Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 58: Dear Dude, I'm dropping my letter in the river. I hope it finds you.

Packing up my belongings, sorting through the piles labeled 'summer' and 'lovebug' and 'forgotten,' the heaps of clothing and scattered socks - the ones that never quite match - is filling my mind with memory and foresight. It's opening up a channel, and that channel brought me to the pen and paper of today...the computer. And then I wrote a letter, but I'm not sure who it's to. Maybe my future self, the one of tomorrow or 500 days after tomorrow. The me that finished my Mala odyssey; the calmer me that learned to use the mind and body together. The me of the future. Maybe it's for that me.

Dear Dude,
Life has been a strange ride the last few weeks. It's been a perpetual dive into the deep dark places that we can barely ever venture to, let alone choose to explore. Nervous breakdown? near check. Emotional outpourings? definite check. Spontaneous fits of laughter, tears, anger and utter calm? for real check, check, and check. check. Monica says it's the emotional stages of the yoga. When she was in teacher training, everyone went "nuts" after about 40 days. People would be randomly crying or shouting the nastiest vulgarities at fellow yogis. Monica said the worst day was when everyone lost it and was one breath away from falling into the pit of super nasty anger, when the girl next to her shouted "get the fuck off my mat!" Apparently, her foot grazed it during one set of triangle. I'm sure she responded with a "whoa, dude," probably all she could muster. I love Monica. And her dude comments.
The yoga has been good, though. I guess what I'm trying to explain (in this little flashback) is that yoga shouldn't just make you feel 'great.' Maybe it is supposed to make you feel like shit. or tired. or thirsty. or moody. or sad. Maybe it's just supposed to make you feel something. And I kind of like that. I like that one day, I'll feel like crying. I'm cursing the heat and the people around me who are weak; the yogis falling out of poses and taking long breaks; the ones guzzling water regardless of others and making dramatic sighs. Some days I fixate on them. I wonder why they're here; why are they bringing such awareness to their struggle. It will plague my mind for most of class. I'll obsess over one student, one girl, one early-20 something petite english major as she struggles with each breath. Everything she does becomes a moment to judge her; reduce her to near nothing; to simply watch her fail. Why? Why? Am I there for her? Am I her witness? Am I her reflection, the archetype of a yogi that she holds herself to? Of course not. I'm just lost in a room, allowing anger and distraction to fill me up. And that's alright, too. There's no right way to feel. All I can do is accept that I feel that way, and hopefully understand it. If I can learn from it, then I'm glad for it.
The Mala is changing me. Physically, my body is breaking down, shedding material that I don't need. It's like gutting an old building, ripping out the cheap insulation and really looking at the foundation. I got so thin, I was worried. Now, I'm replacing that crap with positive growth. I'm strengthening my core; rebuilding my house. My mind is clearer. I'm not happier, or more alive. I'm just more aware. And my mind is catching up to my body.
I don't know why am I writing this all to you. I'm not even sure it is for you. Life. It moves. People drift. They start a new part of the novel. I get that. I've always gotten that...maybe a little too well.
I guess I just wanted to write. Put thoughts in a form I could share. And you are the recipient of my conscious stream.
I hope this finds you well. I hope this finds you happy and peaceful and fresh. I hope this finds you.
Most graciously yours, for reviewing such an open letter. If only I could leave the address as open, and maybe it would find the right recipient at the right time. Now that would be magical.

Most affectionately yours (and still most graciously),

Class: Hot Silent Flow
Instructor: Claudine
Studio: Open Door
Wins: Flowing Camel and Rabbit; finding myself in a room where I'm always losing myself; breathing; forgetting about my water bottle; coming back to center; allowing the anger, or the calm, or the heat to occupy a brief image in the screen of my mind, then continue on; to know I'm moving, changing, growing; accepting what is; holding on to what matters; leaving behind what doesn't; understanding all three.

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