Stepping Into a New Cycle With Courage

I look out my bedroom window in the early morning and my eyes take in the crisp leaves falling and the brilliant vermilion of the maple trees, shrouded in a thin but delicate veil of fog.

Feeling overwhelmed by the weekend, and the energy of 600 hundred bodies congregated at one venue - half of them in one yoga class at a time - I am overcome by the urgency rising within me to simply breathe and ground. So I make my way down to the river, as I did on so many mornings, for nearly two years...

It is still and quiet - no one else around, and I walk down to the boat launch area. The river, like a vessel, is heavy, its belly pregnant with so many leaves, embracing transition and the change of the season, and the essence of death itself - which will only serve to open the door to greater transformation. I imagine the trees letting go of what no longer serves them as they prepare to settle in and weather the coming winter before emerging once again, and unfurling their resplendent and rich foliage in many different tones and hues of green...

I look out to the dim shoreline on the other side of the river, partially occluded by the thin veil of fog, and note that bisecting the river is another "river of leaves" making its way downstream. It is visually captivating, and I imagine capturing all the subtleties of this unusual view on a camera, thinking of a gifted friend who could have done this so well!

The air is chilly, and slightly windy, and I think of the most memorable events of the weekend for me, coming in two different messages received...

My yoga teacher tells me that I have stepped into a new cycle with the end of John Friend's Anusara Yoga tour, which also coincides with the coming winter season. We step into the darkness that will yield and expand into light...

She bids me to embody what already resides in my heart and in the words I write, and in what I say and do. And I acknowledge that there is a disconnect between my body and my spirit. The bliss that arises in one, has not spilled into the other...

I savor the beauty of her words to me, spoken during a break - and I know she has seen all the way into the profundity of my heart and has gleaned what no one else has and where I need to go...

I marvel at the connections we make in life, the messages we receive, and the support we give to one another...

I look out at the broad expanse before me and it is breathtaking...

Today my theme is "vira" - courage - a word which comes from "coeur" - the French word for heart. Last week, I explored "shradda" - often translated as faith or trust. Courage arises from the seeds of faith. We must believe in ourselves and our abilities in order to manifest courage.

I invite my students to examine their lives as they do the practice, and discern where they need to embody more courage. What would their life be if they exercised it more? What would more courage enable them to do that they have not been able to do?

I was told recently, by a very insightful soul, to be prepared to step way out of my comfort zone. I can only face whatever the future brings and the new cycle at hand, with both faith, and courage. This winter, I will let the seeds of the work I must do inside, slowly germinate, and be the needed gateway for another level of transformation...

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