“Our restlessness and our desire for more [from yoga] are actually useful indicators of our need for change. What we need is not to dig a new well, but to dig even more deeply the well we are already in.”
-Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
Day 16 – Over the past several years, through this book study and fairly continuous and daily yoga practice, I’ve come to see how clouded some of my beliefs have become. My body and our seasons are so cyclical; yet most of us live so linearly. I am restless today, and my heart knows there is so much more energy and abundance available on a daily or even minute by minute basis.
However, like Rolf, I have spent a good deal of time also realizing that my body that was at once the source of life’s greatest feats and discoveries, is now the source of some of “life’s most profound pains.” Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. Yoga practice has balanced this “overwhelming existential dilemma” somewhat. Although we are living in a millennia of trauma with the constant bombardment of news and, in fact, I ponder here for just a brief moment on but one of many students in my classroom, who has been removed from the custody of a parent yet again and placed with another relative again. It takes all I can do to put on my teacher clothes and be present for this–and other students–some days. And though my immediate go-to stress reliever is not food or drugs or even alcohol these days, it is, in fact, movement: crossfit, dance, yoga, and now (to be even more gentle upon my body) a walk in Nature.
Indeed, I think my restlessness is, in part, due to the changing of the seasons, which we do not celebrate in school; I mean, really we don’t. We start in summer and call it “fall” and then fall changes to winter and we call that “Christmas” with its drive to supply everyone with every toy and new gadget imaginable or cards for ALL the coworkers, and then, immediately following this in the dead of winter, we are on to Spring. Even though Spring has newly arrived, we are already planning summer, counted down not by the sunflowers growing in the backyard, but by the endless beat of FSA this and that and EOC’s. We have an abundance at our school that goes uncheck and under utilized. There is an unchecked and unrecognized dance of energies occurring within the public education sector. I can feel it and see it, and I am working through the ways I can help dig a deeper well. #bethechange*
*“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.103 As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
– Mahatma Gandhi