June 4, 2012

Do We Really Need to Get Down to Get Real?

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

~Khalil Gibran

A yoga teacher once asked me why I felt it necessary to live by the seat of my pants and skin of my teeth. He said he observed in me a survivor mentality that seemed to beg the universe to present me with disasters to overcome and that my continuous dance with danger, along with the failures that inevitably resulted, helped reinforce my self-deprecating inner dialogue.

He said I should grow up and decide to live life more righteously.

My first reaction to his proclamation was a giant “F*ck You.”

In my haste to swallow such supposed bull sh*t, my attitude, assumed by him, of self-deprecating inner dialogue instantly shifted to a gorgeous symphony of positive affirmations seeking revenge against the attack.

Of course this is how I reacted.

I am definitely a street wise warrior. Who could fault the guy for noticing, but how dare he call me out? I had half a mind to punch him in the face. F*cker.

Leave it to the wanna be peaceful yoga teachers to decide that everything in life ought to always remain in Zenful harmony.


It seems to me that if we set out on a journey to get free and hope to emancipate ourselves from karmic bondage, we are playing with fire. It’s a disturbance to the stoic peace to ask for freedom. Think about it.

What will set you free? What are you willing to sacrifice?

If you opt to take the path of effort toward liberation, you will definitely have to do a lot of work to get there; it’s a bumpy road. That guy was right. I do ask the universe for disasters to overcome, and in many ways, my requests are naïve. In my opinion, I am praying for peace. That’s what a yoga practice is all about, right? I put it all out there to the universe. I state my business. I make it clear that I’m utilizing the physical portion of my practice to get strong so I can endure this journey. I initiate brave motions and beguile the universe to show me her ugly face and reveal to me what’s behind her curtain, and in this way, I open a can of unholy worms. I put myself in precarious situations. (I’m shaking my head in shamed, wrongful amusement even as I write this.)

For me, the road to peace has been riddled with calamity and chaos.

I have certainly chosen the path of effort and perhaps this austere path is what attracted me to yoga in the first place. Hand stands and headstands and karate kid agilities seemed right up my alley.

As I get wiser, and the more I break through the scar tissue from the wounds of my past, the more I tend to agree with that teacher who suggested I take another route.

There is a way to gradually invite more peace into our lives without destroying the balance, even if the balance is illusory. For a fighter such as myself, the path of grace is becoming more attractive. Waiting patiently for peace instead of forcefully demanding it is seeming more and more beautiful.

Learning how to wander with humility and bow my head in order to lay down my defenses in the name of  freedom is a gorgeous route to take. It’s soft and it’s trusting and it acknowledges that we can have a firm belief in the ever unfolding process. This is the flip side to physical strength.

Sometimes, we really do have to get down to get real.

We have to get out of our comfort zone and slip into some role that is completely unique to anything we have ever experienced in our life. If we keep doing what we have always been doing, we are going to keep getting what we have always been getting. For the fighter who knows no stillness, the remedy is just that type of uncomfortable quietude. The posing never ends. We are constantly taking different perspectives in order to figure out which one is the most applicable antidote for peace.

I leave you with a quote from Led Zeppelin and hopefully an inclination to listen to the Battle of Evermore:

The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath

I love you, 


The Black Dirt Goddess


Editor: Brianna Bemel


Like elephant Yoga on Facebook.

Read 10 Comments and Reply

Read 10 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Michelle Dawson  |  Contribution: 920