Even with this new mindful living that I have slowly begun to incorporate into my life, I find myself often searching for a logical explanation as to how I feel about the experience in my head. It seems almost like a biological response, or most certainly a deeply engraved and learned one! And even though I know that the inclination to want to place labels or definitions or limits upon the day to day experiences in my life is old thinking, I have to work hard sometime to resist, to breathe into the pressure of resistance and open up to a graced self-awareness that keeps me calmly engaged in the present moment.
I’m facing a lot of challenging yet graced opportunities in the coming days and I am reminded of how important the breath becomes in any given situation where tension and resistance arise on the mat for me. I am therefore hopeful that I will be able to incorporate the same kind of pranayama into my life off the mat. Over the last couple of weeks, and most especially when I was in Haiti, where I was bearing witness to the incomprehensible often, I used the ujayii pranayama, (a gentle rythmic oceanic sounding breath where the inhalations and exhalations are through the nostrils), to keep myself in the flow; calm, peaceful, serene and therefore able to be authentically in service to myself and to others.
So, I’m at the Beer Dinner last night, and I’m feeling that familiar discomfort arise within me, that desire to question my motives, force solutions, forecast the outcome; generally just blow an opportunity to have a really good time with my own screwy thinking, and I reminded myself to breathe and do it deeply over and over and over again. And it worked. Ta Dah, a pivotal moment based on the simple act of mindful breath. My life is never ever as complicated as I can choose to make it.
I was a beautiful lover of Yoga and wine amongst, mostly men, who knew more about beer than I could ever possibly even desire to know. And they were lovely and sweet and geeky and so enthusiastic to share their passion with me in that moment. I realized that life is really really about those exchanges, as heart-felt as they are, within any given moment. It was the breath that brought me to that place of connection and I really believe that it is the breath that wisps and swirls within me that propels and sometimes catapults me forward in to the sheer bigness of my life, in spite of some of my baser more fearful instincts to want to believe otherwise.
I am a person amongst people; happy today to be able to breathe into this moment in gratitude for the next breath to come.