Fear - be afraid, be timid and over-cautious and hypersensitive and scared and withdrawn.
And I posit, that's it. I've written much of this post before, but it's a message for our times, and right now, I'm consciously expanding into love, and working on remembering that right when things feel fearful, I can withdraw or just dive in! So, let's swim!
I say there are really only two choices - expand into love, into the challenge, into the opportunity, into the grace or contract into fear, into isolation, into limitedness.
It is the trajectory of our lives and our birthright to grow, to expand, to define and refine. Often the choices we make will create ripples we may never even be aware of. At the best of times, we are at our best; at the worst, often we struggle to rise above.
This practice teaches us, if we allow ourselves to receive it, surrender and supplication. While it ennobles our discipline, it also show us that the soft always overcomes the hard – the roundest drop of softest water will wear away the toughest block of granite, given its three warriors, time, patience and perseverance.
So, when we harden, when we stiffen and draw back, we feel the contraction and become defensive, closed, guarded… how often can we recognize this and move ourselves outward into connectivity, empathy, compassion, consideration or simply acceptance of what is? You know, the soft always overcomes the hard, just like I've said previously.
This consciousness finds methods, perspectives, validations and reassurances as we literally re-wire our nervous system. It takes time, it takes a practice, it takes the dedication to stabilize the metabolism and nourish the system, both physically, spiritually or energetically and emotionally. So why be around pollution?
Perhaps this is the greatest yoga we can challenge ourselves with – not caturanga, not astavakrasana, not a 90-day meditation, but rather, to love – fully, in the face of hate, in the times where it seems impossible, ‘til it hurts, when it’s all you got and even when it feels gone – love is limitless, you can always create more from the prana in the next breath.
So, yogis, I bid ye – here is your mission. Be nice, nicer than is reasonable, with love and care and compassion. Not for your loved one, not your friends, but the person you work with you like least (why?) and the person who you meet next that pushes those buttons – love them for being your Teacher.
And while you are at it, how about you start at home, and love yourself, fiercely, first.
Give thanks and praise – expand into love.