Our stories swirl around and within us, building every minute, lusciously engulfing us.
Some are beautiful braids of sun-filled memories, others tangles of abuse or tormented relationships.
Some are dreams we weave detail by detail, stories we hesitantly end with a smile and a to-be-continued sigh.
Some are long tales of mythical proportions, some are roles we assign ourselves that can be defined in one word when asked, "What do you do?".
All of these stories, no matter how beautiful, sordid, ratty or silky smooth, are not who we are. Sure, they provide a beautiful form for us to admire and something to chat about with one another.
The stories comprise who we see in ourselves, how we see others, the manner in which we feel about the world and our place in it. They are fascinating swirls of energy that we create through every thought, belief, word, and action.
The stories are crucial to relate our experience of life, to our being. But we ARE even without them.
We have forgotten that we are beyond these stories. We rest in the awareness of these stories. And in awareness we find not only our stories but the Self that exists beyond them.
It takes a certain form of stillness to find that Self. (And practice to continuously find and return to that stillness)
This stillness can be found through meditation, yoga, art, or living on a mountaintop (so I've heard).
It can also be found during the kids' swimming lessons and while in a traffic jam and while filling your gas tank and through the rhythm of your favorite song and while in the shower and in those few moments before drifting off to sleep.
In that peaceful stillness we rise into the lotus of our awakening.
In more practical terms - we remain honestly, deeply, peacefully at ease while we navigate the kids screaming, the person tailgating us, and our own mind as thoughts of what needs to be done swirl madly.
Even in our tension we are at ease. We realize we are not that tension.
This is yoga. This is life.
This is my story.