IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

Finding My Center After the Storm

Saturday, September 07, 2013

I'm watching Turkey Buzzards circling over my backyard as I sit and work in my office on this peaceful Saturday morning.  Through the other window I see an intricate spider web attached to the eaves of the roof swaying in the gentle breeze.  My 3 children have spent the morning playing, disagreeing, making-up, and playing some more.  There is such peace and fullness in my heart/mind at this moment.  I'm reminded of the word purnam, or "perfection," which, in this context, does not mean what we might think.  I am full...I am whole...I am perfectly content in my spirit as I observe the fluctuations of the world around me.   


After the longest Winter of my life (which bled into the Spring and even early Summer), I am refreshed to find the ground beneath my feet again.  It felt like a metaphorical hurricane swept through my life and left me completely demolished internally.  

After a month of testing in January, my son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism.  While I had suspected this for the 5 years prior to his diagnosis, there was still a part of me wishing they would tell me I was wrong on that emotional day.  

The day before I drove to Chicago for this news, I learned that my father was diagnosed with another form of cancer (he had beat Prostate Cancer years before).  My relationship with my Dad has not been a close one, and so I was left with a mixture of feelings, including grief and fear.  

It was a hell-of-a week, and I took a few days to try to assimilate all of this news.  And then...that following Friday as I was waiting in the pick-up line at school I received a terrifying call from my mother.  She was having a stroke!  I spent the next week in and out of the hospital with her...trading shifts with my brother as we worried what would happen next.  Once released, she came to live with me for a few weeks so I could care for her, which included sorting out all of her new meds, helping her learn to give herself insulin shots 4 times a day (for her out of control diabetes), cooking heart-healthy meals, and more.  I was happy to do it, but I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

By the grace of God, her stroke did not leave her completely handicapped.  While it certainly affected her, with time & rehab she regained most of her speech, balance, and abilities.  It was life-changing for her (and for all of us who love her), and she made incredible lifestyle changes in an effort to avoid another stroke.


Now, months later, we're all doing pretty damn well!  My father & I have become closer than we've been in years, and his cancer is under control at the moment.  My mother lives independently with a helper now who comes twice a week, and she continues to be stronger everyday.  My son, well...of course there is no cure for Autism, but we've been able to get him a 504 at school, which means he is protected for the rest of his educational days.  I've finally been able to talk to him about his diagnosis, and together we are learning how to navigate this unique path God has blessed us with. 


Everyday there are new challenges to face, but this is the nature of human existence for all of us.  For everyone of us life is going to be full of heartache, scary moments, and metaphorical hurricanes that make us feel defeated.  But, the beauty is that there are also moments of deep joy, moments to celebrate, and remarkable miracles which build us up again.  All moments pass, change, ebb & flow.  

I'm eternally grateful for the skills my yoga practice has given me.  Because of these tools I am able to find my center...remember to breathe...and accept that I am not in control of the world around me, but I can control how I react to it.  With a very glad and grateful heart, I am thankful for this moment.  


Namaste

<3 IndigoGrrl

The one Sutra I've memorized...

Friday, March 08, 2013

is said to be the one in which the entire science of Yoga is based upon.

Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodhah

Yogas = Yoga; chitta = of the mind-stuff; vrtti = modifications; nirodhah = restraint

"The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga."

(Book I, Sutra 2 in the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjal")


I like Satchidananda's commentary on the subject.  "If you can control the rising of the mind into ripples, you will experience yoga."  I find my mind rippling to the point of tidal waves on many occasions.  I spend hours of my life contemplating the deeper aspects of yoga...especially since I teach the practice to others I am always praying in my heart for more refined/more effective ways in which to share my understanding of what yoga "is" (and what it isn't).

When I find myself struggling to better explain the heart of yoga, my heart/mind comes back to this sutra.  Satchidananada goes onto to summarize it in this way, which really resonates with me:

"The entire outside world is based on your thoughts and mental attitude.  The entire world is your own  projection.  Your values may change within the fraction of a second.

...That is why yoga does not bother much about changing the outside world.  There is a Sanskrit saying, "Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayhoho." "As the mind, so the man; bondage or liberation are in your own mind."  If you feel bound, you are bound.  If you feel liberated, you are liberated.  Things outside neither bind or liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that." 


I am reminded also of the Ken Wilbur Meditation, "I have a body, but I am not my body..."

What a liberating concept to know that the essence of our very being is eternal...can never grow old...never gets sick, and never dies.  While this 'organic bodysuit' we inhabit while we live this precious life will not last forever, the true Self is perfect, pure, radiant Energy.  To glimpse at this within ourselves is to know God.  To honor it within each other is to share God.  

This is yoga.

Namaste,

IndigoGrrl



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