The perfect prayer

I sit cross-legged,

My hands in prayer.

From my practice sweat glistens on my face.

My thoughts press in but I let them be.

On by, again and again, they race.

There’s something to say, I feel it inside.

I search for reasons, for words to be there.

My mind bursts with what I want from the Goddess, from the Universe,

but for now that’s not the message my soul bears.

I so want to feel something,

to say the perfect prayer,

and then there in the dark, I’m hit.

“Thank you,” I utter. All is still. My heart swells.

And that’s enough. I know those words were it.

 

 

The Freedom Of Home

“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.” Maya Angelou

My family is in the midst of a transition; moving to a new town, a new home. We’re spending time at our families homes before our move-in date. Currently, I’m in my hometown. I’m at the house I grew up in, driving the roads I’ve driven countless times in the past, sleeping in the bedroom from my teenage years. Only now I’m with my own kids and my husband.

From being here, and on the cusp of establishing a new life for my little family, the idea of “home” is on my mind.

People use the word “home” to refer to a house, a geographic location, a family, a feeling, often to the place of their upbringing. I think when we express the feeling of being “at home,” that we’re all referring to similar sensations; a state of feeling comfortable, accepted, loved, supported, and perhaps being surrounding by certain external circumstances that appeal to our particular preferences. It’s this sense of belonging to a people or place. I think this is a feeling that most people seek to have in their lives; to create a sense of being “at home.”

In my recent yoga teacher training, I thought about the idea of “home” a lot. As I was reading the words of BKS Iyengar, Baron Baptiste, and Ana Forrest, I kept coming back to this feeling that in my search to feel belonging in my life, in seeking to create “a home,” I had lost my sense of what that actually means. I was seeking it in the wrong places; particularly in things and people (my husband and kids especially). I can’t say that people and material things don’t contribute to our sense of comfort and homely feelings, because they do. But again and again, I was finding that on my mat, sweating like a nut, there would be these rare moments of presence where I was totally with all the struggles and ease of that moment. In those moments, I felt oddly safe- I felt a sense of acceptance. I felt a sense of belonging. I felt loved and loving. I felt “at home.”

From those moments, my definition of “home” has begun to change. It’s still evolving I think. But right now, sitting here in my parents cozy dining room with rain outside, my kids running about, I’m aware that despite my love for this place, it is not my home. The place where we’re moving is not my home. With my husband and my children, despite the wild love I have for them, that is not my home.

Home is within. Home is a state of being where all that you are right now, you accept it, maybe even love it. It’s a place of authenticity and self-love. To me, “at home” there is freedom. Home is the state of knowing that you belong everywhere and no where, that you are of no place, ethnicity, religion, and that these defining bits are mere shells. And when you can find that feeling of being entirely “at home” within yourself, then you’re suddenly free to love everything about the present moment and people in it without strings. Doesn’t that sounds like such a blissful freedom? For me, the challenge is to bring that feeling, that truth, off the mat and into my life.

What is “home” to you?

When do you feel “at-home”?

RYT. New toolbox, same old builder.

Two Saturdays ago I completed the immersion part of RYT 200 (registered yoga teacher training 200 hour level) locally. It was amazing- a completely mind and heart opening experience for me. During that immersive week, it was as if I’d been lifted up out of my life, out of myself, and got this crazy birds-eye view of my life. My self. My potential. I was totally pumped leaving the last class, eager to get on to the hours of other requirements. I’d become equipped with this whole new toolbox of some seriously powerful tools and I was eager to take them and either tweak, or just demolish and rebuild my reality.

But when I returned to my norm- my house, schedule, life, responsibilities, all my usuals…Instead of feeling as if I’d landed gracefully from this fly-over-viewing experience of my life, I felt as if I’d fallen tumbling from the sky and landed in this confused heap, my new arsenal of tools flung all over the place. You with me here?

The photo above (it’s from my Danielle LaPorte Desire Map planner) is from these prompts at the end of each week in my planner. Mulling over the prompts a few days ago, those were the answers that angrily poured out of me. It wasn’t funny and I wasn’t trying to be sarcastic. I was just down and discouraged; frustrated that I wasn’t able to take all these things I’d learned and seamlessly apply them to my life.

I am the builder of my life. I choose how I am, how I spend time, how I’ll feel in various circumstances and in response to various stimuli, how I’ll work, love…every. little. thing.  And yet sometimes, even with a power-packed tool box of self realizations, challenged perspectives, and new hope and assurance, I feel powerless sometimes. It’s in my head, in my habits…this I know.

This week I have purposefully planned in more of what keeps me open, sane, and connected- and made time to delve deeper into all the new goodness I’m trying to introduce to my life (empowering beliefs, choosing action over fear, choosing connection over hiding, practicing openness for myself without expectations from others…).

When you’ve discovered, learned, have been given some great knowledge- some awesome new tool (in the form of anything I’ve mentioned above), how do you bring that into your life already brimming with habits and schedules and responsibilities?