Monday, November 8, 2010
This Is Where I Stand
You know that pose firefly or titibasana? Can't do it. Splits or Hanumanasana? Nope. Not me. And you know what's even more real for me? It's not embracing the challenge of whether or not I can do the splits, 'cuz who really cares, right?
The hardest things I'm faced with is having someone I dearly love battle pain and fatigue every day because of an autoimmune disease she's got. What's real is the fact that I've put my career on the line for a business that I hope will go well but is still concrete and I-beams, while I sit back and hope that people still read this stuff that I send out each week. At this place in my life, I come to the mat and practice working through my own insecurities on a daily basis. Truthfully, I flirt between confidence and insecurity. I hope. I hope, I hope, I hope that one day my love will find her strength again and end this long night of illness (8 years). No pity. I don't need understanding. This is simply the most honest picture of where I am. This is where I stand.
I don't care if you can touch your toes, or if you have perfected a backbend or can hold a handstand. I don't care if you've practiced every day for a decade or haven't looked at your mat in a year. I don't care. I'm more interested in whether or not you are willing to come to your yoga mat today and meet yourself exactly where you are physically, emotionally, and mentally, to practice engaging life from that radical frontier. It's not about who has won or achieved some shallow level of success. For me, it's more about being willing to stand where you are, where life has put you, and with dignity and integrity, look the world straight in the eyes saying, "This is where I stand." In this embrace with the world, there is no wallowing, only an honesty of being. For me there is nothing more powerful.
The word Asana means "your seat" or "where you stand." In Yoga practice, we place ourselves in postures, in asana, to practice standing assertively like the warrior, virabhadrasana, and firmly like the mountain, tadasana, or in submission like the child, balasana. More importantly, we place ourselves in these asanas to explore and expose the place we stand in life. Maybe you stand in a place of deep loss or insecurity. Maybe you stand in a place of strength and security. I've invented a pose called "weeping hovel" asana that speaks to where I get sometimes. I should likewise invent "Toyota Jump" asana for when things are awesome. It really doesn't matter as along as you are willing to engage. And once you do, once you speak to that place through your breath and your body, you open up to the real conversation of the practice which is really the practice of every-day living.
Join me this week. come to practice and take your seat. Stand on your mat and say, "This is where I stand."