A shift in perspective is old news. It takes a frustrating amount of mental energy and is often done grudgingly--like showing your work in math class. Besides, it's usually at the behest of so-called good advice, and really, when is that last time following advice had a lasting effect?
No, what we need is a shift in consciousness--a simple stilling of the noise of the inner waters and a fuzzing out of the gaze, letting what's out there rush in to fill that raw, churning, gnawed-on space.
Filling an empty glass is as easy as dropping it into the stream, and as much as we think we're filled to the top with our worries/fears/obsessions/possessions/problems/workload, we're not.
Thinking we're full is the first sign we're dangerously close to running on empty.
I am so guilty of this--focusing on the one out-of-the-ordinary, pain-in-the-arse task, inconvenience, or new thing that will be, in reality, uncomfortable for maybe five minutes. But here I am, already having dedicated countless minutes to imposing that discomfort on myself.
I don't know how we got this way. Surely, our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed that antennae, that apprehension of the unknown, but they couldn't have lived it *all* the time, or we wouldn't be here. We'd have killed each other off or died under stress-related illness long before now.
I don't have the reason and, let's face it, it's not like I have the answer, either. But I'm aware of it. Even if I shift my focus back to the one cloud in an otherwise perfect sky, I remember. I shift back.
Really, I think that's all we can hope for in the beginning. But that's not a small thing--to have the power, the choice, to shift focus?That's some bad-ass magic right there. Remember that; when you reclaim your focus,...
Sometimes, well, oftentimes, teaching yoga is the best (and often only) time I teach myself anything. Sometimes it's the only time I've listened to myself all day, all week. The longer one teaches yoga (teaches anything, really), the better one becomes at channeling--wisdom, knowledge, insight, whatever you want to call it. And maybe this wisdom comes from within us, but it doesn't feel that way. It's more of a gift than that.
Anyway, yesterday I taught myself something--that the exhale is always a relief. It's always a letting go, even at the height of anxiety or dread or exhaustion. This is the cardinal rule of the exhale: it is always a chance to drop something--and, man, what a gift that is. And, yes, I've said that and heard it countless times before yesterday. But for some reason, this time, I actually *heard* it.
I attribute this to whatever cosmic atmospheric forces were at work, sure, but I also attribute it to the incredible, cumulative spirit of the small group of women...
I've lived in the Midwest, where wind is the climate--wind and all wind, nothing but wind. It's hard, for this Yankee, anyway, to get rooted in the midst of all that swirling, moving, insistent energy.
But when it's not the norm (or, if it is, when it changes direction), its presence, its arrival, means something. You can feel it before you even open your eyes in the morning--that shift. And then the sound. It's the sound of arrival.
And if you want to make room for this shift? It's also the sound of departure. Wind goes where you don't have to. You don't have to offer anything, relive anything, dredge anything up. Just get up, sit. Participate in the shift by acknowledging it, by being present, by becoming one more signal in the storm.