I'm here with my buddy, Damion; it is his birthday today, and mine tomorrow (and we did meet someone whose is on Sunday, so if we can find a Saturday - it's rush-week). We've been celebrating, and goofing on it.
I'm not unhappy to report that even though we tried it at every opportunity today, from Starbucks to lunch to beers to LuLuLemon, no one gave him anything or any discounts today!! And nothing will prevent me from asking all of the same places tomorrow! It's just been fun and frivolous, and I should admit, we've actually received lovely well wishes, just no free drinks!
Started the day with an incredible experience - I feel like calling it a class would diminish it. Janet Stone, from San Fran - she really has that authentic connection and is dedicated to being a conduit to the teachings and to joy. She opened us up with a lovely storytelling through the Pantheon of the Gods and Goddesses to tell the story of Durga Ma. She was so eloquent and real, and the story was flowing, and in the course of telling it, the revelations each presented.
I don't want to mangle it, but what I took from it still resonates with me, half a day later. Durga had every weapon in the book, all of the boons and skills to defeat the demon that had been devastating creation. All else and all others had failed, so she shows up, eight-armed and armed in all eight, and proceeds to use each one. And just as each weapon is finally about to vanquish the demon, he rallies and destroys that weapon.
Finally, she has exhausted all of the weapons and skills and boons. It appears to be done. But, in that most unlikely of truths that those on the mat discern, the end is always the beginning. Durga finally defeats the demon by using the sole of her foot - the most vulnerable and least protected part of the body. Her greatest vulnerability is the key to the battle.
The lesson for me is that pushing through, fighting it, looking to check it off the list or proclaim 'nailed it!' is never the end... in fact, just when we think we've persevered enough and fought it out, that approach, or tactic or method no longer works. When we exhaust all of those options, and are finally faced with surrender - exposing our vulnerability - that is when we can overcome!
I really mangled that, I hope you get the gist!!
As for the title of this blogpost? Well, I can't recall who Janet quoted, but she shared that one of her teachers always called Balasana or Child's pose "Warrior Four"... it takes the most accomplished, most secure, most vulnerable and the most readily surrendered Warrior to know when to quit, and just back out of the battle. Love it, as I'm the first one to head into Bala when the breath gets ragged!
Anyway, I feel like I'm rambling, but suffice it to say that the day was great, Janet Stone is a phenomenal teacher and I was a willing student. Happy birthday to Mandy E and Sanjay S - those are my birthday buddies celebrating their days tomorrow with me!
Give thanks and praise - and while I have your attention, would you consider offering a donation to let me be your advocate? My Global Seva Challenge is in effect and I need your help to do the work!