There is nothing quite like witnessing those sacred moments of transition at the birth of a new day. When the moon still lingers like some mysterious memento of the night that’s passed, the sun yawns and stretches its pink and yellow arms wide across the sky, the moisture hangs low on the horizon in a dreamy haze, and the breeze seems to whisper good morning to anyone awake to hear. I had the honor of witnessing such a moment yesterday. Though I was tired, my body begging for some sleep, the magic in the air energized my spirit. I turned my head from east to west, not sure which view I preferred…the moon’s humble retreat or the sun’s graceful arrival. Both captivated my imagination.
It got me thinking about cycles, beginnings and endings and new beginnings. About how the moon and the sun share the sky so beautifully in those moments of transition, until the one surrenders to the brilliance of the other and almost without notice, slips away. And suddenly a new day extends before me, full of promise and potential, like a blank canvas awaiting the stroke of a paintbrush.
Perhaps I’m thinking this way because I find myself sitting at such a moment of transition in my own life right now. I’ve just completed my training as a phoenix rising yoga therapist, and a new path lies ahead of me. In the process of completing that training, I’ve done a lot of self-reflection. I discovered a lot of old patterns, ways of being that were no longer serving me, and laid them to rest as I embraced new perspectives that encouraged my inner strength and self-trust. I found a way to make peace with the deaths of my two sisters and just recently released their ashes to the waters of the Gulf Coast, where we shared many a happy memory as children. Like those sacred moments of dawn that each new day brings us, I am witnessing the falling away of the old and the birthing of the new at many levels in my life. And it feels exquisite.
We exist within and participate in a continual flow of cycles. Births, deaths and rebirths. Beginnings, endings, and new beginnings. Life is always in a state of fluctuation and transformation. Sometimes we take notice of this, like when we get the chance to witness the moon give way to the sun. Or when bigger, more distressing shifts occur, such as the loss of a loved one. Much of the time, though, we go about the business of our lives paying little attention to the many billions of cycles occurring within our own bodies, our own lives, and in the very nature of everything around us.
I’ve often heard and even spoken the phrase surrender to flow. It’s held different meaning to me at different times in my life. It has reminded me to be carefree, to let go and allow things to happen as they will without so much worry. It has encouraged me to trust that I will be taken care of, that somehow everything works out as it should. While I am sure my understanding of surrender will continue to evolve and deepen, I have recently embraced a fuller awareness of it.
As I stood ankle-deep in the Gulf last weekend, gazing out at the seemingly endless expanse of water, noticing the sun’s optical dance on the tips of the waves, I asked God, or the universe, to reveal its nature to me. I had no expectation of how this might be revealed to me, but had faith that simply because I’d asked, I would receive an answer. As I waited for my answer, I was drawn to the continual tug and pull of the tides against my ankles and the sucking of the wet sand beneath my feet. I noticed the wind picking up, sweeping my hair across my face, and watched as formations of seagulls swooped and glided in synchronicity. And suddenly a word came to mind. Movement. The nature of life, God, the universe is movement.
Surrendering to the flow is to accept that the very nature of things is movement. Holding on to old ways of being that do not serve me in my present experience resists that movement. Fearing what the future may hold for me resists that movement. Refusing to let die what has earned the right to die resists that movement. Resisting change in myself or the people around me is resisting that movement. But, to feel myself like a drop of water in that massive ocean, to see myself as a gull participating in graceful dance, that is diving into the movement.
Today, I am honoring movement, both within me and all around me. I am appreciating growth and cycles and the potential of new beginnings. I am trusting my part in this universal flow is just as it should be and expressing gratitude for it. There is both a peaceful comfort and an inspiring anticipation in this. I invite you to join me. How is movement showing up in your life experience right now? How are you resisting or surrendering to that movement? How might it feel to let the natural rhythm of this universal song draw you into dance?
If you would like to incorporate awareness of this flow into your yoga practice, try a Vinyasa class. Vinyasa yoga synchronizes your breath with bodily movement to create a flow of postures that feels like a dance. Set your intention at the start of class to surrender to the flow, and notice how that feels for you. Or, at home, do several sun salutations:
Beginning in mountain pose, center your awareness on your breath. Inhale into Chair Pose, Exhale into Fold-Over. Inhale into Chest Extension, Exhale into Plank and then Chaturanga. Inhale into Upward-Facing Dog, Exhale into Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale into Right Warrior, Exhale into Plank / Chaturanga. Inhale into Upward-Facing Dog, Exhale into Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale into Left Warrior, Exhale into Plank / Chaturanga. Inhale into Upward-Facing Dog, Exhale into Downward-Facing Dog. Hold here for 5 full breaths. Step or hop your feet forward to your hands and then Inhale into Chest Extension, Exhale into Fold-Over. Inhale into Chair and Exhale into Mountain.
It is an honor to share this universal dance with you, wherever you are. Many blessings for peace, love and joy, as well as courage and strength, as we move through this journey of transformation and growth we call life!
<a href=http://technorati.com/tag/yoga>yoga</a>, <a href=http://technorati.com/tag/spirituality>terms spirituality</a>, <a href=http://technorati.com/tag/surrender+to+the+flow>surrender+to+the+flow</a>, <a href=http://technorati.com/tag/self+improvement>self-improvement</a>, <a href=http://technorati.com/tag/inspiration>inspiration</a>