“Climbing as we fall, we dare to hold on to our fate…” The Stairs, from the album X by INXS.
In high school, INXS was my all-time favorite band. Their cassettes are still in my room, and their CDs still in the car. Although their music is also somewhere in the Cloud, nothing will replace popping that little rectangular piece of hard plastic and brown tape into the boombox, that satisfying thunk of the door closing, and those wheels turning as the scratchy opening chords pour through the speakers until the singer starts crooning, and I am whisked away to anyplace else. Music truly is the universal language. But, I digress…
Ishvara Pranidhana, or Surrender to the Divine, is what came to mind with this snippet of the song, “The Stairs.” A big part of yoga (or Yoga, more accurately,) is putting in the work, but then letting go of the outcome. Sorta like what I imagine teaching a little kid to ride a bike is like. You hold the back of the seat, and maybe a handle bar, run alongside, but eventually, let go and allow the kid to fly. And you’re there if/when knees scrape.
In layman’s terms, put in the time, blood, sweat and tears, but then. Let. It. Go. It’s not to say give up or resign yourself to the Fates being in control. We still have to take right action. We still need to learn, listen, and grow. But, the outcome is not ours to govern. We need to be in this moment, right here, right now. The results are as-yet undetermined. Que será, será – Whatever will be, will be.
The verse that follows the above-mentioned quote goes on to say this: “Climbing as we fall/We dare to hold on to our fate/And steal away our destiny/To catch ourselves with quiet grace.” Reread that. I’ll wait.
It takes tenacity to dust one’s self off after the umpteenth setback. It takes gumption to try new things. But it takes grace, quiet or otherwise, to cut ourselves some slack when it all goes sideways. How can we come more fully into our Dharma?
Grace is fluidity of movement, ease of movement, but is effortless. (Or at least it looks that way from the outside. Unless I’m off the mat, then I am a total klutz. This speaks to paying attention. I do not agree with “how you do one thing is how you do everything. That’ll be revisited in a future blog post.)
We catch ourselves because we are the heroes and heroines of our own stories. We steal away our destiny by carving our own path: grab a scythe and slice your way through the muck and mire. We move forward, because the past is past. It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.