This is my first attempt at blogging from an experience in the summer of 2008.
Bags packed. Kids’ schedules written. Keys in hand. I am off with no kids, no husband, no phone. I am not sure what to expect of my first weekend away by myself. I am hopeful for some rejuvenation and down time.
I arrive at Kripalu with my nervous system still reacting. I am not sure if it is fear from flying or fear of leaving my two small children. I show up for my first yoga class struggling to be present. Max (my teacher) walks over to me and says, “You look like you’ve just spent hours in an airport.” I think to myself, “You don’t know half of the story.”
Class settled me down slightly; I am still worried about the kids. Should I call? What did I forget to tell my husband? Even though I am worried, I am excited about the prospect of a full night’s sleep uninterrupted. Instead I have a fitful sleep and awaken at 5:30am. (I am not a morning person, so this doesn’t make sense to me.) I have no excuse but to walk down the hall and take the 6am gentle yoga class before breakfast.
I walk in and find child’s pose, the only pose that feels right at six in the morning. The teacher asks us to rest and find our intention, then adds, “You may simply wish to commit to being here.” Commit to being here! That’s it! At home I long for solitude, time for yoga and meditations. Since I have gotten here, I long to be at home with my family. Commit to being here. So simple… So why is this so hard?
The weekend of classes on breathing, meditation and asana left me feeling whole and understanding my world in a completely different way. I feel more open, more mindful, forgiven and full of gratitude. Everything feels as it should be. I am ready to go home, committed to enjoying everything and letting go of my qualities that hold me back. I feel like a being of light. My movements have slowed down; my mind no longer races faster than I can keep up. I believe that this has been the next step on my journey awakening my spirit. My experience with these great teachers is beyond what can be conveyed with words. All I know is that I am fortunate to have received such powerful teachings.
Flying home, my normal fear is replaced by a sense of wonder and freedom. I return thinking how different I will seem. Everyone will see the transformation as I walk, eat or breathe in awareness. This lasts about an hour after my arrival home. I walk in to the best greeting in the world from my four year old and six month old. Moments later both are in tears and whining. I can’t get a word in edge-wise to share my experience with my husband. I am deflated, sad and a little raw. Somehow, I am worse the next day. Then it hits me: commit to being here. I let myself sit, raw and rough around the edges then my husband starts to laugh, “No wonder great teachers never had kids. They’d never get very far.”
Now I know the truly enlightened are the ones who have children, jobs, schedules, whining, crying and can commit to being here with love for it all. It is easy to resent the things that take time away from nurturing our spirits, but when will we see these things as gifts to open our hearts even more and challenge us to go beyond? Anyone can find peace on a yoga mat in a quiet room. I am beginning to see that true sages are the ones who find it among the struggles of day to day life. These are my teachers and I am committed to being here wife, mother, yogi, messy path and all. In the words of Pir Zia Inayat Khan, “My life is part of a greater purpose. There is an exactness to who I have become.”