I spent my Friday morning a couple weeks ago down at the beach, by myself, phone turned off, in the bottom of my bag and wrapped in a towel where I wouldn’t be tempted to pull it out. I didn’t really have a plan going into this practice, but to experience quiet, peace and aloneness for at least 2 hours. I ended up staying for 3. I’ll admit, I only spent about 20 minutes in “active” (whatever that means) meditation - first going around my 108 beads on my mala, repeating the mantra “do less, (with) more heart”. When I made it around the mala, I continued meditating on this intention, focusing on my deep ujjayi breathing and my senses. I tried to match the rhythm of my breath to the sound of the waves….that was kind of trippy, feeling one with the ocean, Mother Earth, and to God. I was flooded with gratitude for where I live, for nature, for life, for my Faith.
The mantra “do less, more heart” has been really important to me lately. During the 4 months of my Yoga Mittra Teacher Training (well, the last year in general), I have experienced major burn out. Burning the candle at both ends as they say. The trap I get myself into is that I am so deeply passionate and in love with what I do, that I end up doing way too much of it, and then doing none of it wholeheartedly. That’s my conundrum lately. So, my resolution right now is to say no to more things, spend more time be-ing and less time do-ing...so that what I do, I can do with more heart. And so that who I love, I can love really well….instead of giving small, broken, tired fragmented bits of myself to a million different things.
That morning I spent at the beach really brought that home. Usually I have a hard time crying over my own personal stuff...but lately I couldn't hold it back. I was overcome with so much emotion sitting there by myself with no technology or work or other people’s feelings to distract me - so many different kinds of tears and emotions happened during those three hours, that the familiar thought came to mind “am I going crazy??” … and the answer is yes. yes, I am losing my mind … maybe I’m having a mental breakdown, and how beautiful is that? I am thankful for my breakdowns. They make me feel (and release) gratitude, grief, despair, anger, confusion, relief, acceptance --- all of it. really intensely. Basically all the things I am usually helping other people work through. And I realized that this, this time in the quiet, this is what I should be doing.
Thank you for this assignment, YTT teachers. And thank you mind, for losing yourself so that I can be with myself.