Unwrapping the Ordinary

There are times my theme for my yoga classes does not arrive easily - it just simply eludes me....And then it arrives, as a total gift - right at the last minute...

I knew what quotes I wanted to use for this week and what sequence of poses I would use - but things just did not come together in my mind. I was also exhausted from a lot of driving, teaching, and situations that had drained me emotionally...

So, when I started teaching today - I wasn't quite sure what I was going to say. I was glad I was NOT being observed for my yearly review by a peer for my Anusara Yoga certified status!

I was working with a twisting sequence that seemed appropriate after Thanksgiving. Twisting poses have a way of releasing all that does not serve us and contributes to detoxing the body - in addition to the mind and soul as well. So I did speak of these things, and then it came to me - as I quoted an excerpt from Macrina Wiederkehr's A Tree Full of Angels - that by detoxing and releasing - "we unwrap the ordinary in order to disclose the extraordinary" - that is, the holiness that in contained in the essence of the ordinary.

My morning students shared their holiday experiences and I had to add, that mine had not quite turned out the way I expected. One of my students then wisely reminded me of my theme the previous week - "cultivating an attitude of gratitude," inviting me to look deeper into a situation that had consumed me emotionally, for there too, was the seed of something to be grateful for.

I thought of reading Christina Sell's blog yesterday - an Anusara certified teacher, who was also gently reminded by another yogini - to look past a certain situation and dwell on all the things that were going well in her life, for these would accentuate the positive and color the rest of her experiences.

As I taught my class this morning, I marveled at the beautiful community that had formed and taken root all around me. This was especially evident when one student shared her husband had lost his job the day before Thanksgiving. Two of my other students with jobs in the same field, jumped in, with offers to help disseminate his resume, and even critique it to make sure it caught the eyes of potential employers...

Here, right before me, was a perfect example of a moment of unwrapping the ordinary - a moment of disclosing and revealing the extraordinary - taking the form of gracious, willing, and generous hearts, who extended a helping hand and embracing arm...

On her way out, one very special soul lingered, and as we shared some recent challenges, she too, wisely noted - how we receive exactly what we need - whether it is or not - what we want or desire...

I was left thinking of Mother Teresa and St. Jane de Chantal who noted, that "we cannot always do great things - but we can always do little things, with great love."

Life is a series of ordinary moments wrapping around the extraordinary. Life - at its essence - is holy. Yes, if one has the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

This Sacred Season of Advent, of waiting, of preparation, of silence, and stillness - beckons to us - inviting us to enter more deeply into the cave of our hearts - our precious temple where the holy resides and knocks, making its presence known...

"When I was blind I found not a door
that led to Thee.
Thou hast healed my eyes;
now I discover doors everywhere;
the hearts of flowers,
the voices of friendship,
memories of lovely experiences.
Each gust of my prayer opens
a new entrance to the vast temple
of Thy Presence."
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

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