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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Musical Chairs

Fall. The mornings are crisper(even though right now in Philadelphia it is going to 80+) and the season is most definitely changing. Summer is fading like the last rose. There a few leaves changing. Geese are flying. The sound of acorns dropping fills the woods behind my house. Children are back in school. Mornings are darker, and it is more difficult to awaken.  Change is good, but it can be hard. The Ahamkara, the ego,  tells us not to accept changes. It likes things just the way they are. Think about it; you may have been wearing flip flops all summer( I know I do!) but these chillier mornings something a little more substantial is in order. But the ego says, NO! wear the flip flops you are used to them, and they feel good, damn it !). The ego likes things that it is comfortable with. Make sense? Change offers us an opportunity to grow if we accept it. To use it as a lesson. Many times, we struggle when the opportunity presents itself. Go back in time to an autumn a long time ago, back to your childhood.  Remember the teacher in elementary school that would put 4 or 5 desks in a grouping? To perhaps work on a group project. You may or may not have been comfortable with this group. But you needed to experience and participate it in order to get the work done. You work together, and pretty soon you might have just forgotten that you weren't to happy about it in the first place. You might even have received a good grade for your endeavors and perhaps even made friends. But just when you felt your place , the teacher changed the group! For most of us, this brings discontent. Might even make you sad. When I taught in the classroom, I had a place called the "sad step". A place where you could go if you made a classmate sad, me sad, or were having a sad day to think about how you could make it better. When you get that desk move, you may very well put yourself on the sad step. But even if you stay there a long while, it is not going to change the fact that the powers that be have decided it is for your own good and there is no going back. Life is the same; when the our role in life, or a situation suddenly changes the course of our reality, our " desk" is moved and  we struggle to accept this change. The Ahamkara puts the breaks down in a screeching halt. Disbelief. How can they do this to me? I didn't do anything to deserve this? Fill in your own statement, we have all  been here.  We have the choice to put ourselves on the sad step and not accept the inevitable. Or we can take on the new position with an open heart, see what we can learn from it, and accept change with grace. Every element is in flux in the cosmos and situations change through the flow of the gunas. It is never static. I am really relating to this right now. Last week I was busy with my regular teaching schedule, classes and students. Comfortable with my regular status quo. When I found myself in the emergency room with what was a scary situation, I was in disbelief. Desk chair pulled out from under me. No, no way not me, uh uh! Several CT scans, intravenous medication, and outpatient surgery later, I have a scar right where my third eye is. ( I kid you not, I am now the yoga teacher that can really say "my itchy third eye! You have to laugh at the grand design. ) Permanent bindi. For all the world to see!  I could have put myself on the sad step, and moaned about it, or better yet put a paper bag over my head  and hide. Instead I choose to accept this change with grace, because that is all we really can do in this cosmic game of musical chairs. We are not in control as much as ego like us to think we are. My surgeon and doctors were wonderful. It will heal and slowly fade, but it is now part of me. A lesson learned. Just as the way we handle the challenges of life makes up our character. We can get stuck or we can grow. When things change unexpectedly, the choice is to accept and realize that there is something to learn from the experience.

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