Thousand Petal Lotus

I have never been more homebound in my life. With the odd exception, if I am not teaching I am mothering. I was surprised when this wasn’t as comfortable as I had expected it to be. In fact, in the more dramatic moments, it seemed a death sentence– I felt cut off, unable to cultivate myself, with no time to engage in my own process. Soon enough it dawned on me that motherhood was a death sentence, but it was only the death of who I thought I was. My previous patterns and means of creating movement were no longer accessible, but a river doesn’t stop flowing if some rocks tumble into its path, it creates new avenues, explores new terrain and it thrives.

On Holi, the full moon of March 23rd, I was biking home in the darkness of early evening, alongside Central Park. Across the park the moon hung heavy and orange. It took my breath away as I gazed in awe at its fullness. It was all there, completely revealed, present. Joy and lightness surfaced from within myself as I felt the moon invite me to do the same: to momentarily shrug off the weight and confines of the ego identity. The yogis call us all mala covered samsarins- veiled souls, confined by self-made constraints. Our yoga practice then, is to strip ourselves of all the ‘dust’ that we have accumulated- otherwise our earthliness will always impede our fullness coming into view.

It still feels painful to not have the old forms to see myself through, as I had worked hard to consciously create them. Attachment is one of life’s sweet sorrows, we are meant to grieve and then let go. Our fear, of course, is to be lost and left without. But there is no being without, maybe especially if I am arms full of laundry at the same time a sweet, hungry, crying bundle is calling for me. In the end, nothing feels more fitting than to welcome whatever comes, let it carve me new again– may I one day finally get out of the way of thinking I know who I am, so that the other nine hundred and ninety petals of my thousand petal lotus can unfurl.

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