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Every day there are a plethora of thoughts and responsibilities running through my mind: I have an infant I love spending time with. I do my computer work during her sleep spurts. And I have to be very ingenious when she has heroic days of little to no napping.
But I know where there’s a will there’s a way.
And it’s my will to be with my baby as much as possible AND establish a thriving community at Elemental Yoga. So I find a way to defeat time- or work around time- or make time my best friend…
Michael and I have been talking about the insignificance of our lives on this planet.
We don’t talk about it in a morbid way. We talk about it in a way that helps us to keep a fresh perspective on our daily activities.
When I get caught up in the whirlwind of chosen obligations and feel overwhelmed by them, I stop and remind myself that the struggle is a worthy one.
Because my life on this planet is a preciously short moment in time.
Because the things I get myself all in a tizzy about will, as Alan Watts says, all come out in the wash.
Because the choices I make on a moment to moment basis are simultaneously the most important and least important things.
I mean to say that how I am feeling in a moment is the most important thing to me because I am the center of my universe. And this moment is the only thing that is guaranteed. However, how I feel in this moment bears very little importance to you.
You are focused on how you feel in this moment and how your number one and two feel.
Do we miss the mark every day that we wake up too overwhelmed with the activities of the day to see the big picture?
Do we also miss the mark when we walk blind to the beauty and possibility that is available to us in this precise moment.
Struggles will present themselves everywhere we turn.
That is a given.
We can’t be alive and expect not to struggle.
So if you have an obstacle in your path, congratulations! You have a pulse.
It is not the struggle that’s the problem. It’s the choice we make when presented with the struggle and it’s the choice to choose who and what we struggle with and for.
I can struggle to be the best mom I am capable of.
I can struggle to be the best wife I am capable of.
I can struggle to make the healthiest choices I am capable of.
I can struggle to get through a challenging workout.
I can struggle to sit and meditate.
None of these things are easy.
And good… the harder something is, the more rewarding is its fulfillment.
Jesus said God comes like a thief in the night. You always have to be ready for his arrival. Those who are not ready don’t receive God’s rewards. They simply keep living on the level of the status quo.
Every day I look at the things most precious to me and recognize that they could be taken away in an instant. The more I love something, the more I realize its fragility: my beautiful daughter who showed me that I was capable of loving something or someone more than life itself, my brilliant husband whose very existence in my life makes me strive to be a better person. These two have shown me that I am capable of becoming the woman I have always desired to be- loving to the utmost, charismatic, hard working.
Michael walked into my life and embodied for me so many of the qualities I sought to embody for over a dozen years- responsibility, action oriented, even temperedness, perseverance even when it was the last thing I felt like doing.
Gideon was born into my life and immediately awoke inside of me the sleeping giant.
With her, I can love to the ends of the earth. I can stay up till all hours of the night- working if I need to, nursing if I need to, meditating if I need to and then get up the next day with a smile on my face and do it all over again.
Gideon awakens inside of me the desire to be in communion with the world. She awakens a tenderness I never thought possible.
I always joked with Michael before we had the baby that the world didn’t need me to be a mother because I am not the motherly type, but the world needed him to be a father. Because he is amazing with kids.
The truth is that the world didn’t need me to be a mother, I needed me to be a mother. I needed to go through the initiation and transformation that only Gideon could bring me. And now I believe that being a parent is the most worthy pursuit I could ever engage in. Gideon completes me in a way I thought Michael was supposed to-
Like ahh, I’ve arrived.
Where I’ve arrived is uncertain. I can only say it is one more step forward on my evolutionary path.
Now, back to the title of this blog…
Is Darkness always ever only a single decision away?
In an obvious way, I could go to a motel and engage in deadly behavior this very evening. Maybe I run into the wrong person with a weapon. Maybe I use a non-sterilized needle.
Those are extreme examples. More likely, it’s the small decisions that seem harmless in the moment but accumulate day after day, month after month, year after year. And before we know it those choices have formed a habit, which has formed a character which will form a destiny.
A 180 turn is ever only one decision away.
I never know what the one tiny change is going to be that catapults my life forever into a better or worser trajectory. This is why I try (and fail daily) to be blameless in my choices.
What I eat makes a difference.
What I read makes a difference.
How I spend that 10 minutes of free time makes a difference.
What I watch makes a difference.
Whether I choose to gossip about someone makes a difference.
Whether I choose to put down my phone and look my partner in the eye when we are talking makes a difference.
Whether I choose to meditate for just 7 minutes a day makes a difference.
Whether I take a walk makes a difference.
And so many more infinitely small choices make a difference.
But I don’t know which choice is going to make the most difference.
The story of the Bhagavad Gita is an allegory for the battlefield of our minds and bodies. Every day, we are fighting for the state of our existence. Will I live in righteousness or will I let selfishness overtake me?
The prize to be won is my own consciousness- it is the opportunity to experience my consciousness as something in the process of purification or in the process of decline.
This is why I do Yoga.
This is why I meditate.
This is why I journal.
This is why I practice open and honest communication with my husband.
This is why I eat clean foods.
All of these things make a massive difference in how I inhabit my physical body. I can live in my body with ease and joy or I can live in my body with discomfort and pain.
The struggle is inevitable.
But we get to choose what we are struggling toward.
I choose health. I choose vitality. I choose love. I choose discipline.
Choose it with me.
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