Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Car Alarms, Chaos and Meditation

Tonight a car alarm started going off as I attempted to sit in meditation at my studio. Surprisingly, it wasn't the alarm, but the silence in the aftermath of the alarm that was deafening. It seems my mind is in chaos with alarm after alarm going off these days. Alert! There's not enough money! Alert! There's not enough time! Alert! That man is wrong for you! Alert! Don't let that one go!

I've been in survival mode for so long that it feels like there will never be peace. Like there will never be ease or enough. My brain seems to weigh 200 lbs and my poor heart is weightless and neglected.

I have recently strayed from my personal yoga practice and gone to great lengths to stop the noise in my mind; replacing it with the meaningless drone and numbed out distraction of TV, which I'm watching on my little computer for the first time in 3 years. I'm exhausted and all of my endeavors seem increasingly difficult; sometimes even futile.

And yet, oddly, people keep thanking me. My students keep coming to my classes and one of them on his way out the other day, thanked me over and over and then asked me if there was anything he could do for me. My students say things like, "thank you for everything you do" and "I'm so thankful that you chose to come here." Community leaders and officials have noticed my enthusiasm to make a difference and make it a point to encourage me, asking that I please continue my efforts.

Even though I am in personal chaos, what I'm doing, what I'm trying to accomplish... is working. It's grown in that gradual and slow way that only something you're so close to can without your noticing it. But it's building and growing and the spiritual community I set out to create has a little baby backbone where there was once thin air. And somehow, in between making sure there were money and plans and paint on the walls and the right schedule of classes....I became a teacher. I became their teacher and they became mine. If all was lost tomorrow, I would be left here, miles ahead of where I started with more knowledge in the last six months that I would have imagined possible in a lifetime.

Yesterday I read this Deepak Chopra quote to my students:

     "Happiness is much more than an aspiration. Happiness is our true nature, our very source of being. When we expand our awareness within, we discover that there is no limit to our happiness. And as we grow in happiness, we can't help but share that happiness with those around us."

I explained to my class after I read the quote, what it meant to me. That we always carry our happiness within us, wherever we go, no matter what we encounter along the journey. Sometimes people or experiences come along to cloud that happiness, but they can never take it away because it is a part of our being, it is our source. It is up to us to remember, that when it gets cloudy, our happiness is still there. Even that there are endless opportunities to un-cloud that happiness if we can learn to take the responsibility of reaching out and grabbing them.

I'm happier in this challenging and meaningful chaos that I have been in my entire adult life. I've been carrying that happiness with me all along and it's been cloudy lately, but it's there and it's bright. As hard as it is, I need to make the effort to reach out for the opportunities to expand that happiness and reject any that detract from it.

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