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November 29, 2013

The Secret of Life. {Video} ~ Michele Bickley

“The secret of love is in opening up your heart.”

When we reside in the moment and within our heart center… infinite possibilities are presented. Time stands still and the heart space, where we give and receive love, frees us from our fears and the things that the mind will never understand.

It was one of those perfect days. We thought winter had arrived and then Mother Nature decided to share one more gorgeous warm afternoon: the sun was beaming through the autumn trees, the kids were playing in the yard and the smell of smoked pumpkin was floating from the grill.

I breathed it all in and mixed it with the sunshine before practicing yoga on a bridge by a little stream.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that this life is real. That the love that I experience in this world is real.

Sometimes the love is so big that I feel like I am going to explode. The love is so big that it leaks out of my eyes in the form of tears. The love is so big that my smile feels like it might burst through my lips.

I look at my kids and I want to freeze time. To preserve where they are now and let them keep this bubble of innocence forever.

Then, I remember that time isn’t real, because the present moment is all that we have, the present moment is all that exists.

Last night, my four-year old daughter told me that she doesn’t want to die and that she wants me to be able to hold her forever. She asked me, “When we die, could Mommy, Daddy, Holden and me all die together? That way, we would never be apart.”

Oh, my heart! Those bright eyes staring at me. Those little arms wrapped around me. I took a deep breath and soaked it all up. My heart opened and unfolded. I gave her everything that I had, everything that I knew, everything that I felt.

“The secret of love is in opening up your heart,” said James Taylor.

When we reside in the moment and within our heart center (Anahata Chakra), infinite possibilities are presented. Time stands still, and the heart space, where we give and receive love, frees us from our fears and the things that the mind will never understand.

For me, to live in this world, to be in a place where I am fully here for my family and life, I require a heart-centered practice: on and off of the mat.

The Sanskrit word Anahata translates to “un-struck, un-hurt, un-beaten.” The wheel of the un-struck note. I watch my kids naturally play through their lives with their hearts leading them: un-hurt, un-struck, un-beaten.

The heart center is represented by a lotus flower, each petal standing for an obstacle that we can move through to get to the center, which blooms as unconditional love.

To experience pain, disappointment, confusion, anxiety and jealousy, is part of the human experience, especially as we age. As life unfolds, and moments come and go, it sometimes becomes challenging to reside in a place of unconditional love. It becomes challenging to move through the layers that form around our hearts.

Yoga helps me to erase those obstacles, which often take the form of tension in my thoughts and body. When I’m on my mat, I reconnect with what matters, tap into my heart center and become un-struck.

The key to being in the moment is to breathe in the unconditional love. It is the key to enjoying this ride of life.

On this particular perfect day, towards the end of my practice, I received a magical gift:  a gorgeous moment at the end of the attached video caused my heart to crack wide open.

When I decided to share this video publicly, my ego had thoughts of wanting to redo it, to make it perfect—a performance, not a practice. I wanted to fix my alignment, my sequences, change into more flattering clothes.

But, that is not my yoga. That is not my experience with moving past the ego to connect with what really matters, which is peeling away the petals of the heart, to uncover the unconditional love.

Here is my perfectly imperfect offering, where I received a gift that is, in itself, a reflection of my yoga practice, and of a heart center that is in full bloom, living in an infinite, lovely moment.

Yes, oh yes, it is a lovely ride.

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 Assistant Editor: Michelle Wiley/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

{Photo: Redeye via Flickr}

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Michele Bickley