It is my pleasure to introduce special guest writer Bridget Lyons,
with this beautiful piece about
relationships and universal connection.~ Jeannie Page
(Para leerlo en Español, haga clic aquí.)
A couple of months ago I attended a three-day workshop on yoga in relationships. Yikes, I know. None of us need help in that department…
Here’s a thought that’s lingering for me, provoked by a comment John Friend (founder of Anusara Yoga) made during the seminar:
An intimate relationship is one of the most direct and amazing vehicles into connection with the universal, with beauty, and with life force. It’s also the fastest way out of that same connection.
Think about it. When we fall in love with someone new, what is it we tell our friends? “I feel this incredible connection.” “I feel understood.” “I have so much energy!” The sky looks brighter. We see more beauty. We want to go to work, do projects, and exercise. We need less food. Heck, we’re even nicer to the checker at the grocery store. In short, we’re lit up. In the ongoing dance of remembrance and forgetting in which we all participate, we’re in the “remembrance” phase of the cycle. We remember that the divine is everywhere, including within us. In fact, whether we realize it or not, what our partner is doing is reflecting our own divinity back upon us, in addition to showing us his or her wonderful and unique variety of it. Was all this radiance there before we fell in love? Sure it was. Only we had forgotten it amidst the to-do lists, bill paying and grocery shopping. Now we remember. We’re fast-tracked to the universal. Cool!
There’s only one big problem…we can be fast-tracked right out as well. As John put it during the workshop, “the shadow side of love is losing the reality that the spirit will never die.” Oh yeah. We can become so wrapped up in our one version of the divine (the one that’s 6’ tall and is named John, or has gorgeous green eyes and grew up in New York) that he or she becomes our only way in. When we start to have conflict with our partners, or they start to drift away from – or even leave – us, we are immediately and violently cut off from the divine. Life sucks, days are dark, we lose hope, and just like that we’re back to the “forgetting” phase of the cycle. Ugh.
Kind of abrupt and violent, that transition. I think I’d rather avoid that, thanks.
But how? Only participate in intimate relationships that won’t end? Not likely. They all end, if not in separation, then in death. Swear off of them forever? I’ve tried this one. Quite a few times, in fact. (So much for “forever”…) It’s not working – I always seem to get sucked back in. Which, of course, is a great thing. Even when my logical brain resists, my intuitive self knows that there is beauty, growth and wonder offered in partnership that surpasses all expectations.
So, what? I’m thinking awareness seems like a good place to start. Taking time in the midst of the glorious cascade into love to remember that as wonderful and adorable as our beloved is, he or she – like all of us – is nothing but a spark of the divine in human form. He or she is completely unique and beautiful…and at the same time, just like all the rest of us. This individual happens to be our high-speed on-ramp to the universal, but anyone else could be as well. Really, our partners are reflecting our own light back to us. If we can remember that, our light will never be diminished.
I’m thinking all our other practices will keep us in line as well. Keep up the daily asana. Sit. Listen. Be. Watch the sunset. Pick flowers. Prepare thoughtful meals – whether there’s a beloved around at the moment or not. And remember that these are potent gateways into the universal as well – especially when they’re practiced with regularity. They are other ways we cultivate a relationship with the divine, after all. And we can do them alone.
I’m hoping that with practice and awareness maybe I can still have the courage to dive in if — no, wait — WHEN the opportunity presents itself.
Bridget is a Certified Anusara Yoga Instructor and co-owner of YogaTejas in Driggs, Idaho. She began studying yoga ten years ago in order to recover from chronic back pain caused by guiding numerous backpacking, kayaking, and skiing expeditions. In addition to healing her injuries through yoga, she unexpectedly discovered a way of connecting to grace. Bridget loves the combination of athleticism and spiritual exploration offered by the yoga practice, and her classes reflect her commitment to a strong body and an open heart. A fluent Spanish speaker, she has recently begun to travel and teach in Latin America as well as throughout the western United States. She blogs about yoga, athleticism, and the art of awakened living at bridgetlyonsyoga.wordpress.com. For more information about Bridget and to practice with her via her free videos, please go to www.bridgetlyonsyoga.com.