the mat and the snot stained shirt

It’s a beautiful September morning, cool and sunny. I awake extra early filled with an unexplained anxiousness. The week had been filled with meaning, purpose, friendship, family, work and practice.

Add a little bit of background: Science shows us that everything is made up of energy and exchanges that with everything else at all times in a most complex way. It is the building block of all matter.

The same energy that composes your flesh is the same one that composes the bricks of your house and the trees outside. It is all the same. It is constantly at flow, changing form all the time.

This is a very simple explanation of a rather complex thing.

In his book, The Divine Matrix, Gregg Braden starts off one of his chapter saying:

There is a place where all things begin, a location of pure energy that simply “is.

At a local non-violent communication meeting I sat next to a very depressed young man. After a little encouragement, he openly shared his underlying hope that was barely a glimmer beneath the heavy darkness in which he lived.

He held the oppressiveness of the world inside his heart and it showed like a gloomy mask over his young face.

I listened with empathy as he and the others talked about life’s challenges. I was in the position of table leader and therefore, did not share.

The purpose of the gathering was to practice the language of the heart, starting with non-violence toward your own self.

We connected with breath and got centered; acknowledging both the inner wisdom and the attempts of the mind to instill fear, smallness, non-enoughness, etc. It was an open, honest dialogue and I left feeling blessed.

But energy, both light and dark, is real and in search of a home. I had absorbed some of this young man’s depressed state and the next day it felt like my own.

So I took to my mat and allowed the feelings to arise:

I feel like a failure;

A bad friend;

A  judge in search of my own agenda;


Disappointment in not being heard.

And yet, underneath all this mess, I knew there was a center I needed to return home to.

One that would provide  peace and space. 

Out in the park I used the only item I had to blow my nose and dry my tears- a light-weight sweatshirt. The outpouring went on for quite awhile as the awareness continued as to how life works and how healing takes place starting in the physical body.

I had practiced with an excellent yoga teacher who opened our hips and psoas consistently for the hour. We focused on our center and the concept of sattva as compared to the other two extreme Gunas: rajas and tamas.

When rajas is dominating there is selfishness and greed and with an excess of tamas one is reckless, inactive or delusional. All we humans are working these out and returning to our true nature.

But the road to get there looks like a stop on the mat and resembles a crumbled mess of a woman surrendering all her ugliness and faults to the earth.

I am grateful that my heart continued to speak clearly- “you are a human and all of these faults and fears are normal.”

They are not to be judged, they are to be surrendered. THIS is how you find liberation, ease and comfort in feeling more like yourself, your truest self.

I humbly moved with breath, opening heart, hips, hamstrings and shoulders; continuing to trust that the physical body’s release would serve the highest good in healing me and allowing me to show up more whole and connected to my TRUTH as a teacher of these tools.

Why am I grateful to have ‘caught’ this dark energy?

I have found more compassion for those who suffer regularly from this condition, especially the women I teach at the FDC who are away from their families for extended periods of time.

They suffer depression in large numbers in a very negative environment where it is nearly impossible to see or ‘catch’ the light. I am grateful for any opportunity to be in humble warrior, face planted in supplication, tears releasing fear and lies and rigidity.

May we all  confidently step out of the shadows and into the L I G H T, finding liberation and Peace within and without.  

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