Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Light Bulb Bustin' Gratitude

Last night I couldn't sleep, and in the early morning hours my mind began to race about the adoption. After several useless minutes of mind spinning, I was able to rest my mind on our son's Enat (Amharic word for mother). I was able to finally go back to sleep by breathing her thoughts of love and gratitude.

This morning I went to yoga tired, emotionally raw, and my knees and back hurt. I dedicated my practice to Enat as I do every day. Towards the end of class we rolled onto our backs to prepare for back bending practice. My teacher, Jeffrey, began to talk about heart opening and gratitude, and he encouraged us to offer up our efforts to something or someone else. I closed my eyes and thought of Enat, my exhaustion and pain had long disappeared and I felt a deep sense of peace and joy. A smile began to escape my lips despite the effort ahead of me. At that precise moment there was a sharp crack of glass shattering, as the light bulb directly over my head burst and rained down on me.

Just me.
Just around my mat.
Seriously. I couldn't make this up.
Glass was in my hair, my clothes, stuck in my mat, and to my sweaty skin. I could still feel the residue of the peace and joy I felt only seconds before as I looked around me with wonder.

Jeffrey grabbed a broom and swept up the glass around me, and I continued class searching for meaning in the light bulb explosion, monkey mind spinning...Is Enat okay? is she still alive?...was our son just born? he okay? (and then embarrassingly, my ego kicked in)...was that a siddhi (special yogic power)? did the enormity of my gratitude bust the light bulb?

And then on the way home I remembered...
Jeffrey started class with the study of the following yoga sutra: abhyasa vairagyaabhyam tan nirodhah
meaning: fluctuations of the mind can be stopped with practice and non-attachment.

He asked each student to rephrase the sutra in our own words.
My version was:
Coming to the mat everyday without taking yourself seriously will bring you sanity.

And so began the conversation with myself that sounded a bit like this in my head...
Slow down, Yogamama, while you might be capable of more than you can imagine, you are NOT an X-men. Thinking that you are capable of blowing up a light bulb with your gratitude probably falls under the category of taking yourself too seriously.

And so light bulb (and Jeffrey-ji), I thank you for simultaneously teaching me the power of possibility and humility. I don't believe in coincidence and perhaps there is a connection to my gratitude, the light bulb and Enat, perhaps it's just time for Jivamukti to change their light bulbs, or perhaps I needed a light bulb to literally explode over my head to teach me a deeper meaning of the yoga sutra.
I'll never know.
And I'm okay with that.
Back to the mat. With light bulb bustin' gratitude.

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