“Joy is an inside job.”
For the last five days while I was in Tucson, I have been studying how the physical body and the way in which it expresses pain is actually the final manifestation of a long line of misalignments and misapropriations and mistakes that spans the gamut from the emotional to the spiritual to the physical and back again. Pain is kind of like a spiral that begins from the inside and kind of builds to its fullest expression over time.
The good news is that many of the reasons for the pain can be undone with commitment and dedication to a new way of living; by incorporating breath-work and ball work and asana and meditation and affirmation and changes in diet and lifestyle, a lot of physical pain can be lessened and oftentimes completely alleviated. It’s pretty remarkable. But not always, if ever, is it easy, and many times it is not very comfortable either.
In yoga there is the concept of living one’s dharma. As outlined in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna presents Arjuna, on the battlefield, a series of challenges that helps to guide him towards his life purpose: To live in grace simply with simple actions is to be wise beyond measure. Beautiful words that meet me close to the precipitous edge of my own comfort zone, my own dharma, my own life.
How do I live my own dharma, and how do I become fluid and steady with the whole concept of a life’s purpose? Well, lately I’ve been doing it one day at a time; opening to the graciousness offered up to me by the universe, meeting it on an inhale with an open heart, perceiving joy in its simple pleasure. Exhaling out all that no longer serves me and beginning the process all over again and again and again. It’s a new spiral, one I’m riding for the long haul, oftentimes enjoying the downward swoosh.
As I trundle towards Newark on a fairly bumpy descent, I am struck by how much my life has changed; how the once jagged edges of my former life ripped apart have been made smooth by my heart-felt commitment to remain true to my dharma. It’s a prayer I make to myself every day and toss out to the Universe in the hopes that it will catch upon something that makes sense to me and keep me fresh, alive and new. And sometimes it feels like joy, and other times, not so much. But I can tell you all that for the most part, the pain has gone away; manifesting from the inside out.
So now, I stand before myself, well-aligned and ready for battle, knowing, like Arjuna that my inner-strength expresses itself outward simply, one day at a time, with love in my heart and my dharma fully intact.
Big Loving Namaste!