Monday, November 12, 2012

what is your Path?

So, here's the deal. We can talk about chanting, meditating, life changing workshops, creating space, setting intentions, and doing the “work” until our heads feel as fluffy and enlightened as a bunny rabbit floating in a cloud. Not only is the image fantastically adorable, but hey, we might actually be doing some of that stuff, too. We make the time to show up on our yoga mats, commit to ourselves and our practice. We experience breakthroughs, breakdowns, we have revelations, and we feel better after we practice, meditate, and eat mindfully. It's the real deal.

But there is a question that keeps nagging at the back of my mind: are you, am I identifying with the image of our path, or with the actual experience of walking it?

I have trouble relating with the idea of being on the “yogic path.” Or really, “any-adjective-I-can-think-of” path. For some people, it works great, and that's awesome. Others? Maybe it makes you want to run for the hills. For me, the inner rebel wants to kick and scream at the thought of labeling or putting a tag on the brand of “life” I live. As soon as I hear “____” path, “____” philosophy, mentally I hold up my hands and say, “Hey, that's great for you, but it ain't me.”

But do we sometimes allow the language to prevent us from hearing the underlying message and intent?

What are we striving for when we decide to show up on our mats? We made a choice. We're walking the path. But whose path is it?

On either side of the coin, we can attach too much power to names and images and forget that regardless of what we identify with or don't identify with, this is real life. Whether we're running towards a particular life style and embracing it wholeheartedly or running away and keeping it at arms length, we can still miss out. At the end of the day this life isn't a matter of which path you choose; it's a matter of remembering that it's a miracle this is your life at all. That is sacred ground beneath you. Whatever names you choose, whatever images you seek to identify with, do you remember what the earth feels like underneath your toes and what the sun feels like on your face?

Our paths will inevitably always be longer and bigger than we expect them to be; do you try to diminish it so it fits, or doesn't fit a certain package?