Will You Say Yes - and Open to Grace?

This morning, with warm coffee in tow, after a very early morning meditation as the sun rose, I went down to the river. It seems, it is calling me to visit again, as I have on and off, at various junctures, throughout these last three years...

Why do I go to the river? I go for companionship. I tell the river my deepest secrets, and things that lie hidden in my heart, and it listens. The river is unconditional. It does not skirt its lessons. I also go down to the river for insights. The river somehow, always manages to teach me what I must learn.

On this day, the river is partially frozen again, and the sky is overcast and gray - very much looking as if it will snow, which is in the forecast for tomorrow.

Last week, I visited several times. On some days, the river rushed with great power. One day - it was perfectly still. On a couple of occasions it was nearly frozen over. I marveled at how drastically it changed from one day to another - somehow mirroring my feelings and state of mind and soul.

Today, it seemed some of the waves had frozen in place - as if in a place of suspended animation, and it became very clear to me, that my own life was somewhat frozen as well. I had no clear sense of direction, and had generally not been feeling very positive about a number of things.

Today, I began teaching my weekly yoga classes again, after a three week hiatus. As I approached the week, I was feeling that I really had very little to give my students in terms of inspiration. If truth be told, I was feeling depleted on many levels...

And then, as it often happens, I had a real sense of what I needed to say, because it was also what I needed to hear...

As it so happens, I always begin every session using the first of the Universal Principles of Alignment in Anusara Yoga, which is "Open to Grace." It's not only a great way to begin a session - but a New Year as well...

Opening to Grace implies that we say yes to whatever life offers us. And so, I read an inspirational post on consciousenergyshifts.com yesterday morning, and it was simply titled: "Will You Say Yes?" The question seemed very fitting, and the essay began with this quote:

"Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening. You are either stressfully waiting for something - more money, security, affection - or you are living from your deep heart, opening as the entire moment, and giving what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting." (David Deida)

Yes - as I surveyed the broad expanse of a naked and frozen river, with its waves stuck in suspended animation - I saw myself - stuck in the same place - frozen in the same pattern of self-limiting thought forms, that periodically haunt me.

The short essay continued with its insights:

"Are you living a conditioned life? Life unfolds in each moment. There is no suspension of life force as you decide whether or not you'll say yes to the opportunity before you. There really is only one choice: open or close. Chances are that you are quite familiar with experiences when your choice is, 'Close!' Those are experiences filled with limitation in its infinite manifestations...

Life is risky, even unsettling and downright scary at times...When you're not sure of the outcome or fear flourishes - you know that you are in a dynamic moment. If the desire comes from the core of your being, then this is the moment when possibility is seeking your partnership. What you want also wants you. You are the perfect partner in this moment. Your only option is a choice."

I said to my students this morning, that opening to grace is a choice - one we make over and over again. When we soften, there are discernible qualities associated with that action. We are more receptive. Our breathing slows - and when we connect with it - it brings us more fully into the present moment.

The river summoned me in moments I was feeling disconnected, sorry for myself, and not good enough. It showed itself to me - mirroring what I saw in myself. But it also reminded me, that even in its frozen state, it was teeming with life.

I reminded my students that "opening to grace" IS a choice - and invited them to make that choice over and over again - today - during this week - in this session - and this year. I asked them to open to every moment - and everything it disclosed, for each and every moment asks us to embrace all that is offered to us, more fully and deeply.


yogainthegarden said…
Thanks for sharing this post. Of course it came to me when I really needed to hear it...

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