A friend of mine recently said an incredibly wise thing to me. I was telling her about how, yet again, I was surprising myself, relearning new old things, feeling openings where I thought there were closed doors, revisiting the ways in which I define myself amidst the millions of humanly shaped identities. We do this all the time, don’t we?Every time we’ve decided to be a “teacher” and then someone or something or some deed reminds us that we’re also a “musician,” and then the fallacy of linearity dissolves into the reality of multiplicity. How can we be so many things at once and have them all be true?
I was asking such questions about my self, and this friend said, “I think we forget that insight is supposed to illuminate the moment, not bind us.” Immediately, the weight that those inquiries had been posing on my consciousness expanded into a thousand bursting stars. This moment in all of its truths was the depth of itself, and it didn’t close any doors, nor did it diminish the past or its own revelatory power.
My yoga practice helps me come back to the digestion of this notion in both literal and metaphorical ways. For example, this past Monday I came to Aliya’s lovely Monday morning Vinyasa class where my limbs were happy to move and my skin pleased to sweat. I had been a little crunchy after an illness and then some traveling, and I was grateful to be moving in familiar and subtly rigorous vinyasa. And then suddenly, arriving in savasana, I was overcome by deep sadness. I had shaken up the space right below my exoskeleton, and there was grief there that I hadn’t even noticed. So I lay there, crying and breathing and existing in exactly that moment, surprised by the emotion.
After closing my practice, the sun was bright in the sky. The day was ahead of me. Kind faces acknowledged my departure. I felt healthy and strong and as my tears continued for a while, I marveled at the reality of being able to be deeply present for ALL of this moment’s truths. I invited in the entire universe of that moment in its celebration and grief, and I saw how no factor canceled out another. I can be healthy and grateful AND sad and disconnected. I can be a part of and far away. I can be everything I’ve always been and everything that I may be.
All that is truly true is this moment in its entirety. And inside that is everything. What an astounding relief.