Love is a Four Letter Word
“Shit.” That was my enlightened internal sentiment during yoga class today. It was one of those days where every time I reached the third breath in a pose, I latched onto a thought, usually something like, “I hope the school isn’t calling right now, what if Zi peed his pants again…” and, “okay, after yoga equals Kroger, then bank, then switch laundry, charge camera battery.” That would then lead to the part where, in the self-guided method of Ashtanga, I realize I suddenly have no clue what comes next. “Shit.” And, there to compound my own judgment is the knowledge that the very essence of yoga is to suspend that judgment. Days like this I find myself thinking less-than loving thoughts about my practice, and that’s how I know for certain, it’s the real deal. I’m absolutely, head over heels in capital L- Love. That kind of reminds me of my dad’s terrible “how many pancakes does it take to shingle a doghouse? Twenty four of course, because ice cream doesn’t have bones.” joke, meaning, “Huh? How did you end up with love?”
When we think about those people that we truly love in a whole, dynamic, full way, it's my belief that they aren’t the ones where we’re constantly saying, “isn’t she WONDERFUL, I just adore her!!!” It’s the people in our lives that we’re so frustrated with sometimes, we just wish we could poke them in the eyeballs (just this once, no permanent damage;) to get them to listen to what we’re saying, or shake them as hard as we can so they’ll STOP doing that super annoying thing (I’m 100% positive mike feels this way when I blather on about my client’s hair problems… at midnight…when he’s in a dead-sleep, and I feel this way often when he snores during a movie and every ten minutes exclaims, “I’m awake!”) They anger you, they exhaust you, and they are also the ones that give your life meaning and substance.
It’s the reason a dancer’s feet could easily be on the cover of the next “Saw 5” (or whatever number we’re on now), and the reason moms across the globe wake up to feed their infants at 3am and then get up and ready for work at 6 without thinking twice about it. It isn’t gliding seamlessly from one perfectly aligned pose into the next, it’s falling out of headstand and over and over, it’s over-extended arms, wobbly Utthita Hasta Padangusthasanas (or, as I like to call it, balancing on one foot and grabbing your big toe), and occasionally wandering minds. It’s showing up, even when you really don’t feel like it. (i.e, cutting someone’s hair whose sick on your day off, cooking dinner for your family when you’d rather be reading) It is also that moment when your breath and your body and your mind align and suddenly, there is nothing else but THIS moment. It’s looking into the eyes of someone you love, and even though they did that super annoying thing #67 today, all the silly garbage we create to get angry about melts away, and you know you’re looking at something so mysterious and full, it could only be gloriously imperfect, capital L-Love.
Next week if my “float though” attempt ends in a loud, clunky heap on my mat during class, and I’m annoyed and frustrated, and then doubly annoyed and frustrated since my goal is to not be annoyed and frustrated, I’m going to do my best to relax, let go, let my heart do a little inward yoga smile and think, “Ahhh, this must be Love.”
-Post-Crazy Day at the Salon kitchen Shavasana, as taught by the beautiful and amazing Megini Yogini! <3
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