Phases Of a Practice


Sometimes, I go through phases in my practice. Emotional phases. I felt a surge of love at one point; seeing, knowing that deep down there is infinite love. In the quiet of my mind I can touch it; I feel it and understand that no matter what I’m going through, no matter what everyone else in the world is going through, it’s going to be OK. Being here in this place sheds a light on happiness, too. This subconscious attachment that every person seems to suffer from. We strive for it and search for it; we feel like failures if it’s not always our present state of being.  But, here in a deep moment with conscious I see that as my perspective changes, as events unfold externally, “happiness” will come and go. There is no need to cling and measure my success by the absence or presence of .

In a different phase there was doubt; I kept questioning myself. When I get into this state I usually play a game in attempts to get in touch with my intuition.  I ask myself something very quickly like, “Did I make a mistake?” or “Am I on the right track?” Whatever the first answer is I take as intuition and give it weight; justification that this method will steer me in the right direction when I am clouded by doubt. This is silly.  Intuition is quiet and steady.  To find the answers to my questions I need to be quiet and steady in my mind and body. It doesn’t matter how many times I ask myself these questions. Just because I made a mistake in the past doesn’t mean I’ll repeat it. It also doesn’t matter if I think I’m on the right path or not; all I need to know is I can change the path I’m on. Every person is built with intuition.  We know when we’re going the wrong way or need to make a change. What we sometimes forget is what we are capable of. When this phase is present I focus on my breath and let the thoughts settle.

In the next phase of my practice I felt grief; painful grief for the ones I’ve lost in my life to death or separation. I often get so mad at myself for carrying this with me. No matter how many times I shed tears and burn the energy off in other ways this grief appears; it does not seem to go away. Over time it has become something to live with, a scar or blemish, and most days it does not consume me; sometimes I even forget it’s there. Then, this deep practice of yoga pulls back another layer and hiding are the misplaced fragments that escaped or found a deeper place to hide; it feels like poison in my veins then. Sometimes it feels like grief has the power to cling to flesh and bone.

The whole practice is dedicated to diving deep into the self: cleansing, revealing, opening, strengthening, failing, succeeding, loving, hating, feeling, and surrendering so eventually I can arrive at stillness; the same stillness where infinite love exists. When I am there, when I feel it: I am grateful.  I know I cannot keep it; it’s not something to capture. It is something I’m a part of; just a piece of a wholeness so expansive that you can know it and not know it in the same breath.