When you think of someone who has done a fair amount of yoga and is deeply committed to it what do you imagine? Beautiful house, beautiful love, days refining detox diets and the effortless ease of a bhudda? It’s all true. And completely false.
How posh is posh?
I live in nice houses, sometimes with nice people, sometimes with nice cats. I have nice boxes with my clothes stored in them so moving is easy and I know where stuff is instantly. So it is posh. It’s not the knapsack variation. Above is the picture of Grande Plage as the sun goes down – pretty dreamy! It’s not the bhuddist monk walking and not knowing where their next meal will come from, relying solely on the goodness of humankind. I still have a regular job and a backup plan. I dread the idea of walking off into life, but the truth is I’m only a journey and I don’t know what comes next.
A life of longing
I always knew in theory that relying on external stability was unwise, but I couldn’t live it. I totally ‘got’ relying on something deeper, I just wasn’t ready to do it. I wanted forever, the no more moving, the neat and tidy nest. Now, on paper my life looks poor. For the last year I have been living like a posh vagrant. I left my family home and took up house sitting in September 21. I moved from cat sitting, to house sitting, to my mum and dads, to cat sitting, to my mum and dads, to Biarrtiz, where I am right now, next stop slightly uncertain.
The yoga of not knowing what’s next
So why? Why am I accepting and even revelling in so much instability in my life? The truth is I like living alone. I like singing without bothering what someone else thinks or if I sound poor, or if it disturbs them. I leave dishes in the sink, dirty, for days if I want, or I have everything neat and tidy, it doesn’t matter, no one cares. I like to cry and laugh fully, rather than taming myself. If I want to put papers on the floor and step over them I can. This sense of freedom, although minute is also massive. I’m free!
And backwards isn’t possible for me. To go backwards is to squash and squeeze myself into a space I would never fit with ease. Like a giant in a barbie dress, it just isn’t going to be comfortable. Once the giant takes off the miniscule pink lacy dress, he sighs with relief and can finally embrace his big body as ‘what is’. I’ve been squishing into a tight dress for a long time. I was so used to the feeling of the dress I didn’t know I could take it off, let it go. I thought I’d feel naked and lost without the dress. Instead I’m like a big hairy giant dancing naked on the edge of the sea in joy. How good does it feel to be alive!
Stability in instability
I thought I knew myself. I thought I knew what I needed: stability, safety, people, my stuff. I was so sure I knew what I needed that I chased it relentlessly. It has been like a dramatic change of perspective. Not a gentle gradual knowing, but more like the white hot blast of an unforgiving mirror. I thought the tight pink petrol based dress was groovy. I liked the one shoulder design and flounce of lace at the bottom, but that’s because I didn’t know nakedness. I didn’t know air on the skin, freedom of the body and space to move. Think of it like a great tree pose. There’s something alive and exciting about a tiny wobble. It creates the excitement, joy and satisfaction. If you never got that feeling of uncertaintity tree pose would lack something vital.
Trust as a spiritual discipline
I get scared for sure. What if nothing turns up? What if I get too tired of moving heavy boxes? The humorous thing is that I’m actually more scared of fixing things. I’ve been fixing things and problem solving all my life. Im a ‘make and mend’, ‘put a bit more effort in’ type of person. The problem is that this can derail a deeper movement. To keep growing I need to stay solid while around me moves, as to ‘fix it now’ is also to stop the journey. Things turn up when you least expect. Knowing my external world is forever changing helps me to settle into my internal world more. I am relying, not on a house, this, that or the other, but on a deeper place with myself.
You can think of it like trusting you can stand in tadasana and move to trikonasana with some ease… just a little bigger. This is my ‘spiritual path’, going with profound uncertainty and letting my physical body, my trust and my openness guide me to an uncertain future. This is teaching me about my body’s inherent wisdom, and that I can rely on me.
The giant dances
My life is a bit like the giant has found an excessively oversized kaftan made of the lightest cotton batiste. There is no restriction, not chaffing edges, no roughness. Just eternal space. The movement of the fabric enhances the dance of living. And today my giant is on the edge of the shore, dancing in the most voluminous kaftan ever. So for now I’m alive from the tips of my toes to the ends of my fingers, up through my spine and I’m not going to try and work it out yet.
Peaceful in chaos.
Settled in instability.
Blessed in giving up.
Hopeful in endings
Joyful in loss
Wishing you the most massive kaftan ever and a dance of freedom, when you’re ready.