside.

There is power in handing yourself over, power in giving in, power in surrender--we don't really have control over a damn' thing in this life EXCEPT the reactions we have to what comes our way, EXCEPT where we radiate the grace we have inside.

By and through grace, I'm still here.