Yoga liberates us. Not only does it stretch our bodies, but also our minds and our souls. It stretches our experience of ourselves and of those around us.
This morning as I was making my coffee in the dark kitchen I found myself moving into calming asanas. With the dogs watching me with amusement and the tea kettle bubbling I moved from Warrior I, to Triangle, to a forward bend, to Downward Facing Dog.
The frustration and fogginess I felt when I had awoken slowly started to ease away and I found myself smiling down at the grout in the kitchen tile and at the little dachshund face that peeked up at me to lick my nose.
The last two days have been challenging. Returning from vacation to work has been like an odd re-entry into a strange universe. I have been in isolation with those closest to me for 10 days and now, returning into a social structure where there are more personalities and demands has been interesting.
I had this insane dream prior to waking. I was in my parent’s old house in Plantation and I was having this amazing discussion with my dad (who is deceased) and my mom, about how I was going to come and swim in their pool every morning and then do my yoga practice at home before going to work. It was so real: I could feel the Mexican tile of the floor under my feet. I could feel the water of the pool as I dipped my foot into it. I could smell whatever my mom was cooking in the oven. I watched with great care as my father poured a glass of wine.
And when I woke up, in the darkness of my own bedroom, I honestly believed that I was in Florida. I was going to get up and swim the pool (or the lake?).
The subconscious is a funny thing. Our mind and our soul come together to tell us something.
I think on one level I wanted to go “home” last night. Back to Florida. Back to what I have always known. Back to not needing a map to get somewhere new, back to a job that I had for five years, back to when my dad was alive, back to memories, back to connections and friendships. And all that, on some wacky level, feels safe.
When we first moved here four years ago, I found a myriad of reasons to return to South Florida for visits. I would go down for job interviews (I wasn’t finding many marketing jobs here), I would go and spend the weekend with friends, I would just go. I would go to my favorite places, see faces that made me feel like myself, drive by my parents old house that now had new owners.
I have lived in other places. But I have always found myself returning to Florida – to my childhood home, to my parents, to my friends – to all things predictable in a way.
But at some point, I knew it was not helping. I was holding on to something that was no longer there, a past memory, in order to feel safe. I had to trust in whatever was ahead and trust in myself to embrace whatever came. I knew that moving away from what was safe and comfortable would feel…well uncomfortable. If we had moved to a comparable big city then it would not have felt like such a change, such a stretch. But we moved somewhere where things are very, very different. And from that, I know, more now than before, that is where the growth exists.
If we stay where we are comfortable, in yoga and in life, we don’t open ourselves up for the opportunity to experience the possibilities of our practice. We limit ourselves to what is comfortable and from there we never know what is on the other side. Does stretching beyond where we are comfortable cause discomfort…heck yeah. Sometimes at that moment and sometimes the next morning.
Sometimes, in life, it is four years later.
As spirits we have to grow. If we limit ourselves in our experiences, no matter how challenging, frustrating or painful, we are wasting our time here on planet Earth.
But the beautiful thing is in spite of what is going on around us we always have the present moment. The “present” is our “gift.” It is what can tether us to the Divine and keep us connected to our spirits.
In this moment, all is right.
In this moment, I am not separate, I am connected.
In this moment, I am peace.
In this exact moment, I am.
The dream, as unsettling as it was, brought me back to the whole “swimming the lake” thing. It’s like a little message in a subconscious bottle. I don’t have the pool, I don’t have South Florida. But those are things in the past. Amazing experiences that have led up to the experiences I have today and to who I am today.
But now, I have so many blessing s and so many things to be thankful
I have a lake that I will conquer.
I have a phone to call my friends who still live in the Sunshine State.
I have the people I love with me now.
I have the memories of those that have passed.
I have this amazing, wonderful wacky experience of living here, until the next one comes along.
And I have Yoga.
And for me, now matter where I live, no mater what moment I am in – Yoga brings me home.
Yoga is where the heart is.