Oh, Mercy. I’ve not even made it into the double digits of 2015 and I am bringing the TLC (truth, love, and clarity) as potent as I know how. THIS is my 2015. I’m showing up, Kids. You’re either going to love it or hate it. I don’t see much of a middle ground in this. Like my mother says, “people are either going to like you or they are not, and there’s not a whole lot you can do except be yourself.”
Truth: I have a deep committed relationship to the divine — call it God, Alah, Mohamed, Jesus, Buddha, Shiva, Ganesha, Goddess, God, Shanti Devi, Durga - and the list goes on and on — As you can see, I am not particular.
You see, MY truth is that EVERYTHING I do on the mat is to experience THAT oneness. And when I teach, flow, bounce, pause, chant, breathe, sit, visualize, listen, and align… it is THAT which I am portaging to access — so I can get THERE, and share THAT MAGIC from my heart as purely as I am able.
Maybe this will help you understand what I mean — Ever stood next to someone — maybe back in the 1990’s — when they were looking at one of those holographic pictures? You see dots, and they see dolphins? And they tell you, “Yes. There are dolphins. Three dolphins. They are jumping. And there’s a horizon behind them, and a bird in the sky.” And you see.... DOTS.
Suffice it to say that my asana teacher showed me how to see the dolphins. And “seeing the dolphins” is code word for “communing with divinity”. It's not really something I can bust into "explaining" when I am in the middle of a class because that would actually negate the desired outcome -- spin y'all into your heads and out of your pranamaya koshas.... where so much of the MAGIC happens.
Anyway, so that’s why I do yoga. I also know that there are a lot of people out there who do yoga for very different reasons than the ones that move me. Some even do yoga for the reasons I taught step aerobics back in the day — which had nothing to do with God. (If it would have, he would have probably told me to change my clothes—no one ever should have worn a thong leotard over Lycra.)
Okay, so now more on the “G Word”. Some of you might decide this is the time to bail or to get the guillotine, while others will lean in because you are as hungry as I am. Because like me, you spend your LIFE looking for God.
I think i will do this in bullet points. For Clarity.
* When I use the word “God”, I mean ALL of the names, ALL of the faces, forms, functions, expressions, and possible interpretations of an all knowing, all encompassing force. Yes, I do mean YOUR God. And I mean the GOD of your friends, neighbors, and even your enemies, and I also mean the GOD that Atheists don't believe in (I know, this is too much, isn't it?)
You see, divinity is one and the same. And he/she also expresses through whomever you know that expands your heart.... your parent, teacher, guru, guide, therapist, the lady down the street, even in YOURSELF.
AND, if that isn't enough to put you over the edge, I also mean this:
But there's good news if you're heading for the "unsubscribe" button.
* You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to understand where on earth from which I have come. AND we can still be friends. We can still respect one another whole heartedly. And get this: you can still come to yoga with me if the practice touches you (I will still love you if you don’t come.)
I’ll say this now, and I mean to say this even when my lips aren’t moving: “You can DO, NOT DO, or DO DIFFERENTLY.” Those are always your choices. And you are always free to choose what moves your heart to open. Please do. Everyone wins when you do.
* You see, God is EVERYTHING. He/She is all of us, more than us and less than us. Though the lens of ancient yogic teachings, God is genderless and all genders, and He/She is the CREATOR. That which is CREATED. & the process of CREATION.
* My FAVORITE interpretive verbal expression of what most in my background call “God” (or any of the names I have mentioned above) is a Sanskrit expression: The word is ISHVARA, and its loose translation is “the one you worship” and it is made up of sound syllables, each of which is an expression or characteristic of God. So you can’t get around it. You can’t not devote yourself to light. It’s on your breath. It’s in your body. It’s who you are.
Mum'z the word.
Or might I say, "OM is the word"?
* I will leave you with this. Ishvara is the divine energy that moves in and through ME & YOU and ALL of creation and is holy fit to be treated with reverence, kindness, compassion, and love — lest you happen to forget... and then you just start again, and bring yourself back.... one deep breath... one prayerful moment.... at a time.
Have a Om Gung Ganapateyeh Day.