See With Your Heart

Via on Mar 23, 2011

Snow on the first few days of spring?  Ugh.

Just yesterday, on the vernal equinox, I taught an introduction to the goddesses Kali, Sarasvati and Lakshmi. They are the big three, and they are visceral with me.  I can easily spend a half hour effusing on the ferocious goddess, and then zip over the more civilized and courteous two goddesses in a matter of moments.  I guess that says something about me.

It’s that time again.

Inevitably–when it stops snowing–Sarasvati will triumph over Kali.  Already, the blackness of winter turns daily toward spring.  Beneath exteriors and bare branches, sap quickens the veins of winter trees.  Already, tightly furled bunches of snowdrops and crocuses have driven toward light, broken earth’s surface, and unfurled.  Before long, summer’s yield of heavy bowers will seduce.  The cycle shall bear fruit, crest, and peak at the height of Lakshmi’s extravagant, refined and lush sensuality.  She’ll climax in a tangle of blossoms and blooms guaranteed to stun the senses.

This much I know.

Kali’s horrific darkness is the perfect metaphor for fear of the unknown, fear of that which has yet to be revealed, fear of what’s below the surface, fear of what I can’t see, fear of buried truths, and what happens should/when they break the surface.

Within the darkness of my own consciousness lie seeds, potencies that are as yet un-sprouted:  talents, proclivities, abilities and tendencies.  Yoga invites me to purposely close my eyes, and journey to my own dark interior. I’m asked to plant my own seeds and to tend to them, to develop myself, to evolve, and to grow.

Hopefully, with enough cultivation and some luck, I’ll bloom into maturity and bear fruit.  Rooted in the fertile soil of my own consciousness, I may grow into the most cultured, refined versions of myself.

Which sounds all well and good but you see…    

I can’t actually know what will happen when the seeds of my potential take root.  I mean–right?  What will I grow into?  Who will I become?  What will happen?  I have to wait and see.  Knowing the unknown requires time.  What if I don’t even like the taste of my own fruit?  I am journeying in the dark, as are we all.

Yes, I’m pretty sure that fruit grown in this fashion can’t fail to taste good.  Yes, without the darkness we would never see a crescent moon, a supermoon, or a star’s light.  Yes, with all my heart, I hold these things to be true but it doesn’t mean I don’t lose my footing, and stumble in the night.

I do know with certainty that I can only bloom into the possible–that which is already inherently embedded into my DNA.  I can discover possibilities that already exist there but can’t purchase new ones on Amazon–just as a pear tree can’t spontaneously yield plums.  The only thing I can possibly hope to grow into is my authenticity.

The darkest of dark places lies within, and I simply can not use my eyes to pierce it. Literal vision doesn’t penetrate.  Before breaking surface to be warmed by the sun’s benediction, I must to be willing to grope in the dark.

It’s the only way to learn to see by heart.

About Bernadette Birney

Bernadette Birney is a dyed-in-the-wool, freedom-loving tantrika. When she’s not busy conquering the world, taking hostages, feverishly freelancing, working on her book, and posting on-line essays, you can find her practicing the art of life-on-purpose, and teaching in Connecticut. / Bernadette has had the good fortune of studying with the great ones: she’s a certified Anusara yoga instructor, and has long pestered her Rajanaka Yoga mentor, Douglas Brooks. Known for her poetic and precise articulation, she insists that you can maintain a hard-core yoga practice and a sense of humor, too. Her classes, immersions and trainings are steeped in a life affirming philosophy that will invite you into the exploration of your own potential. / Bernadette was one of the earliest Certified Anusara yoga instructors in CT, and continues to mentor the local teaching community, leading trainings and retreats. She has contributed to Yoga Journal, Fit Yoga, Elephant Journal and Srividyalaya Amrta. She is also a Lululemon ambassador, and the author of the quirky, award-winning blog berniebirney.com .

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6 Responses to “See With Your Heart”

  1. Love this, Birney. Thank you.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

  2. Susanna says:

    lovelovelove this…

  3. Just posted to "Featured Today" on the new Elephant Yoga homepage.

  4. Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the new Elephant Yoga homepage.

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