Fall back into your Self

Yesterday my practice was crunched between writing and dog walks and getting off to work, quick sun salutations to warm and move me. The familiarity helps me connect to contentment and stay open for the surprises of my body and my day.

I’d just finished writing on Gather about the pain body Eckhart Tolle talks about, so this way of relating to pain and perceived burdens was much on my mind. As I entered the rhythm of practice and my mind began to clear of such entanglement, I rose from the forward bend at the end of a cycle, arms circling wide, dropping my tailbone to raise my heart. The heaviness of these thoughts lifted and I sensed them as a cloud gathering from my root, up my core and coalescing in front of my third eye. As my hands rose and I lengthened my side bodies in Urdva Hastasana I felt lightness and clarity. And as I brought my hands together in front of my third eye to trace down my midline to touch my heart, it was as if my hands had come together to form a knife’s edge which dissipated the cloud.

Try it for yourself, intentionally imagining what weighs on you as a cloud in front. Standing, circle your arms up and out, coming together and slicing through the pea-thick murkiness. See how you feel.

In some cultures the Self is believed to live in the back of the body, around the spine. I was told this when I first had the bodily sensation of falling back into myself years ago. As if I’d been living out in front, disconnected, and becoming present felt like finally coinciding with myself. Fall back into yourself today. Take a quiet moment, ask what will bring you back. Even if you’re not sure what the “right” answer is, try your first idea and see how it feels, if it gives you another idea, or if you just want to stay with the feeling you’ve now found. Fall back into your Self today, again, and again.

Uncle.

You’ve got to be frigging kidding me.

 Two women, two different calls. Both, both apoligized to me. For taking my time, for being a bother, for needing something. Really? This is the way our world works? This is the way my world works? You’ve got to be kidding me.

You’ve got to be kidding. One was raped in front of a group of other people. One was coming off a bender, in her own apartment, not admirable, not proud, but in need and not having harmed another being.

Both of these women wept, averted their gazes, showed angst, shame, and at the end…

Apologized for needing help, thanked me profusely, surprisedly, for being nice to them.

Really? This is how our world works? People who are at their lowest, most hurt and wounded, people who have hurt no one are surprised by humanity. And the rapist, the derider and the just plain skater, they act as if my attention, your kindness and our resources are their due.

Really? Is this what we’ve meant to do? Is it? Really?

Not me.

Perhaps there's a limit.

My husband boxed in his younger days; he tells me there’s a myth that each boxer has a limited number of matches in him, and then it’s done. Even the boxer himself doesn’t know when it’ll be up, until it is. Then he knows, and it is.

Perhaps paramedics have a set number of rapes or murders or child batterings they can run. Each one is tough, each one shouldn’t happen. But you pick yourself up, you run your next call. Or a hundred.

But one day, you run the one. The last. And then you know.

 Maybe. Maybe I’ve found mine.