Connecting with Disconnect

trust

I feel disconnected from yoga right now.  One week in New York City, full of social obligations—aka: drinking and eating and then back in Montreal for three days before a sudden and unexpected house guest arrived, which meant more eating and drinking and there just hasn’t been a lot of time for yoga these days.

And it makes me wonder about this thing called balance.  Is balance supposed to be something one strives for on a daily basis?  Yearly basis?  Life-ly basis?  Do things find equilibrium over time, with periods of want and periods of plenty finding homeostasis at some point or another?

I still step onto my mat each day, for I am learning a new sequence right now that I need to practice, but there is a lack of curiosity.  A lack of joy.  I connect to my body and to my breath and inevitably I feel better afterwards, but what is it that’s missing?  Inherently, it makes me question my abilities as a teacher, because if I can’t connect to the practice, how can I possibly teach others to do the same?

But then the other day, something happened.  A date that I had been planning for, preparing for; a date that is not romantic in nature, but is nevertheless as dreamy as Ryan Gosling knocking on my door, winning the lottery, and creating world peace all condensed into one long end of a brittle wishbone was postponed, indefinitely.  And this date is related to a very big goal that I have been working towards for a long time now (more on that later) so naturally, I was crestfallen.

And instantly I realized that practicing yoga is not about how many times per week or day you perform asana.  It is not about what juice cleanse you’re on or whether or not you drank a bottle of wine last night; it’s not about what bendy shapes you can transform your body into, or how many hours you sit in meditation.  Practice is about plugging into your life in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

We practice asana because as we physically manipulate our bodies towards specific shapes, we start to see what obstacles we must face before we get there.  The process, which can take weeks, months or even years teaches us patience and diligence.  It teaches us to be humble and to learn when to back off, or otherwise face torn muscles and injury.

A teacher of mine said once, “Everything you do on your mat is a metaphor for your life.”

But what I failed to remember, is that the converse is also true.  Life can teach me about asana.  That when I find the ability to take every “shape” life throws at me and move into it to the best of my ability, this is practicing yoga.

And so as I wrestle with feelings of disappointment and notions of anticipation and expectation, I am grateful.  For the opportunity to connect to practice in a way that makes so much more sense to me right now than 100 chaturangas.

Once again, I am humbled by the journey and I am grateful,
because I am still learning.

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Love Stinks

Love has been on my mind lately.  And I just don’t know what to do about it.  But before you get your knickers all dewy with excitement, it is not impending love or love’s first thrill that I speak of, or even the slightest flirtation of love’s rosy blush; the rat-a-tat-tat quiver of love’s knees knocking…..No, it is the lack of love that has got me thinking.  It is the lack of love that leaves me lacking.

It leaves me breathless on almost a daily basis.  This gaping, aching emptiness.  It is sadly what has me swooning at ridiculous Rom-Coms and, dare I say this out loud, the Twilight movies.  This lack of love.  This missing person report that my heart files with the authorities de l’amour.  So where is he???  Because it gets tiresome to continually swallow the lump of lonely.

Now, everybody says love happens when you least expect it.  Love happens when you aren’t looking for it.  Well, I think that’s a big, heart-shaped turd of horseshit.

For sure, I get the sentiments behind the statement.  That you can’t expect love to fill the void.  Two halves do not make a whole; that when you are full and focused on living your full life, that’s when love happens.  But the whole “not looking” bit seems a bit defeatist to me.

My brain is contorted into a conundrum.  Aren’t we supposed to be thinking positively about the things we want?  To send our desires out into the Universe so they might manifest into reality in our lives?  It’s like a duel between those inspirational squares that plaster my Timeline each day:  So on the one hand, I’m supposed to turn the other cheek and pretend not to want what I want, but on the other hand, I’m supposed to telepathically leak out secret love letters to Cupid, so that he might drive an arrow through my chest and then tickle my heart-strings like an lovelorn autoharp lying on his lap—and the winner of the duel, pray tell, gets the hand of the princess?  Fack, Disney is going to have a hey-day with that one!

But here’s the clincher.  I’m not sure I believe in love anymore.  And I’m starting to wonder if that might be the problem.  I mean, I think it’s miraculous that people even end up together in the first place.  Let’s face it:  love is elusive.  There is always an issue of the right timing, wrong person; the right person, but the wrong timing or city.  Or worse, the right person: the one who looks so good “on paper” and yet you can’t quite summon that undeniable, impossible-to-fake spark of chemical attraction.  And of course there are the ones with whom fireworks explode like steam-whistles out your ears, but no firework show that I’ve ever seen has lasted longer than twenty-five minutes!

Certainly, in my experience, love never lasts.  I can’t see myself getting married, because I can’t possibly imagine saying “till death do us part.”  People change.  Things change.  And I wonder if my vows might look something like this, “Till I can’t stand the sound of your snores for one second more and if you leave the toilet seat up again, I might just stick my head in the bowl and breathe.”           Not sure who wants to catch that bouquet.

So how do you eradicate the cynicism and find a way to believe again?

I have no answers.  But the one thing I take comfort in, the one thing that fills my almost VERY full life, is that, for the first time, in maybe EVER, I finally have found a way to love ME.

And that, for now, will have to be enough.

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