I find that there isn't a better way for me to live my yoga than by choosing to consciously live in integrity. I can feel it when my life begins to become a little "divided". I find myself engaging in projects that I don't fully support. I say things that I sort of mean, versus taking the time to say what I really want to say. I eat foods that are not in my body's best interest. The list could go on. But you get the picture.
Last week, my husband had a very busy week at our retreat center. As we were getting ready to go to work for the week, I found myself feeling a pull to stay behind. I felt torn: I wanted to support him, to go with him and stand beside him... and I also felt this small voice that never roars, but whispers quietly and regularly.
That voice said, "just stay. Be still. Listen." After a few internal gymnastic routines, I decided to stay home... for. the. whole. week. This is the longest I have been apart from my husband, and I also had to make peace with the fact that he would be working a lot and I would be, um. listening. But it was needed... and I realized it even moreso as the days went on.
Once I settled into my aloneness, I did some things I don't usually do. For example, one night my friend, Leela, came over and slumber-partied. At first it was hard to just "be". I felt a need to answer my phone and "do stuff", but then I settled down, and we juiced, made great food together, laughed until it hurt, shared openly about our hearts' calling and our hearts' struggles, and sat on the deck watching the birds and the boats go by... And then, just like that, it was time for her to return to her life.
Another night, I sat with the full moon. Just sat.
One morning, I awakened with the two bald eagles living outside my kitchen window and did yoga on my rooftop with them soaring above me. Another morning, I consciously watched the sunrise... not meditated, but just watched and felt the sun rise over the mountain. I filled my days with mindmapping, journaling, drawing with my crayola markers, practicing yoga, listening to music, and exploring every possible way that I could get closer to that quiet voice that said, "just stay. Be still. Listen."
It is an important part of the practice. The being still part.
Taking care of ourselves will not alway result in a standing ovation or a level of understanding that would make it easy to do, especially if you are used to responding to every call. But taking care of ourselves is necessary in order for each of us to be clear about what our heart longs to express. So we are able to go where we are inspired to go... when we do this, we don't have to push ourselves, prod ourselves, or convince ourselves of the merit of anything. Instead, we wake up in the morning and say, "WOW! I get to [fill in the blank] today! That is soooo cool!"
So, if you've got a juicer, or a blender, or a Vitamix.... crack that baby out. And whip up some "listening tonic". It's simple: A little veggie--like romaine, chard, cucumber, tomato, lotsa carrots, and then I like a couple apples, and a chunk of ginger, and some fennel seed... if you are blending, or vitamixing, you can also add avocado and flax meal. Super omega-goodness....
And while you're at it... sprout some mung beans, or sunflower seeds... or almonds.... for your salad.
I don't suggest this because it is "good for you". I suggest it because it is the only way you can SEE YOU. It's pretty easy to numb out these days. And if we live numb, life slips by and we starve to death for lack of meaning. When you take time to clean out in this way, your life calling will rise to the surface and you won't be able to stuff what you came here to do... you'll just have to hurry up and go to bed so you can wake up tomorrow and say, "WOW! I get to [fill in the blank] today!" That is sooo cool"
Enjoy the juice... and you will clearly be able to hear the juicy things you've been trying to say to yourself... now that you've stopped to listen...