Recently I went through a confusing and upsetting time due to a minor personal challenge. As circumstances of this situation began to unfold I could feel myself slipping. While the norm of my character is to fight and move through difficult times, I found taking a step back from life, allowing the moment to be experienced fully was the natural reaction in this case. It wasn’t a conscious decision, something else took over. I had no choice but to endure the sadness I felt.
While going with the flow of this temporary low I found myself grieving for the yoga studio I closed last year, realising I hadn’t allowed myself to do so at the time. To deal with closing down my dream and vision I kept going, taking up yoga classes immediately in other local studios. It just goes to show you how life catches up with you eventually. Now I wonder if the minor personal challenge was a catalyst to let go and release the running of a yoga studio and other career goals I have not been able to achieve.
During this down period other parts of my life suffered. I didn’t feel inspired to write blogs; my yoga teaching and own personal practice lacked enthusiasm. Only yoga teachers can understand what it’s like to go through these phases. On the outside, to everyone who comes to yoga, most classes are exactly like any normal class. For the yoga teacher, there is concern that if one isn’t feeling inspired on their own yoga mat how can you benefit your yoga students? Therefore the job is not being done well. I can’t say every yoga teacher feels this way. I certainly do and it can weigh on my mind, which doesn’t help matters.
Thankfully, a few weeks ago I felt myself come back to life. While deep in thought one day I found myself saying in my mind “I am looking forward to being back to myself”. As I caught myself thinking this I corrected that thought – giving recognition to the ‘not myself period’ as a very full and vital part of me. This train of thought reminded me of a blog I had posted a few months ago: Lila’s Lotus Flower, describing the metaphoric significance of the lotus flower according to tantra philosophy. The lotus flower dips its head under water at night to travel through the murky waters of materialism, through the waters of experience, before it can once again become a thousand petals that signify the light of enlightenment.
I realised my down time had been a temporary and crucial dive underwater. The minute I reflected on this everything shifted. I suddenly felt excited knowing that my petals are about to appear in all their glory once again. What was even more rewarding was the joy I felt to be back to my positive, motivated and ambitious self with new founded appreciation. I would almost say I had a level of acknowledgment I had not previously felt.
My down time reminded me that in order to experience joy we have to experience challenging moments. There is no light without darkness, there is no pleasure without pain. All we can hope for is the ability to move through difficult times with relative ease, knowing there is always light at the end of the tunnel and learning in it all. I am more reassured in this philosophy and fully believe the more we can accept life as it comes the happier we will be. The continued practice of yoga, meditation and reflection supports and develops this very valuable peace of mind.
Be happy, Be peaceful, Be Free!