Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

Open

The more I open, the deeper I can go.

(And yes, I'd like to stay all spiritual and prophetic here, but I will admit that my human mind still can't type that without giggling.)

I have joined the (free!) Yoga Journal 21-day challenge, which started today.  Yesterday, DEEP (part of the Fearless Painting workshops) began.  I have committed to immersing myself in both - allowing the exploration to be a cooperative journey involving my thoughts, my physical self, and my spirit.

In the 21-day challenge, we receive a daily email with links to information - including a video for the practice.  This morning, it was a 45-minute flowing practice which definitely got my heart rate up.

In Deep, we receive pools of information and inspiration amidst the private space that has been created.  Throughout the week, we get videos, discussions, and (of invaluable nature) community interaction.

In both, I do not know what to expect.  Each day I commit myself to the practice and then receive whatever instruction I am given.  I know certain days will be more challenging then others (like those days I just want to sleep in and then find myself crunched between a yoga practice and a scheduled meeting...feeling as though I need to sacrifice one or the other).

In the past, I've tended to inundate myself with class after class - waking up each morning with a plethora of things from which to choose.  In so doing, however, I didn't really experience any of them.  I would be drawing a face in a Suzi Blu class while listening to a podcast from NPR's "Being" as a journal page dried for an art journaling class.  Or I'd be doing on-the-mat yoga while my mind prioritized dropping off the car, playing with my daughter, preparing lunch, and figuring out the web site transfer.

This morning, after last night's soulful exploration from Deep and following the beautiful 45-minute practice, I took a few breaths.  It felt as though there were spaces that the breath was touching within me that hadn't felt that warm wind in years.

As we took the car to get the brakes repaired (*sigh*) and found white objects as part of "I Spy" with our daughter, everything felt just a little different.  I felt open to whatever was happening.

How can I explain this??  The words certainly don't suffice.  I can tell you that I did not get frustrated over things I normally would.  I can tell you I felt like listening when our daughter started in on a story where I usually zone out.  I can tell you that I chose a healthy smoothie for breakfast instead of the sugar-laden cereal I usually do.  And I can tell you that I didn't do any of this while logically thinking about it ("hmm.  I should listen.  I should eat healthy.").  It just happened.

Only experience can create and tell my story.  Words are the resulting consequences.  By opening and committing myself to the experience, the deeper the experience sank into me.  I opened myself to the process of Deep and to the mat practice this morning (even though I am quite sore from a recent workout and doing the yoga pushed back our schedule).

Because I did this, the potential of the practice went within and I've been able to carry it with me through the following hours.  I can't will this to happen.  No matter how much I logically understand it, no matter how much I believe that it will work, I will not receive the experience if I am not open to - and thus actually experiencing - it.

I invite you to open to your experience today - whatever it may be.  Don't judge ("yeah, this was a stupid idea...why did I do this again?") or push it away ("I really don't want to be here.").  Like the yoga pose with which I struggled this morning, I found that simply sinking into it - literally opening my chest and hips - allowed me to find a depth previously unknown.  It was a way of being (both in the pose and spiritually) that felt alive.  And that way of being - that openness, that depth, that ease - has stuck with me for the past few hours.

Open.

Namaste.

p.s. You can join me at the 21-day challenge for FREE here.  (Only do this if you feel ready to commit.  Otherwise, it is just one more "to-do".)  I will also be posting more about my process through Deep (including more photos) and updating you on the next time you can start on this journey as well!!