I had pre-planned this third week of the month around the theme of ‘recognition’ to be recognizing the beauty and good in all things.
WELL, that wasn’t going to happen because I wasn’t seeing it, lol!
And so, in the honesty of what my experience was the previous week, I caught a little glimpse of something I had written two weeks prior while creating the whole scope of this month for recognition; “recognize the good in the world and nature, that is truth.”
What stood out to me was the word ‘truth’.
Because the truth, satya in Sanskrit, of what I was experiencing was not really a feeling of beauty and love of myself and the world. The truth of my experience was that I was really recognizing how misaligned I felt.
In my body, I knew I needed it, the poem. Here it is…
Intimate With All Things
By: Danna Faulds
The Buddha said, “I am
intimate with all things.”
Imagine that. To be on
the same close terms with
suffering and panic as bliss
and rapture; to know the
souls of water buffalo as
surely as my own; to push
away nothing; to let the
sweet or bitter taste of
life linger; to see the
Beloved in everything –
and when that isn’t my
experience, to be intimate
with self-hatred, unmet
preferences and the many
ways I don’t show up as
saintly. Imagine that.
Phew…a few tears, some deep sighs, and a margarita on one occasion. It’s ok. You’re ok. I am ok. And yes, it’s ok to not be ok.
This is how it came to be that this week’s class was all about recognizing the truth of your experience. The truth of the experience itself, and the truth of you in the lived experience.
Nowadays, I continue to giggle about what came through in a class… that it’s the awareness of what you are aware of. An “awareness of awareness itself.” And how this creates space, even a distance, between our calm center, and the things that we’re feeling and experiencing.
That space is filled with compassion and the divine.
“Santosha invites us into contentment by taking refuge and a calm center, opening our hearts in gratitude for what we do have, and practicing the paradox of ‘not seeking’.”
I can’t specifically remember who said it, but in essence the feel of a profound quote around santosha is to ask the question, “can I fall in love with my own life?”
Are you content in your life?
I always remind myself how contentment is not giving over to what is and giving up. Contentment, with all other practices within the scope of life and yoga, still invites us into action.
So are you happy with the actions you’re taking in your life? Are you accepting of things, no matter what happens? Are you using the practice of gratitude for what you do have? If not, it’s okay. I invite you into the beginning of practicing gratitude and contentment in your life today.
I’ve been discovering this week that that compassionate and divine space only supports me as I am aware of what I am aware of.
My real life story of how I experienced this:
One evening while brushing my teeth, it dawned on me just how much I was missing my children. In my home and in my family there’s been a lot of change because my 3-year-old and 7-year-old are now both in school. And they are in two different schools.
I practice gratitude that both of them are receiving an education. Gratitude that they have these safe and supportive spaces to go to every day and to learn and grow and play. And at the same time I need to have Max picked up because I can’t be two places at once. And as I’m grateful for Warriors Taekwondo to pick him up and give him yet another safe place to go and have snack and have support with his homework and have a Taekwondo class, I’ve lost those after school hours that used to be just me and the kids.
Now, I’m grateful to have that alone time with Quinn, but I’m missing Max. And what I realized is that part of me was sad. Part of me was grieving. And that sadness hadn’t been processed. The ever-changing development of life and how my kids are growing and what that means for them and what it means for me and what it means for family dynamics and time, I hadn’t had time to just have an awareness of how I was feeling. And by now it was affecting me in negative ways.
However, while brushing my teeth, having this awareness and realization, the insight was so helpful. It moved me into that compassionate space between my calm center and the experiences and the emotions. It allowed me to take a bird’s eye view of everything and to simultaneously be able to tell myself it’s okay. It’s okay to feel sad. And whatever you want to do to heal is okay.
And I say all these same things to you dear reader. As I say all these things tell all of my clients and students.
To inspire awareness.
And from the awareness so much can change.
We might just soften, and our hearts open, and that can be enough. And other times we will become aware of a situation or emotion and we will choose to take action towards resilience and healing and love.
Mandy Hale wrote,
“happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.”
And I would have to say, just for myself, that’s where I’m landing these days. It’s not always easy, but through recognizing the truth of all that I’m feeling and experiencing, it is bringing more peace.
“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Or as the Beatles say, “Let it be.”
Through the example of my story, perhaps you were able to see how I became intimate with myself, my sadness, my emotions, my experiences. Deborah Adele’s poem, for me, has always been a balm for my soul. And to think that I could know the soul of a water buffalo as intimately as my own strikes me every time I read it, every time I think about it. And to just be intimate with all things.
Anais Nin said,
“My mission, should I choose to accept. It, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws, and to stop this incessant worrying that I cannot be loved as I am.”
What if you applied santosha, contentment, to every aspect of your life? Even as you remember your past, even as you strive towards your beautiful future, and even as you notice what your experience is right this moment, can you be aware of all of it without seeking anything different than what is, and how it all unfolds?
Throughout the flow of these words, and the flow of all of my classes, and the flow of just awareness for what is and acceptance of the truth of what is, I find that calm center.
You can find that calm center within you that is everlasting. And when you touch that calm center, and you look back out, what do you see?
For me, I’m able to see without judgment, without fixing, without expectation. I’m able to see what is and in that moment I’m also able to see just how much I have choice.
I can choose to allow an experience or an emotion to succumb me and take over to the point where I become stuck or frozen. Or I can choose just to be okay with it and let it be, and focus on the next task at hand in my day; revisiting the emotion or situation when I’m more grounded and centered. Or, I can choose to change either my own perception, or, if possible, I can change the whole situation.
And even when I act to change a situation for the betterment of myself and all beings, to be content with not seeking that it happens a certain way. To practice that paradox of not seeking that things go my way. And to fall back into that compassionate and divine space, calm core of my infinite self, and to be content with all that is.
So I ended each class with this poem…
Joy For No Reason
By: Danna Faulds
I am filled with quiet
joy for no reason save
the fact that I’m alive.
The message I receive
is clear – there’s no time
to lose from loving, no
place but here to offer
kindness, no day but this
to be my true, unfettered
self and pass the flame
from heart to heart. This
is the only moment that
exists – so simple, so
exquisite, and so real.
All my love,
Breathe and Believe.