So, I am sitting in yoga this morning, looking around at a packed studio, wondering why we do this to ourselves. It’s early, it is all the same faces. Not many people practice yoga solely for the exercise- there are many other means of activity that burn more calories, give quicker results, and allow socialization. And the same goes for meditating- no one sits in silence, intentionally struggling through and sorting- at the same time not sorting and not struggling, with their thoughts. And food- Anyone who eats only nourishing and living foods solely for the sake of weight loss most likely cannot sustain it (and definitely not enjoyably) without a bigger reason for doing so.
So, why? Ignorance could be SUCH BLISS, right? But the thing about consciousness and learning is you can never unlearn what you’ve discovered. In yoga, you are not only building, stretching, breathing- but also spending time with your real self. Same with meditation… and believe it or not, with eating REAL food. (Did you know processed foods ALL contain additives that mess with hormones, emotions, your skin, your mental clarity- not to mention all of the excess sludge they deposit on your stomach and fat butt).
When you strip the sludge, you meet YOU. And yes, it’s hard, tedious work.
And once you had a small glimpse of YOU, you want more.
Imagine a tumbleweed. The life is a tumbleweed is exciting and free and liberating! You fly, you fall, you flip! …But the journey is never ending, there is no destination, no sense of ‘home.’ You smash into rocks, you get stuck in the mud, you fly off cliffs- and you have no choice but to experience the intense ups and the intense downs, because they are at the core of your existence. You solely live to move, to depend on ebbs and flows of external forces. You see only one level- knees and feet. To me, this is ignorance.
Now a tree… the deeper the tree roots, the stronger it rises. As roots reach more into the ground, the earth nourishes and provides with materials that have always been available, and will forever be available for the taking. Because you don’t have to concern yourself with restlessness- the world moves around you, as you enjoy the wind on your leaves, the rain on branches, the sun on your tree-tops. Harsh weather comes and goes, but you’ve rooted to the spot, you remain YOU no matter your surroundings. Your fruit provides nourishment for the hungry. Your shade provides sanctuary for the overheated. The taller and stronger you grow- you can look above the chaos of the world, and see the whole. You can see how the available pieces can fit together to find solutions, how all livings things depend on one another to keep the world moving- how working together will always be the answer… how YOU and me are essential parts in the machine. To me, this is consciousness.
It takes time, hard, intentional work, patience- and most importantly spending genuine time with yourself…. to get to know YOU and start rooting. After all, emotions are just your ego- and fear is just a feeling about an assumed outcome. Once you grow taller than the fog, the emotions, the fear, the conversations about your arm fat, worries about wearing the right clothes (this list could go on for days…), only then can you really enjoy the wind on your face, the rain on your leaves and the sun on your treetops.