I believe in a web of love, beaming and weaving through each of us and all creation.
As of late, I am curious about the spaces meditation takes me. Meditation like a calm glassy lake. Quiet like the mountain.
This is what I learned: I aimed the fresh wind of breath into my emotional body and physical experience of the world—my first steps in climbing the mountain of Tadasana.
I want to enjoy life right now. I don’t want to wait for some circumstance I think will make everything all better.
Are we really meant to struggle as much as we do in this life? Sometimes I wonder if we create more struggle than necessary. I believe that happiness is in the little moments that surprise us with warmth, comfort and laughter—rippling out into existence.
I once read a number bumper sticker that read, “What if the Hokey Pokey is what its all about?”
Some of my favourite experiences have been spontaneous moments of connection and abandon with people I love. Sometimes those people I love happen to be sitting on the sidewalk making music, and our love affair lasts just 10 minutes. Others are a mere twinkle of gaze in passing.
There is no right or wrong way to love—I see it as a continual letting go into infinite love. As a yoga teacher, I sometimes cringe at the popular status quo, and I want to avoid becoming diluted in the hipster trends, or being pressured to believe there is some yoga dictator judging our “yoga-ways.” Or if you aren’t into yoga—the idea that there is some captain sailing your “ship of life.” Last I checked, I was the captain of my own ship—where I listen to the winds, seeking that sympatico with the great mystery.
But there is beauty to be found in trendy movements too. I’ve thought lately about my two first yoga teachers, Ted and Jess, from the Moksha Yoga community. Ted always struck me as this wise connected hippie, who could hold within himself the capacity to believe in peace. Jess, Moksha co-founder, is a heartfelt songstress, whose greatest impact on me was through her music. I knew there would come a time that letting go of the Moksha sequence, and stepping into the infinte territory of my body and soul, would be integral to my growth. My compass has brought me to many more teachers—Micky Singer, Seane Corn, Ana Forest, Kripalu, Osho—they all seem to help guide back to my wellspring of love.
Living in fear of death or change is futile. I don’t need to wonder if I am doing enough or being enough. I believe that is a harmful addiction in our culture that we always need to be aspiring to something else. For me, it feels better to unlearn and make space for the creative process happen.
Maybe I’m a bit rebellious—truth seeking and in constant question of the status quo—but I have to experience things for myself and earn my own beliefs. I honor the teachers that come into my path, but I ultimately remember that we are all equals. Life is not a popularity contest or a competition of knowledge. We all will cross the finish line. We all turn to the same dust at the end of our days.
My unlearning process happens through meditation. And through music, writing, physical exercise and teaching—to name a few.
I believe the things we really need to know will come to us, if we are relaxed enough to see—whether it is a book, a teacher or a lesson. Sometimes we don’t get to choose our teachers—it could be a loss, a divorce, a new baby or any major life change. Or perhaps it’s a lack of change that spurs us into discomfort and the un-learning process of the way life was.
Which spurs me back into yoga—not necessarily the physical expression of yoga poses, but rather, the path into our hearts that guides us home. The internal yoga journey reminds us the universe is vast and infinite—we then open our eyes and begin to adventure in the horizontal axis of connection. The vertical axis being our kundalini, our central nervous system, the life force running through our spines and out through our limbs. The horizontal axis being our connection to each other and the beauty that surrounds us.
So here is the essence of my offering—just like a bow and arrow, “draw your arrow back” within. Feel every bit of yourself—in particular the tension, the stuck bits—and notice it as potential energy. As you “release your arrow,” set your aim on how you would like to feel—then set it free completely!
We are in a continuous cycle of inward and outward flux as a way to move energy freely. If you hold too tightly to your breath, you might suffocate, and the same idea applies to most things in life. Let those rivers of energy flow through you—and remember there are many rivers, streams and waterfalls that all lead back to the same great ocean.
Life is sometimes a struggle, but if we trust that our struggle is just a cocoon we will be born from—rather than feeling it’s just something we’re stuck in—we will inevitably burst out into a gorgeous butterfly. (And the cycle will surely, eventually, be repeated.)
I meditate on feeling safe in uncertainty, and allowing my being be carried by winds of change. This great mystery is always working though us physiologically—keeping our hearts beating, our lungs breathing and our cells replicating. There is nothing we need to control or do for this magic of life to happen.
I believe we need to aim our “arrows of intention” towards higher love and deeper compassion. If we can all go into the world with a little more gentleness in our hearts for each other, and a little less judgment, we may be in a better place.
Pick your battles wisely, and tune in—on the daily. Find a practice that soothes your heart and soul.
Make music, dance with abandon, and laugh—from the pit of your belly—till your eyes water.
Hug someone like you f*cking mean it.
This is it people. Soon what we know to be real, our phones, our clothes and cars—all the fancy sh*t we cling to so tightly—will all turn to dust along with our skin and bones. Acknowledge the real nature of existence, and embrace the fact that you will never be in full control.
Letting go is a beautiful, bitter-sweet expression. Each leaf grows to its finest, then falls to its death. Each inhale filling our lungs to its inevitable release. The beat goes on…
Author: Juliana Lavell
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Rennett Stowe