Steady Gaze

don't blink

You’re trying to balance on one leg, but you’re wobbling, and falling out, and sweat is dripping in your eyes and you can’t stop thinking about whether or not you put the laundry in the dryer, and why didn’t he call, and what am I going to eat for dinner tonight, and then you fix your gaze upon that speck on the floor and suddenly your brain is silent and you breathe and you balance and you stay.

You’re tired in Warrior II, and your thighs are burning, in fact they’re on fire, and for God’s sake, can someone please call the fire department because when is this yoga bitch going to let me out of this cockamamie pose; who likes yoga anyways?  And your eyes frantically search the room for the rescue department until they find your middle finger reaching for the front of the room and the yoga bitch tells you to steady your gaze, and you do, because the fire extinguisher is nowhere to be seen.  And like magic, your breath becomes smooth and the flames subside and you remember: sometimes the Universe is resting on that perfect white crescent-moon that is the tip of your fingernail.

You’ve been practicing pike-ups for weeks, but today you are full of fear.  You ate ice cream before practice and so you feel full, and there’s no way to find Mula Bhanda underneath a layer of sugar, and cream and chocolate.  Doubt is chirping his hissy little voice in your ear, convincing you your attempts are futile, fatty, but you tell him to fuck-off because deep down you know better.  You spread your hands in your Downdog until your tendons show.  You grip your fingertips and look at that empty space in-between your thumbs and you visualize your feet there, and suddenly your hips are over your shoulders and your feet are there; rooted and grounded.

Inhale, lengthen.  Exhale, bow.

Sometimes your drishti is a projection; an intention.  A visualization of all of the places you’d like to go.  Sometimes, it’s an anchor; in fact, the only thing mooring you into stillness, like a hood over the eyes of a falcon.  Sometimes your drishti is an invocation; a prayer.   A humble request for all of the softness and truth you’d like to embody.

It takes nearly nothing to distract me.  A phone call, a status update, a glass of wine, a road-trip; basically anything that might include the slightest whisper of adventure and I am on my way.  It’s not easy for a person constantly filled with wanderlust to remain in one place.  But finding that focal point, that one-centered focus which allows me to sink, and stay and breathe….now, that is a new concept.

Somedays you might focus your drishti on a finger, or a navel, or a breath.  Other times it is a goal, a desire, a place to be.  But the real challenge is when you can take that focus, look forward towards that entire mysterious unknown and yet, be still and breathe exactly where you are.  And when you get lucky, when that focus shoots an arrow that connects right to your heart, then you know your aim is true.  It means you are on the right track; distractions don’t rattle you and you stay, and you wait and you breathe.  Because you can.  Because you are meant to.

Lately, I’ve been riddled full of fear, and doubt and distraction.  And that perfect half-moon which is the tip of my fingernail reminds me to stay and sink and trust.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes.  Sometimes, that is enough.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Lynn
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 11:30:32

    Love these words, beautiful! Thank you! xo


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