“If you’re not in it for love, I’m outta here!,” (song title & lyric are one in the same), Mutt Lange & Eileen Lange
Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of devotion. What lights your fire? What do you stand for? Who’s your book dedicated to? Think about what gets you up in the morning, what you’re commIIIIIIITTED to, what you never, ever, EVER miss, like, uuuh, ever, your raison d’être. Be it religion, spiritual practices, the latest fitness craze, family, choose-your-own-adventure. Ponder for a full minute your Why. I’ll wait. Take a seat, take a breath, and take a moment. They say if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Got it? (Ahem, both the answer to the question and the concept, ‘natch.) Please comment below, wherever you see this, to share yours if you’re so inclined.
Without getting too lost in the weeds, “The Sanskrit word bhakti is derived from the verb root bhaj-…to worship…also means devotion to…faith or love, worship…,” gracias to the ubiquitous Wikipedia.
Moksha, or spiritual freedom, liberation, salvation, is quite a lofty goal. If you don’t put the work in, it is elusive at best, and unobtainable at worst. It is a pah-RAH-cess*, my friends. There are books, guides, gurus, videos, audios, as-seen-on-TV-nesses, workbooks, worksheets, retreats, and yes, we’ll hornswoggle you out of your hard-earned cash-nesses’, and memberships, but ultimately, ya gots ta fly solo on this one, kids. There are no shortcuts. There are no refunds. It’s not a tee-shirt (one size does not fit all,) as everyone’s version will look different. It also takes forever, like literally. Not figuratively literally, but actual Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of forever. Maybe even not in this lifetime. Must be revisited a lot and often, lest it escape. #latherrinserepeat. It’s called practice, after all.
Much as I’ve said before, it’s sorta akin to teaching a young child to ride a bike. You run alongside said bike, one hand on the seat, one hand on the handlebars. This is Tapas, or burning zeal in practice or spiritual discipline. You want the kid (your inner child? hm…) to meet with success, whatever *that* looks like. Fall down twice, get up thrice. You. Keep. Going. It’s called practice, after all.
Eventually, you let go & hope that the kid will fly. Fingers crossed, but putting in the work is no guarantee. Bummer. *That* wasn’t in the brochure. That’s Aparigraha, literally non-grasping. (Ha ha! This strikes me as mildly hilarious, but I am over-caffeinated, fried from #adulting, and it’s probably close to bedtime. Punchy? Yes, please!)
You kiss boo-boos, which is the healing in between scrapes. No one’s unscathed. Not to worry: it’s just life & no one gets out alive, anyway. (big, juicy wink) This is Dinacharya, or self-care in Sanskrit. You fall down, go boom, you dust yourself off, and get back on that horse. Uh, bike. Whatevs. Lick your wounds. Pause, reflect, take a break. But…You. Keep. Going. #latherrinserepeat.
Love should fuel us. Imagine if everything was done with love, instead of pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony or sloth. (Anyone? Bueller…Bueller) If you’re not doing it (whatever YOUR it is) with L-O-V-E, why bother? The corner-cutter eventually whittled himself down to nothing.
The song goes on:
“If you’re not/Willin’ to give it all you got
If you’re not in it for life/If you’re not in it for love
Let me make it clear/To you my dear
If you’re not in it for love/I’m outta here!”
I imagine that that’s the Universe (capital U, to differentiate from the Science version,) talking. Put in the work, let go of the outcome. Don’t phone it in. If you do, you might just get there. It’s a nice place to visit, moksha, but no one lives there. Not in today’s modern world.
BTW, this is a favorite of mine at karaoke, a real crowd-pleaser. Hopefully that will resume again once it’s safe. Miss my KJs!
*Transliteration is hard. Those of you who know me IRL know that I write how I speak. And, man, do these go through a latte edits 😉
If this resonated with you, please feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Until our mats unfurl again, be well.