Like a Lotus, She has risen.
Once upon a time she believed she was trapped in the mud at the bottom of a raging whirlpool….
Muddy water swirled around her, the murkiness was so dense she could barely see if there were still any signs of the light that used to shine down from the surface and guide her. The sound of the storm system was so intense that she could no longer hear the voice that would help her know how to rise up through the storm. She was so overcome by the chaos around her; emotional and physical pain from being tumbled around the bottom pool and wanting to get out, but unable to recognize the way. The more she rushed around and pushed and fought to find a way, the more confused and frustrated she became. The storm kept pushing her down, trying to stop her. She didn’t want to be forced to stop. She wished to be a force greater than the storms and move through them! Finally, she was so exhausted from fighting that she had not choice but to stop. She fell down and was just about to give up. As she dropped into the mud, she closed her eyes and just let go. She sighed. From that sigh came what felt like the longest exhalation of her life and from each thereafter, roots released from the pores of her skin and began to sink into the earth below her. She surrendered. She sensed a lifting from the earth moving toward her, a sense of being held. She was feeling again. Her skin tingled, responding. It had been so long. She breathed and with this breath she began to crack open. Her eyes opened, illusion and confusion were gone. She became the eye. She sat in clarity, observing life and the lessons all around her in this storm. She also noticed that a wide expanse of support was all around her where she could seek refuge; she felt safe. Held in the stillness of this time, she became more steady. She felt comforted, and let go further. She breathed in and her support fed her. Nourished, she began to remember. She had felt the support before, but she had forgotten and stopped allowing it to hold her. She was breathing through threads of light that expanded all around her now and noticed how the threads moved through her. A web of connection with both the support system below and the storm system around, were able to be perceived. Each carried a symphony of vibration unique to her senses. The vibration appeared as radiant threads, each feeding her. She drew in a long in breath, and allowed each root thread to deliver her nourishment and inspiration. In this stillness at the bottom of the storm, she began to expand. When she became very still, she was able to hear her guides again, telling her to rise. The crown of her head prickled with sensation, as she felt the same threads that rooted her in the mud, pulling her attention upwards toward the surface. This consciousness, awakened her spine, and she began to rise. Up through the dingy water, she became fluid and her movements were gentle now, part of the current. The water was still murky and the storm raged on, yet she became the eye at the center. She felt a steadiness in becoming part of the rhythm; mind, breath and body moving steadily from illusion toward clarity, a light of inspiration guided her path from her time in darkness. As she surfaced, she felt the crown of her head open and blossom, as she received the nourishment from both the light above and the experiences of the storm and the mud below. She was grateful for the challenges and joys she had felt. She received the insight from the stillness at the center of the storm. She had risen.
The only way to accurately describe my recent internal state, has been stormy. Have you been there too? On the outside, there is no real appearance of this inner state, things look good, blessings abound and yet, on the inside there is discontent. Or perhaps we do look like a storm… scattered crazy eyes, disheveled appearance, racing from place to place. Whether we are a hot mess or believe we appear to be holding it together, it’s all part of the illusion.
Overcome by the demands work, life and obligations; unsure of the path we are on, even maybe unfulfilled by a phase I have entered has brought on this sense of angst. Where am I going? What is my purpose? Who the hell am I supposed to be becoming? Is this all there is? On and on, these questions lurk in a muddy sea of my mind. Illusions from misbeliefs and false expectations are known to cloud right perception. Overwhelmed by life and an increasing sense of losing control to the pull of outside forces, I have been in that state more than once and well aware of how that sort of spiral can lead to entering this STORM. This discontentment, in my situation and one that I imagine everyone feels from time to time, feels like living in a storm system. I have been living in a storm system and unable to clearly see because I have become part of the storm.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE A STORM. My energy affects everyone around me, and I have the ability to choose to let their energy affect my state as well. There are a thousand quotes out there that in essence try to empower us by stating something like - “fate whispers you cannot withstand the storm, yet I respond that I am the storm”. Well, I DO NOT WANT TO BE A STORM.. I wish to travel a clear path. A path of loving kindness. A path of balance and equanimity. A path that can become empowered by the wisdom of seeing clearly in storms, without becoming destroyed by the storm nor becoming part of the storm. I wish to be the EYE OF THE STORM. Yes, to be honest, I am a storm sometimes (more than sometimes) and the good news is that I recognize this tendency and am also so blessed because I am growing from this mud and this angst and frustration that I feel is associated with my need to grow and learn. I am a SEEKER! I seek understanding, adventure, experiences and a connection with moments of enlightened living that comes from experiencing storms from a clear center. The wisdom to realize this, came from my practice of moving into stillness. I am grateful for my practice.
This week, I will share the story and wisdom of the lotus in my classes. The lotus flower is the symbol of rising from mud, through the nourishment and the illusion held in the water to the light of wisdom just above the surface! The difficult part in my case (and maybe yours) is REMEMBERING that I know how to do this. How? I find this in the stillness and silence of Meditation. Padmasana, lotus posture, is the quintessential posture of meditation. This is the physical symbol of the equanimity and wisdom that we find from our practice of yoga, breath and meditation. Padmasana, also is challenging. To do this posture it requires A LOT of work and returning to my mat! Meditation, is challenging in the same way. Both padmasana and meditation, require discipline. There is no magical remedy for calming my storms or developing wisdom. The wisdom is always there. Returning to the dedication of practice, study and stillness, is how I access it. I have the tools to leave the storm and center myself in wisdom. I have the tools to perceive life clearly and connect to a higher light of awareness and find calm in the midst of chaos. The path? A disciplined practice. I practice yoga - posture, breath and meditation to still my body, focus my energy and clarify my thoughts. I teach others to do this, because I know we all have times of struggle and desire balance in our lives. Together, we rise together through the storms of life from the discipline of our practices, and the stability within these steps: Breathe, Move and BE!
“fate whispers you cannot withstand the storm, yet I respond that I am the Eye of the Storm.”
With you on this Journey,