Sunday, March 9, 2014

Life goes on.

Last month, at our month 108 gathering, I divulged my darkest secret struggle. It is a negative thought, feeling that I push away whenever it arises. I don't write about it and yet I really feel a need to talk to someone about it. And at the same time, it feels silly. Well, maybe silly isn't the right word. I feel very vulnerable acknowledging it.

I am getting older. This year, in just two months I will turn fifty. Yup, I acknowledged that publicly. I have always been fortunate that people think I am younger than I am, but I am embarrassed to be getting so old. And I feel it physically. I try climbing every now and again and all these thrutchy, dynamic movements feel horrible on my joints. I try running and my knees are not so happy with me going up the stairs that night. The worst is that I look in the mirror and I see a belly that just won't be flat like it used to and grey, wirey hair protruding through the brown. I feel old.

I have always had a lot of fire, intensity. I have always been a results oriented focus. This tenacity has gotten me up some pretty hard routes, I've graduated from many degrees and certifications and I have created more than a few careers for myself. I work two jobs and raise a child alone. I get the job done, albeit not always well loved by those who have felt my fire ;) I still feel that fire. I don't want to slow down and not be great at the physical pursuits I once was great at. And yet, I don't want to have a great running speed for the sake of loosing belly fat or feeling strong. I don't want to send V9 to prove I still can.

I want the more subtle nuances of my strength and stamina. I want to feel the expansion through my core and the strength to sustain it as I feel it in warrior three. I want to experience that feeling of surrender to discomfort in a pose rather than the continued forceful persistence. I want the gracefulness that comes with acceptance and skillful effort.

This morning, I came across an article on the Yoga International website. Titled, Aging Gracefully, the author, Debra Willoughby recounts her experience of physical decline and what she eventually gained from it. And I am encouraged by the words of my teacher's teacher. Since starting my journey with Yoga, faith has always been the key. As my mother declined last year and eventually past away, I saw very clearly the inevitable for all of us, but I believed while her body left us, her spirit never did. Her live was full of meaning and purpose.

“As long as we remain inspired to discover why we came to this world, we remain youthful,” he said. “Old age has no power over us when we are accompanied by faith that we have something precious to experience and achieve in this lifetime. This faith sparks a burning desire to know the true nature of the invisible force that lies at the core of our being, and when it wells up, nothing—not the lack of worldly resources, a limited knowledge of philosophy, the absence of a living guide, or even old age—can stand in the way of our inner fulfillment.” Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.

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