Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My body. My mountain. My breath. My life.

This is the best I’ve got today, mountain pose. Some of you see me upside down, in warrior poses or eka pada what the what?? But today I stand tall in mountain. And today that’s all that matters…Standing. Tall.(Ha! All 5’2” of me!) As is. In my body. My mountain. My breath. My life. This is my body. I have all parts. You see them, I have two arms, two legs, a head screwed on pretty loosely most of the time. I have every finger and every toe, including my big Fred Flintstone. Lol! Have I ever been on a diet? Yup. After I had mono is high school, I lost a bunch of weight. But once I could eat I ate bags of almond joys. Yup, bags. I cried to my mom. So what did I do? I followed her weight watchers diet. Because who's mom wasn’t on weight watchers? WHO wasn’t on weight watchers? Have I ever taken a laxative, yup. Diuretic? Yup. Restricted my eating? Yup. Overate? Yup. Binged and purged? Yup. Worked out too much, too little? Yup. ALL OF IT. I’ve never been in treatment. Why? I am not sure. I’ve managed to “control” it. Make it “look” good. So after being blessed with angels in my life I’ve learned. It’s not about the food. It’s not about being thin. It’s about so much, so much more. It’s about control, protection, truth or not honoring the truth, its about stuffing and repressing, suppressing, it’s about self confidence or lack there of, self esteem and self worth. These are things I continue to work on every single day. I forgive myself when I falter and begin again. 

I do believe that our true essence is not our body. That our true essence of being, the I AM, the SO HUM, the divinity within us, the authentic self isn’t to be seen but to be felt, embraced and loved. This requires connection. Within ourselves first. I use the body to tune in. I start simple, with my breath. I breathe in. I breathe out. Breath is life, prana, energy. I feel my chest rise and fall with each breath. Then I tap into each sense. I can’t say for sure that without this body I could do that. I see, I smell, I taste and I hear. I touch. Through the body I can experience the senses. I can remember the pain of falling off my moms bike and getting stitches. I can remember the pain of bearing children. I, too remember the sweet smell of my babies skin. I revel in the sight of a sunrise or full moon at night. I can taste my moms stuffed artichokes in my mouth or hot out of the oven NJ pizza. And I am grateful for all these experiences. Only through this great, magnificent body. Don’t get me wrong, I would be lying if I said I didn’t care what I looked like. I take care of myself the best that I can. I try to eat “right” and move my body in some way everyday. I roll out my mat and am grateful for every movement, every pose, every breath, even every thought (my mind is working.) I am grateful for the body I am in today and all that it does for me. And at the end of a yoga (asana) practice I am grateful to rest and nurture this body so it can serve its purpose again and again. To love and serve the best I can the best I know how. 

Now, as my body shows signs of aging with wrinkles and grey strands of hair it teaches me that nothing, nothing remains the same. We can not stop time. And my answer to happiness is wholeness. Loving the whole package. The experiences, the wrinkles, the scars, the grey hairs the extra weight. We certainly can alter our appearance through surgery, or how much or how little we eat but this can not change the beauty of whats on the inside. ALL that’s on the inside, the suffering AND the joy. It’s all amazing. It’s all beautiful. For every experience I say thank you. For every amazing moment and person and teacher in my life I say thank you. For this body, this vehicle, this instrument of mine, I say thank you. Thank you, God for giving me the miracle of life as a human being. I pray I continue to use this body, this voice, this mind, this heart to serve and to love. I hope we all can recognize and truly feel that we are enough, we are confident, we are capable, we are strong and we are beautiful. We are bodies. We are mountains. We are breath. We are life. We are perfect just the way we are. Imperfect. As is.

This year's Thanksgiving day class donations support The Embody Love Movement founded by my friend, Melody Moore, Ph.D., RYT who says, “ Everyone on earth has a right to be here, a right to be seen and heard, and a right to be completely loved. When we value who we are, we value everyone around us just as much.”  The Embody Love Movement’s mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Thank you for all your donations!

I wish you and your families a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. Even with all of the suffering in the world I believe that most people are good and that there is so much to be grateful for. God bless you.

love and so much gratitude,