“May you always lead from the beating in your chest,” Bloomfield Mai Sunshine, Gebhardt Rebecca Emily
In the eight-limbed path of Yoga (with a capital Y,) one of the many tools we study and keep in our toolboxes are the chakras. Many systems name 7 main chakras, the 4th of which is the Anahata chakra, located in the heart center. Not the Pledge-of-Allegiance heart, but the one right in the center, by the breastbone. Hence the center part. It is the connector between upper and lower chakras. A bridge, if you will, between the root and the crown. The roots grow down, reaching into the living earth for grounding, and the flower grows up, reaching for sky, towards the light. The green is underfoot, in the center.
Spring is here in the northeast; it’s time for growth and renewal. This chakra’s color happens to be green, which is what’s happening to lawns and gardens everywhere. It’s referred to as the city of jewels. How can one lead with the heart? “May you always lead from the beating in your chest.” Should you take your brain with you? This leads nicely to the next concept that this song brought to mind; Brahmacharya, aka self-restraint or conservation of energy. This is part of the Yamas, or spiritual disciplines. This is one of the more challenging ones for yours truly. I am a school teacher and want to give. my. students. ev. er. eeeee. thing. Who cares if they’re not etymologically ready for it?! Give ’em double-object pronouns! The pluperfect subjunctive? Bring it on! Give ’em Yoda sentences! Tell ’em what it really means, not just the canned, one from column A, one from column B version. (I teach World Language, ‘natch.)
This next verse explains all, Clarissa:
“Sharing what you can, nothing more, nothing less/
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath/
May you keep the chaos and the clutter off your desk/”
“May you get to rest/may you catch your breath” – this bears repeating. Do we rest? In a previous blog, my quote was about how rest is not idleness. There’s active rest when we may do a gentle yoga practice, walk with a friend, or use light weights. Then there’s air quotes rest when we’re off from work but scrolling on whatever social media platform grabs us, mindlessly vegging on TV or the like, and feeling guilty about taking PTO. This is not restful and is quite restless. You took time off technically, but didn’t actually recharge. Then you go back to work, dig out from your pile, and have a hot, steaming pile of resentment, wondering when it’s Friday again. Then there’s rest-rest, where we while away the hours on something low-key, perhaps under a blanket with a book, or take an actual nap. Which strikes us as the most restorative?
“May you get to rest/may you catch your breath” This bears re-repeating. (Pete & repeat, anyone?) Even in the midst, or the hopefully-more-than-halfway-through-ness of the pandemic, are we breathing? Prana, or life-force/energy, is always present, but perhaps in varying quantities and directions. Does your breath catch in your chest? Does it travel down to the diaphragm and perhaps your extremities? Are your Prana Vayus vayu-ing? All the currents need to move in an ideal pattern to nourish your cells and the rest of your being. Spark that Kundalini energy, ‘cuz those Vayus (the energy currents for wind/air) aren’t going to orient themselves, ya know! When you breathe in yoga, it’s usually through the nose in both directions, and we vary the length of each half (watch the breath come in; watch the breath go out, watch the breath come in; watch the breath go out) as well as the speed and focus.
Remember we are human beings, not human doings. Now, how to keep the clutter off one’s desk. Just today my Dad asked me if I was purging, since he thinks all I do is get rid of whatever’s been accumulated. It’s a good day when the surface of the desk is visible. It’s quite cyclical, like many things. I get annoyed, or have a block of time, and clear, clear, clear. Then it creeps up until it’s monstrous, and the cycle starts anew.
Whatever your gifts are, straddle that line between giving it all away, and hoarding it all for yourself. “No matter what your path is/If you believe it then anything can happen”
Feel free to comment below if this resonated with you. Until our mats unfurl again, be well. -M