What IS

I’m finally doing it–sitting back down at my computer to write a post. It has been months and I’ve spent the better part of those months thinking about how I should be writing on my blog. But I find that during the summer in Seattle my anxiety is directly proportionate to the amount of time I spend inside. It is so hard here from July to September to justify more than enough time inside to go to the bathroom.

But as I harp on myself for the lack of blogging, the ever-growing to do list and layer of dust on the appliances inside, I remember one of yoga’s major tenets. It states that much of human suffering stems from resistance. We actually suffer from resisting what is happening, what we think “should” be happening and what we want to be happening. The irony is that there is a natural flow to things that works inherently because it’s what IS.

My dear friend Kimmi tells a story of an activity she did in tracker school in Vermont. She floated a river without floatation device, without aid and attempting to do so without resistance. She found that when she tried to slow down or speed up; avoid an obstacle or tensed with fear, she knocked her knees and elbows against sticks and rocks; she scraped against branches and bumped along the bottom. But when she gave herself to the natural flow of the river and accepted what IS, she floated through unscathed. She may have taken a course through the river that was unplanned and unexpected, but she was perfectly taken care of.

And so we live this life like the river–often resisting the natural path of things. It is so easy to get caught up in apprehension about all of the obstacles in our way, living in fear of knocking against them. And maybe sometimes we do. The water may come to a head near a large rock, but inevitably it moves around it. Life has its flow; although sometimes delayed or redirected, we are always moving forward. And I’m starting to find that the less I resist it, the more life redirects me around those obstacles.

So now here I am, back inside as rain drips from the eaves outside my work, writing on this blog again. And it feels good. I’m not doing it because it’s what I “should” do. It’s what I want to do. In fact, it’s what I need to do. I have a reminder of this on my body, because I need to be reminded of it so frequently.

Image

This is my right food with the Sanskrit word Ahimsa. Most people recognize the concept from Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi’s non-violent protests. This is, of course, an appropriate use for the word, but for me it’s a reminder of non-resistance. I use the reminder every single day. When in Janu Sirsasana, if I can’t touch my nose to me knee, fortunately my right foot is close enough to remind me that I needn’t overstretch. When I have an employee who is moving on to another stage in life, rather than being frustrated at the inconvenience of hiring someone new, I can rejoice with them in their forward movement. When my body is sick, sore and tired, being stuck to a workout regimen isn’t what I need.

Today, let what is, be what is.

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