fierce grace

I am the Way and the Master who watches in silence
Thy friend and thy shelter and thy abode of peace
I am the beginning and the middle and the end of all things;
Their seed of Eternity, their Treasure supreme
Bhagavad Gita 9:18

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think someone slipped a chemo pill into my wine glass at the Lake Region Fitness holiday party.

The next morning I awoke with a sore throat, but I bull-headedly forged ahead to work obligations and appointments, and 24 hours later the effects kicked in; fever, chills, body aches, nausea, diarrhea.

I haven’t felt this way since chemotherapy, was my initial thought.

But I also intuit that it often takes a fierce grace to bring our soul into alignment with our truest journey. This bout with a viral infection afforded me:

• Time to rest.
• Time to contemplate.
• Time to have no responsibilities to others.
• Time to accept discomfort on the deepest level.
• Time to fast.
• Time to be fully present with myself.
• Time to sleep deeply and dream.

So I write this as a Reminder to Self that the innate wisdom of our highest path is so beyond our understanding, so outside our limited perception, ineffable ….

I remain humbled in the Mystery.

post surgical quietude

For just a while last night I felt a deeper love for Life Itself. I felt a more compassionate resonance. Not that I had no compassion prior to last night.
But something came up for me .…..

A deeper feeling. A deeper knowing. Something that knew even though this life is a sham in so many ways, it is also the most important thing that there is.

It’s so much more than body parts.

The post mastectomy quietude requires watching, witnessing, being present with everything as crazy as it seems…..

It’s noticing the sense of EMPTINESS I feel around my chest.

The first time I recall having a knowing experienced around “emptiness” was in a self-hypnosis therapy session.  Being talked gently downward into hypnotic relaxation, the therapist asked me to “LOOK INSIDE” and tell her what I saw.

I “saw” NOTHING, and said, “it’s HOLLOW, it’s EMPTY”.

She replied, “That’s a brave observation, something many people are afraid of”. I wasn’t afraid. I felt more at peace than I ever had.

It’s noticing the physical pain, which is certainly present.

Being curious about how it feels. The heaviness – like a ton of bricks is sitting on my chest, pulling, stretching, pinching. And noticing that there’s actually a choice about one’s reaction to the feelings of pain.

When the surgeon took out 2 of my drainage tubes yesterday, I was terrified …. Worked myself up into frenzy thinking about what I’d heard from others that it would “feel” like when they yanked out the tubes.

I closed my eyes, took giant breaths, kind of like breath of fire pranayama, even chanted Om Namah Shivaya ……
The actual puling out tubes EVENT was not as bad as the thoughts that I CREATED from my high anxiety mode.

It’s accepting the need to REALLY REST

There’s so many things I WANT to DO, it’s just my nature. Especially movement and change, which I ADORE ….. learning to move the body in new ways. The thrill of being upside down.
But I can’t do my morning handstand now. I have to accept that. It’s time to REST. The handstand will be there when I heal.

For now, slow walking, sitting, reading, looking at nature outside the window, dreaming.

It’s being more aware of TIME, and its illusive quality

Having so much time on hand with no work obligation can be tricky if your personality is conditioned to be busy and productive all the time.

I now have to view this abundance of time as an OPPORTUNITY to notice the VALUE of each and every moment as it REALLY IS. Not just a damn RAT WHEEL. Not just setting and meeting goals, not just carrying out obligations and duties, not just working toward achievements of any sort.

HERE I AM.

That’s really the only TRUTH I can know for Absolute sure. WHERE that really is – I don’t know, and WHAT that really is – I don’t know, and certainly HOW that really is – I don’t know.

The acceptance around TIME being illusive is a huge opportunity for me now having so much of it on my hands. The recognition of it again and again is so liberating.

It’s being more TRUSTING and HOPEFUL that by consciously bringing my attention back to benevolence, more of that will appear to manifest

When I look at my surgery site, what I see is HIDEOUS. Blue pen markings, glued puckered ugly skin incision sites, the rim of the flat pancake spacer showing through from under the skin. It’s so gross to me that I wince looking at it.

What if this “hideous” mastectomy site were viewed instead as an amazing masterpiece holding the potential for a new body, a work of art in progress, a site of regeneration and healing?

Instead of grimacing each time I view my surgery site, what could happen if I remember to place my attention on the wonder of being ALIVE…….. a human BEING Radiating with a Divine Luster?

Yes, exactly as I’ve chanted a zillion times in my Anusara yoga classes:

Niralambaya Tejase “This describes Shiva, or the auspicious energy that Is, as completely free and illuminated.

NIRALAMBAYA means without support. Source has no outside support because there is nothing other than Source. It is a stable ‘IS-ness’, if you will; completely free from limitation for it is all that is.

TEJASE is a light that is always present, even if we can’t see it. It is the fire of passion, the luminous divinity that is in every heart. It is the spark of the conception of a new being, the sparkling beauty that shines out through all of creation and within the meditative realms. It is the purest, most powerful light, and it is beaming its goodness within you!” Katrina Ariel

Today, I am making a conscious vow to continue my work on radiating this attitude.

Namaste.

Photo: alexandra-levasseur