Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tear Infused Beauty

 So I'm driving down the road and a feeling of overwhelming heaviness overcame me...tears started welling up in my eyes.  By the time I careened into my driveway and parked, the dam broke and the waterfall washed over me.  Cathartic and cleansing, yet surprising to me..it was more than crying; bawling really.  Rare.  I sat in my reliable 98 Camry, comfortable on my well worn (well, torn) leather seats, the sunroof open to let the sun coat me in her rays while I bawled.  The contrast of my life in that moment and the suffering happening in Japan so blatantly unfair and painful..it was nearly too much to bear.  I'm not one to embrace guilt or worry as viable means of coping as I find both generally nonproductive, if not harmful.  However, guilt came to mind..or at least the hint of guilt..as a wave of emotions infused my very being.  Sad, helpless, pissed, hopeless, scared, worried, fearful even...all understatements describing my feelings.  And it wasn't just the tsunami..or the earthquakes..or the erupting volcano..or the explosion and possible impending meltdown at the nuclear power plant.  Perhaps all those events added to what has already been a challenging time of economic uncertainty and political unfairness for the world....unrest.

I'm actually a very positive and upbeat person who loves being a yoga teacher, studying nutrition, selling vintage jewelry and being a mom to an awesome healthy 21 yr old college boy.  I seek and see the good in nearly all situations.  Even during the 7 weeks or so that my elderly (and very depressed and difficult) mother lived with me up until a few weeks ago, I was able to smile and be of service most of the time.  I'm not even close to being perfect, and I share many thoughts and articles and information with my friends and acquaintances that I have found to be helpful to me..subjects near and dear to my heart: nutrition, holistic health, yoga, food and body issues, and more.  I share these things because I figure if it helps me, maybe it can help someone else as well.  I'm not ashamed to be the flawed and imperfect human that I am.  I'm grateful. 

Spring is here.  Nearly every room in my home, including my yoga studio has an amazing view of a huge white flowering tree that, for eighteen seasons now has symbolized not just the change or seasons, but also the joy of the moment and hope for the future.  Today that tree is truly in its glory, faithful to me as I sit here enjoying it as I write.  My son is home for spring break, the dogs and cat are all happy and lounging in rays of sunlight..outside for a while, now inside, and I have been able to do what I love...teaching yoga classes.  It's a brilliant pre-spring day in Atlanta...daffodils, hyacinths, tulip poplars...bursting open all over.  Kids playing in the yards, people jogging and riding their bikes, hanging out at parks...to imagine the contrast of the experience of people in Japan at this moment.  Or Libya.  Or of anyone who is suffering anywhere on the planet.  The homeless person.  The family losing their home or job.  Not comparing one event with the other....just reflecting and finding the challenge to settle into gratitude without the infusion of guilt or sorrow or worry.

Life is good. 

Yet, it's just been especially challenging to embrace the uncertainty of life and of the world lately.  And I find myself with a tinge of guilt wondering if I'm being untrue to my yoga..not the asanas..physically I practice nearly every day.  Yoga, however, is so much more.  It's what I do when I am not on my mat.  It's my thoughts, my intentions, my actions.  To dwell on negative or allow situations to affect me so deeply and intensely..to take it on and feel fear..all rare for me.  But I am human.  Being true to myself and to my feelings is my true nature.  And sometimes those feelings ebb and flow in ways that are not my control.  To ignore them would be a lie. 

I came across this helpful article earlier: A Buddhist Response to the Japan Tsunami

Crying felt good the other day.  Today I am embracing the beauty and imperfections, allowing tears to flow if they appear, and connecting with my inner peace and serenity. 

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