This is a post I've procrastinated writing. I'll be honest - it's because I'm afraid of sounding...lost. In an arduous effort to not care what people think, here it is.
I've pondered this topic off-and-on for years, sometimes with a feeling of discomfort and other times with a feeling of gratitude. It seems I have a lot more questions than answers.
Like many, I've gone through periods of feeling excruciatingly lost. Pin-pointing why or how to fix it has never been easy, and I think it's because I've tried too hard to diagnose it.
In Patanjali's Yoga Sutra's, he states (in much complicated terms) that everything is experiencing change constantly. Everything you can see, touch and feel is morphing in different directions all the time. Does that mean that regardless of where we are, we're always in a state of unfamiliarity? Is our feeling of certainty always going to be connected to strings of puzzlement? Does this constant state of change distract us from acting out our life as we truly desire? When we know where we're going, how do we acknowledge foreign landscapes?
I've spent a lot of time wondering where I'm going and where I want to be, ultimately feeling lost from time to time. My negative attachment to this leads to pressure. Pressure to find the road that has my name on it. Pressure to dig for water in the desert. Pressure to cook up reasons and explanations from scratch.
There is a great quote, "Not all who wander are lost." I'm not sure who originally coined the phrase, but that person made a very good observation. Sometimes being lost isn't the same thing as being astray. It simply means we've stepped outside the boundary of normalcy...of expectation...into the flowing stream of change.
As with anything, there's always at least two sides...a ying and yang, so-to-speak. There is a side of being lost that can become a very dark and negatively-transformative space. Often times we don't even realize we've arrived there until it's "too late". I've experienced it, and I bet many others have as well. It's not a feeling of confusion and disorientation, but rather a feeling of being stuck, numb or paralyzed. This often settles in when we have lost the motivation and self-confidence to love and respect our true humanity. It's a sign we've given up. When we give up, it can remain dark and cold for a long time.
Yoga can be a great tool to initiate awakening in the roller-coaster world of being lost. Through the practice of yoga, we eventually become hyper-aware of our depth, our soul and our truth. With the slow movement of body and breath, it's natural to look inward without distraction. With practice, looking inward results in learning a new language - the language of our conscious, the roots we all have that run deep into solid ground of "what is good".
It's kind of funny, as I write this (as I do many other posts), I am reminded of childhood experiences or lessons friends, teachers or mentors have taught me. The image of unconditional roots reminds me of a day back in high school, junior or senior year I think. It was during mass (I went to a catholic high school), and the priest at the time was speaking the homily. He created an image for us of the ocean shore and large rocks rising up through the incoming tide. He told us that each person has their own rock. Sometimes we sit on it tall, grounded and sturdy...while other times we jump off. Throughout life, we must know that we will always be able to return to our rock in times of instability. The rock (our inner knowing) will never move. It's embedded in the earth so deep it will hold still through surge or storm. I have found that through yoga, I can go inside and access my rock faster and easier.
Even though my theory is that we are in a constant dance with the familiar acquaintance of being lost, we will always have our rock, our root. Finding solace in being lost means recognizing that we are never a slave to it. We may close our eyes, hold it's hand and let it pull us through a tangled up labyrinth, but we are always allowed to open our eyes and let go.
Hello, I'm Julie.
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