January 20, 2013

Get Lost. Be Broken. Say Yes.


yes is a world

& in this world of

yes live

(skillfully curled)

all worlds ~ e.e. cummings


I slept in today, since I was planning on going to a friend’s acroyoga class this afternoon.

Things didn’t go quite as I planned.

After a series of mishaps (heading to a different location than where I had gone before; apparently I don’t know that area as well as I thought!) I accepted the fact that I was not going to make it there, at least not before the class ended.

So, I headed home.

At first, I was a little annoyed. Annoyed and off balance. Feeling lost isn’t a feeling we usually embrace. I like to know where I’m going. I like to know where everything fits. I like things to go as I’ve planned. So when they don’t, I get that childlike nervousness and knot in my stomach, wondering when I’ll find my footing again and how to make that feeling of groundlessness go away.

But it doesn’t go away. It isn’t meant to. We are, essentially, like Akhilandeshvari, the “never not broken” goddess. 

The story of Akhilandeshvari is one of my favorites:

She isn’t a “love and light” character who sits playing music on the riverbed; she rides a crocodile and stays broken open, embracing all that comes. She is the wild acceptance of the flow of life, the shifting and changing, the relinquishing of control.

We think of gods and goddesses as flawless and powerful. Akhilandeshvari’s power is in her wild abandonment, her freedom.

We are always a little bit broken. Our edges aren’t all smoothed off and the jigsaw puzzle pieces of our lives don’t always fit the way we want them to. Acceptance of this is the first step towards being truly free.

Am I making too much of the fact that I got lost and my plans had to change?

Maybe. I’ve been seeing this pattern in my life quite a bit lately. Things arrive that I had not expected and I want to figure out how everything fits—but I can’t. I wrestle with it. I struggle. But maybe the answer is being broken open and saying yes, not worrying about how it all works out.

As for today and my practice, I went home and enjoyed a perfectly beautiful, quiet practice. I was able to take my time. I went slowly and fully engaged with my breath and each asana. It wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to see my friend, enjoy her class, get tossed around in the air for awhile. Getting lost wasn’t part of what I thought should happen. I wrestled with it momentarily, but then I accepted it. I said yes to what my day offered up, and though it was unexpected, it was exactly right.

Even though I had my own ideas about how everything should fit together, I set them aside. We can do that, you know. We can say,

“I have no idea how this part of my life is going to work out, but I will throw my arms wide and let my heart crack open. I will say yes and open up a multitude of possibilities.”

The sun is going down. A new week is beginning. May you say an openhearted yes to whatever presents itself. May life break you open and affect the deepest parts of you.


What was your practice like today?Are you doing #yogaeverydamnday this month? Check back for my updates and follow along on Twitter @kate_bartolotta and Pinterest.

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