As I crouched on my mat at the end of my practice today I felt overwhelmed by a feeling of surrender – an ease that hadn’t been present all day.
The day had spiralled off course from the get go – a bad night’s sleep, a sick child that needed to be with me for the day, another having a meltdown at going to school, combine that with a day of work to do, duties at home… and my head was already full of ‘stuff’ before I had even stepped out the door.
There was tension and heaviness around my heart that felt unfamiliar and unwelcome…an internal battle between my desires and the reality of my day. My duty (dharma) as a parent mixed with all those other obligations to which I was committed.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali suggests when we are in this place reflecting with compassion (karuna) on those less fortunate than our self may be helpful. In that reflection we might find some clarity at our own state and realise things are not really so bad. I tried…but even the greater ills of the world couldn’t remove the cloud for much more than a few seconds.
As they day progressed it was like ticking off boxes. Talking on the phone whilst making my son’s birthday cake seemed like great multi tasking but ended in disaster as I wrongly measured the ingredients. One cake in the bin, another to be baked! Sometimes you have to laugh and accept the curve the balls the universe is throwing at you – there might be a message in there.
So as I stayed on my mat at the end of my practice, still at last, having connected with my breath, my body and just being present with the practice that I’d done so many times before – without expectation – I realised that staying overwhelmed is really just a choice. Ok, so outside circumstances may not change, but the internal battle becomes so much lighter when we let go of the fight.
Acceptance, surrender – whatever you like to name it.
In yoga it is called isvarapranidhana – which really translates as ‘giving ourselves over to a greater force’. Letting go of the control, realising we are not the master of all. It takes so much effort to try and control, don’t you think?
I wonder in the West that acceptance is such a foreign concept for most of us? If a fallen logs block a river what do we do? We clear it. It makes sense for the water to flow without obstruction so why is our tendency to often hold onto our blocks?
As I write this I realise I don’t have the full answer and this question may need some more reflection… but I am open to the possibilities that may come from giving myself that space at the heart. Today I am the maker of my own internal change… and faith in the Universe may just take care of the rest.
Namaste and Happy Easter,