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Inspiration, yoga and roller skates


Wednesday mornings I now teach my very own yoga class at a real studio.  It's scary and empowering and fun all rolled into one.  One of my favorite aspects of Rasamaya yoga, the method that I studied and therefore teach, is the way each class has a purpose.  A meaning.  We don't just follow a series of poses.  We structure the class around a chakra and flavor it with an emotion.

For instance, my first class last week centered around the first chakra, so we did lots of grounding poses.  I chose to focus on the emotion of peace.  My cues within poses and the readings before and after the class were meant to invoke/inspire a sense of calmness - or peace.

It's a little more work than just picking a series of poses and guiding the class through them - but I really like the results of working through movements and emotions together.  It can be powerful.  Think of a world where everyone mindfully moves their bodies and allows themselves to be in touch with their emotions on a regular basis.

So, while researching various readings that I can use within my teaching, I found a poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer called The Invitation that truly resonated with me.  I could get lost in her website and plan to buy her books in the future.  If you're looking for inspiration or just need a break from work for a few minutes, I recommend poking around over there.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Instead of asking people what they do for a living, I tend to ask them what do you love to do?.  I think it explains well why I am able to have a conversation and find common ground with just about any person.  I like to see people and have the ability to connect.  I'm probably the most non-judgemental person that I know.  Realizing as I get older and am more self-aware, that not everybody has that ability.

The last last verse has been haunting me:

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

This fall and winter, I have found myself in a position where I am alone a lot.  My husband has been traveling for work.  The kids are at school most days.  I've scaled way, way back from my own travel and press events.  At first, I allowed panic to take over and attempted to fill the empty moments with noise and distraction.  I realized that I didn't really like spending time with myself.  I didn't know how to spend time with myself so I attempted to fill the time with things to keep me busy and chastised myself for allowing any downtime. 

Mom Math: Downtime = lazy, unfocused, unmotivated, guilt worthy.

Mom Math is far more challenging than New Math.

Something I figured out quickly: Busy does not equal happy.  Busy does not make me happy unless the busy has a purpose and meaning.

Not sure if this is an official New Year's Resolution for 2013, a mid-life shit I'm almost 40 crisis, or a desire for a new way of life, but I've been forcing myself to spend time with me.  Just me.  No background noise.  No mini-me on my shoulder whispering in my ear telling me that I should get off my ass or suffer the wrath of guilt.  I'm finding things that make me happy and that allow me to feel at peace with myself.  I'm listening to my inner voice instead of ignoring it.

We used to have roller skating parties when I was growing up.  So much fun - except for that time when I almost fell and broke my friend's nose while flailing uncontrollably in an attempt to stay upright.  oops  I still remember this interesting moment after every party when I transfered from skates back to my street shoes... probably classic boat shoes since this was the 80's and I attended Catholic school... ehem.  It was like my feet still felt like they were in skates, but my shoes wouldn't let me glide.  Awkward.  A bit uncomfortable.  An intense sensation until my feet got used to having to take steps again. 

I feel like I'm in a similar moment.


A bit uncomfortable.

An intense sensation.

Trying to get myself to feel comfortable in my own shoes again.

Can you be alone with yourself?  Do you find peace in the empty moments?

I challenge you to take 10 minutes each day this week to spend alone and answer those questions for yourself.

Reader Comments (2)

the poem is nice

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

Yes! This post. LOVE it. So deep and so moving. More of this please. I like hearing this side of you.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

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