So you know that feeling when the cruise ship of your life begins to sink and you start to panic looking out at the big scary ocean? And then all the sudden a life raft appears. You know those inflatable ones? So it appears and you hold on with everything you’ve got and think “thank god for this life raft”. And then all the sudden this giant pin shows up and pops that raft. Your choices are: a) throw a temper tantrum, b) tread water until someone/something saves you, or c) latch on to that other life raft that has magically appeared. You go for ‘c’, obviously, after exploring both a, and b. And then ooops. There’s that pin again. POP. Another one bites the dust. Left with the same choice. Eventually, however, after several rounds of this ‘c’ is no longer a choice as you’ve popped all life rafts. So then you maybe tread water for awhile, and just when you think you can’t sit there treading water in this scary ocean any longer the shore appears in the distance. You get that second wind and start to head toward that gorgeous shore full of hope ahead.
What’s funny is, you’ll get to the shore and feel your toes in that warm, blond sand and then a new bigger shinier cruise ship docks. Obviously you get on and you start all over again taking with you the new found respect of the big scary ocean and that heart of yours that’s been inevitably strengthened. This. Is. Life. We will always choose the life rafts. We will always board a new ship. It’s how we choose to handle the treading water part that makes each experience different and beautiful. I choose to find my mat. I go to my mat to tread water. I find my feet firmly rooted in the Earth and then I breathe. I breathe into those tired muscles. I breathe into my aching heart. I breathe into the chaos and confusion without any expectation of clarification. I just want to breathe. And then suddenly I move. I move through sun salutations. I sit in downward dog until my body tells me to move. I tap into the power and beauty of prana flowing freely through the vessel of my body. I end up in savasana. I close that practice officially and allow the mind and body to connect. As I press myself back up to a seated position and bow into my body in gratitude I recognize this as an opportunity of rebirth. My second wind. I see the shore. I swim toward it.
And then I repeat. I couldn’t be more grateful for this blessing of yoga in my life. And I hope to one day no longer need those life rafts and instead of going down with the ship I’ll head off enthusiastically for the shore that I know exists and the ship that I am sure to board. And thanks to my practice I’ll have the strength of heart, the focus of mind, and the truth of my authentic self to get me on the next ship.
That’s all we can hope for. And isn’t it wonderful.