I really enjoy musicals, I also enjoy walking in nature and spending time with my family who I love. These things are a part of who I am in only small measure. The deeper me, the one full of experiences in this life is sometimes more difficult to get to know. Sometimes I am full-out in the sun, clear and bright. But there are places, experiences within me that are beneath the water or hidden under the protective overgrowth of scars that keep me walking through life pretty happy. Every now and then though, when a bump in the road suddenly appears, I get thrown off kilter.
Breath is life, without it we literally can’t exist. Inspiration filling us revives as the exhalation emptying creates release. Our yoga classes always begin with the breath. Feeling and deepening the breath. Then to just be, to sit with the breath as we feel this body we inhabit. Noticing tension or heaviness we can breathe into these spaces with our imagination. We become fully present as we focus on breath and body. And then, sometimes, a wondrous awareness occurs. Emotions may rise, joy or sorrow, strength or fear and connections occur to let us know a deeper part of ourselves that has been hidden away, waiting to be revealed.
This week I had the opportunity to explore some of those places within as I moved from breath, to body, to awareness, in Gestalt Pastoral Care class. A new opening to grace as I shed tears that washed away debris and allowed light to reveal a new knowing of myself. The song from “The King and I” began running through my head this morning, “Getting to Know You” “Getting to know all about you, getting to like you, getting to hope you like me. Haven’t you noticed, suddenly I am bright and breezy. Because of all the beautiful and new, things I’m learning about you, day by day” Written by Oscar Hammerstein II in 1951, in the play a teacher is singing to her new and foreign students. But I sing it to myself with joy and anticipation to greet the child, teen, adult within me and uncover the beauty and mystery of my life. I learn that deep sorrow and pain can be a wonderful teacher and that I am never alone on the journey. We can walk the road together.
May you get to know and love yourself.
Do you ever wish someone would just come to their senses and do the right thing? Do you ever think that about yourself? I know that many times I do not. I can be quick to point the finger away from myself and slow to turn the wrist the other way. What’s up with that? Finger pointing is not a yoga pose, nor is it helpful in relationships. A very famous and humble teacher once said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
Sensibility is the coming to know your-self and how we see that self in our relationship with the world and with others. It is also awareness of our presence in a space and time. When I am excessively occupied with activities, things-to-do and worry, my sense of self is diminished. I separate myself from what is present and important, from people and from God.
Every time I teach a yoga class we begin by creating awareness. We feel and deepen our breath; we feel our feet or bottom on the floor. We begin to feel – become sensitive to the space we are in. It is a part of what I have been studying in Gestalt Pastoral Care courses that demonstrate how we hold wounds, physical and emotional in parts of our body. And in our human nature to protect our image of self we bury the hurt, the shame or the fear. We get busy or overeat or use substances to entomb the feelings.
So often in my own Gestalt work I come to the truth that the flaws I see in others are present in my own wounds. In the practice of yoga the asana (poses) opens areas of the body we hold closed much of the time. The breath combined with movement may bring about feelings or sensations that rise to our awareness. The time of meditation opens space to experience internal and external sensations. We become sensitive to our inner being and can explore our self while God’s grace meets us there.
When I practice this, a light of compassion always rises in the morning of my soul. Others become mirrors for me instead of irritations, and I learn. Yet still I avoid or distract myself and a reminder comes that urges me to get out the mat and get to work.
This week I pray you are open to your senses, all of them. And that you find your-self growing to find peace and compassion for yourself and others.
I have seen beautiful paintings and photos of sunrise, full of bright colors and textures that the artists with such divine gifts move from the sky to the canvas. But there is nothing as beautiful as the real thing.
There has yet to be a human artist who could paint the moment by moment changes of clouds and color. No one to paint the breeze as it brushes against skin, speaking softly good morning. Never heard in the human copies are the gradual increases in birdsong as the night creatures become silent.
Though made in God’s image, the awe exists in that we could never attain the creative completeness of God’s nature, try as we might. Even our love pales in comparison to the grace poured put on us. Good Morning is a new invitation to try.
God saw everything he had made and called it good, there was evening and morning, a new day. Genesis 1 paraphrase.