This week I was dialoguing with someone about the spiritual path and she commented that she has such a long way to go! She isn’t the first one that has said that to me. My reaction is to say “great”!
We all have a long way to go…..and thank goodness because that is the absolute brilliance of it all!
This is a journey with no end. The heading there is the practice. The movement forward sometimes in tremendous leaps and more often at a snail’s pace where you must be ever mindful to even see the movement. But it doesn’t matter! The joy is in the going.
The yoga asana practice is one of the best teachers of this which is why I love it so much. Let me give you the example that was a defining moment for me. Virasana, hero pose, involves sitting with your knees bent and together and feet spread behind you so your hips land in between them. This pose is a huge quad opener and for someone like me who ran for years the pose seems unattainable. They are large muscles, and it takes patience and consistency to coax them into loosening their death grip. So I chose to work on the pose daily, visualizing myself sitting flat on the mat without feeling like I had hot daggers in my thighs.
Each day toward the end of practice I sat. First with a block under my hips and over time with just a blanket. I would arrive in the pose, let out a large exhale, close my eyes and sit with the discomfort. Some days after 30 seconds I had to come out, but then others I could sense just the slightest inkling of a release. I watched. I watched my mind, my body, the way I would tend to hold my breath. I felt. Weeks passed, months passed, a year passed. Until one day I noticed that I was indeed sitting on the floor between my feet and could relax. Aaahhhhhh…….
So I was “there”. I arrived. Yay for me! But you know what? Instead of a fist pumping sense of conquering, I was a little sad. I could drop into hero and tell others that I could do it…… but I felt it no longer held learning. All of its lessons where in the going there. I had actually begun to look forward to the daily teachings of the discomfort. But then I had the aha moment that being in the pose was only the first baby step. I still had a long way to go to understand its intention. Thank goodness!
This is true of all of the poses, of the meditation path, of the chakras….of the Universe. They are all infinite and just when you think you arrived you get a glimpse of the three levels deeper. Endless.
In my evening classes we are all working headstand in the center of the room. I keep reminding everyone that it doesn’t matter if they still have their knees on their elbows or are kicking all the way up. There is no hurry. Let headstand show you what she offers in each moment. Being able to “do a headstand” is lovely but does not mean you have arrived. We all have a long way to go.
I LOVE this journey………………
And I love all of you,