Monday, January 31, 2011

Road River Tree Stone

Happy New Year!  But it's almost February!  Where did January go? 

Mine went to recovering from travel, sleeping and eating, plotting out the new year, cleaning out the old year, day dreaming, night dreaming, drawing, singing, praying, all with a little work sprinkled in.

I have been chewing on lots of quotes lately, and these have sustained me as much as beloved poems. The poems I hear have been wisping off the wings of black birds, creaking in the frozen pond I've been walking, and rolling down the loud and clear mesas along the shy blue reservoir in town.

I went to an Acro-yoga class last night where I touched other people's feet, received Thai massage from a stranger, and wobbled as the base while "flying" another stranger above me.  It was unnerving, revealing, and ultimately expansive. When I got home, I rearranged my whole office, so something must have cleared in the hour and a half class. 

My goal for 2011 (the word resolve seems to involve something more organic, where this choice is certainly deliberate) to be more vulnerable. This little Sut Nam station is part of that exercise, as is befriending perfect strangers, talking about my flaws and paranoias, asking for what I really want (i.e. a pair of red cowgirl boots as well as world peas), and flinging myself (or walking boldly) in the direction of my dreams. 

If my goal for 2011 is to be more vulnerable, then my resolution is to have fun. Having gone over some 2010 goals and seeing ones that missed the bar by a mile, I think the trick is to take the work out of homework and just see about the home part. To me this means making peace with my place on the earth, and just kicking around (hopefully in new cowgirl boots) in that space. Whatever this brings will be what needs to be. Right? This is my hypothesis, anyway.

So, what has your heart resolved to create in this gorgeous new year?  (I may be biased but it looks so bright to me now - my friends are: pregnant, new mothers, women contemplating babies, women birthing books, art projects, steaming platters of food...ok, they aren't actually birthing steaming platters of food. That would be disgusting. But there is a whole lot of inspired creation everywhere I look!). As you contemplate your goals, here are some words from the wise. Or, at least, the published :)

"I believe that one of the secrets to happiness is to work within the parameters of the reality of your life."  --Kenny Shopsin, in Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin

Eat Me is newly arrived at our house, given to us by a dear friend.  I hear tell it comes by the suggestion of Amelia, who has this really great blog

"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men--that is genius."  --Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

I had the very excited but erroneous thought at work today, Was Emersom, Lake, and Palmer inspired by R.W.E.?!  Prolly not, huh.

"The Creator made us for honoring Him (insert Her if you wish).
(insert comfy pronoun) put in us the ability to work for the good of all.
One of the things He
(ahem) did
Was give us ears, and ears are not mouths.
Ears were put on the side of our heads
So that we would hear all that goes on around us.
That's to let us know things before we talk.
Our mouths are on the front of our face
So that our words can be directed.

We're to use that gift of speech for specific purposes.
It should be limited, otherwise we can be mislead."
--Chief Leon Shenandoah, in a beautiful book called To Become a Human Being: The Message of Tadodaho Chief Leon Shenandoah, by Steve Wall, who also did a book called Wisdom Keepers

"Yoga is the rule book for playing the game of Life, but in this game no one needs to lose. It is tough, and you need to train hard. It requires the willingness to think for yourself, to observe and correct, and to surmount occasional setbacks. It demands honesty, sustained application, and above all love in your heart. If you are interested to understand what it means to be a human being, placed between the earth and sky, if you are interested in where you came from and where you will be able to go, if you want happiness and long for freedom, then you have already begun to take the first steps toward the journey inward."  --B.K.S. Iyengar, from Light on Life

I find it really really interesting that Native American elders and yoga philosophy talk about "being" or "becoming" a human being, as if it is not enough to be simply animal.  It suggests the choice we have in bringing about the human potential in the human body. In terms of the Christian tradition, I think about the fact that the most loving and compassionate teacher in this tradition (Hey-Zoos) is sent by God in human form

And lastly, "I set off in yoga seventy years ago when ridicule, rejection, and outright condemnation were the lot of a seeker through yoga even in its native land of India. Indeed, if I had become a sadhu, a mendicant holy man, wandering the great trunk roads of British India, begging bowl in hand, I would have met with less derision and won more respect. At one time, I was asked to become a sannyasin and renounce the world, but I declined. I wanted to live as an ordinary householder with all the trials and tribulations of life and to take my yoga practice to average people who share with me the common life of work, marriage, and children. I was blessed with all three, including a long and joyous marriage to my beloved wife, Ramamani, children, and grandchildren."  --B.K.S., Life on Life

This last one gives me such comfort. When I first read it, my jaw dropped open. It said exactly what I was hoping for in my life with, and helped me reconcile my desires for a family with my desires for a spiritual life. Now I see the two as beautifully intertwined. This quote perfectly introduces the yogic possibility of living ordinary days with extraordinary love.

Tim just came in jokingly singing Sheryl Crow's "If it makes you can't be that baa-aa-aad...," which reminds me of when my college roommate and I used to screech out that song at the top of our lungs while being transported around town in other people's cars. 

To friends, to exuberance, to happiness!