Grace is Everything

I arise on a morning that is a turning point of sorts, and after meditation, I head down to the river with Grace, my kayak, in tow.

We push off from the boat launch area and paddle into the waves created by a fishing boat, riding its coattails with great abandon. I marvel that I even consider doing this, since I have always avoided such undulations with trepidation, afraid of capsizing, or losing my balance.

But I paddle now, not wishing to unconsciously or instinctively retrace the paths I have taken before, choosing instead to explore a ford here or there - shallow places in the riverbed that my kayak can just about slide over. I have avoided these as well, afraid of getting stuck...

I contemplate so many experiences I had this week - hearing from so many who are suffering deeply, physically and otherwise and I have prayed fervently for all of these souls - so many of them experiencing very serious life and death situations. I am also invited to reflect upon health issues and considerations that will require changes and adjustments that have already begun in my own household. I cannot help but contemplate further on the meaning of life, and death, and immortality...

My face hungrily seeks the warmth beating down from the endless blue sky, and I think of my yoga teacher, who led us through a practice yesterday afternoon, on the first day of the spring session, that amazingly mirrored my own practice of the last week...She invited us to embody "shri" - beauty - and to become all the beauty that we already were - and were meant to express - reminding us that there is always so much beauty in the world...

Yes, I look up to the sky, soaking in its healing rays, knowing I must address a low vitamin D count, and words from The Who's classic rock opera, "Tommy," arises spontaneously in my heart:

"See me.
Feel me.
Touch me.
Heal me."

These words are perhaps a needed mantra - they are uttered by the depths of my soul, as I consider lessons I must learn, painfully re-surfacing, even after three years...I wonder why I cannot learn what I must, once and for all, and just be done with it...But there is a lesson in this as well - for it invites me to forgive myself, again and again - which is perhaps the most difficult of all the lessons I have faced...To forgive others is surely the easier task - but to forgive oneself for hurting others, and whatever impact that may have from an energetic perspective - seems so daunting - and yet it too - is so necessary...

Here on this river, that has been a river of grace for me, I cannot help but reflect on my theme for my classes this week - where I invited my students to ride the currents of grace...I also think of the soul, dear to so many in the Anusara Yoga kula - or family - who faced five unexpected heart surgeries - surviving to the amazement of his doctors - and who also managed to scribble on a pad as he faced one more surgery that "only grace is everything..."

Yes - I think to myself - only grace is everything...My eyes glance down at the decal with my website's logo on Grace, my kayak, which reads: "Aligning with Grace..."

My whole life is a study in aligning with grace - however imperfectly I live this out. Yet I do try to align as best as I can in the moment - very sincerely - even if I miss the mark...And this was the understanding that the early Christian community had of sin - it was "hamartia" - simply to miss the mark...All one needs to do, is start over again, to try once more, to align with grace...

As I ride the currents of grace on this river, my thoughts momentarily turn to a friend and colleague who reminded me that as teachers, we try our best, and if we are able, we show our students their own current of grace...

I paddle on delighting on poetic morsels that came to me yesterday, and which are begging to be committed to paper in a poem or two - they explode from deep inside - sent forth like gentle blossoms from my heart:

"Like a cup become a chalice for grace."

"We are light at our essence, and our bodies are temples for that light."

"Let it be. Let go. Let God..."

I paddle back towards the boat launch, and look downstream, and suddenly realize, I have never paddled there - never venturing to explore the waters there, and I tell myself I must go there this spring or summer...I must ride the waves of grace downstream and let it reveal whatever it needs to teach me...I need to go where I have not gone - where I have been afraid to go - I need to learn more lessons...

With grace I will ford every river and follow every stream, for - only grace is everything...

("Only grace is everything." Scott Marmorstein)


Susanna said…
That's lovely and so beautiful. Feeling lost and finding my way again a bit after reading that. Many thanks.

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