That picture above was taken on my train ride from Madras up to Chennai, India; the term ‘selfie’ hadn’t come about yet. I just wanted to capture the experience, but truly we can’t, we must allow ourself to live the experience. And this train ride would push me to get comfortable in uncomfortable situations as the train became more full at each town along the way! However, I also was practicing “good relating*” to everything around me and within me. It was hard. And, yet, because I had befriended a group of young men out on holiday from their jobs back home, they, too, like my inner practice, became trusted companions until the last stop.
What did my practice of “good relating” look like? For one, I shared my story with the young men, as they shared their stories with me. We connected and found a lot of likeness between us, despite very different upbringings. In the start of the journey, barely anyone was on my train, but by the end, people were sitting in the aisles and hanging out the “doors” which were just open places along the train for entering and exiting; I had to keep assuring myself I was safe and I would be fine as a single woman traveling thru India, so I was in good relating to my Self. I practiced mantras for protection and mantras for love and guidance. I had to trust when people offered to help me; good relating to others. I had to listen to my intuition when I sat on the wrong side of a bus after the train to make it to my flight at the airport; women on one side and men on the other, but I hadn’t been noticing that big detail until I felt all eyes staring at me; good relating to cultures. I had to trust intuition again when I took action to walk away form a man whose energy I did not like; good relating to saying no. In good relating, there are a lot of practices, and I am realizing more and more how it is all yoga.
And so, here it is, the quote that set this whole contemplation off, right from Robert A.F. Thurman’s podcast. Here is a link to the episode HERE:
“And you Yogis and Yoginis…what you’re doing is the art of interconnection. And this has to do with your livelihood, and your choice of that has to do with your inner meditation as well as your physical posture – the dance of enjoying your body and keeping it free and open and healthy; and of course what you eat -everything! Every aspect of your life you yoke to the purpose, and therefore what gives you real motivation is the idea, not that your just escaping the body, or escaping the mind, but that your finding the best possible use of the body, your finding love actually… There is an ultimate goal, and that ultimate goal is total good relating to everything.”
*This is how I obtained the term ‘good relating’. I like this because it is an action. And, its different that saying “good relationship with everything”. We are in the practice, we are in the action of attempting to always be in the ‘good relating’ to everything!
How do you practice good relating to the planet? Your job? Your spouse? Your Self? To someone who is treating you bad? To a negative thought that arises? To a gift your receive? To something good that happens to you?
And, as you practice good relating, can you feel the art of interconnection happening? Can you see it? And in doing so, does the likeness of all things around you and in you surprise you? It did in my train ride. 🙂