Last year, for Valentine's, I posted Lauren Wilce's gorgeous poem "If You Want to Change the World, Love a Man"...it was so popular that I wanted to share this version for this Valentine's, which was gifted to me by a friend who had read last year's post. Happy Valentine's Day to all of you absolutely stunningly gorgeous radiant women!
If you want to change the world…love a woman…really love her. Find the one who calls to your Soul, who doesn’t make sense. Throw away your check list and put your ear to her heart and listen. Hear the names, the prayers, the songs of every living thing …
He was lying on the busy sidewalk, along the wall of a shop which stood across the street from the main market in Mapusa, India. He was on his side, using his arm as a pillow…an old man, paper thin, legs covered in flies which where nestling into the open wounds on his legs. I slowed to one of those lucid stops when you see a Being whose heart shattering situation stands right in front of you...
Once imprisoned, Joan of Arc is said to have felt shattered within herself, that she had backed down on what she knew most deeply. That she hadn’t carried through on what only she could hear. After all of her bravery, her courage and her might, in the end, she felt she had betrayed her most sacred knowing...
I repeated myself 108 times before falling silent. In that silence I could actually feel the vibration of my words as a palpable structure around me. This was a breathtaking moment for me. I was sitting in class at the time, on the cold, hard floor in the ashram in Northern India. Earlier we had been learning Yogic Philosophy and Mantra, and I had been leaning in to every grace filled word
I tuned into a program the other day…the characters in the show had decided to experience the outdoors for the weekend at a lodge retreat. While fishing, they caught bundles of fish, only to find out from the owner of the lodge later on, that he stocks the lake with fish then seals it off so people can catch fish quickly…”we stock it because people have busy lives, they don’t want to waste all their time fishing, they need to get back to the city”, he explained. Of course, this took away from the entire experience for the characters of the show. But this made me think how frequently we approach Savasana in much the same way.
When I came across Lauren’s poem I was taken into another world. But it’s a world that is more true. The poem is so deeply honouring of a woman’s heart, and the innate desire women carry to be emotionally generous. And it is so honouring of the sensitivity of men:
If you want to change the world, love a man; really love him
Choose the one whose soul calls to yours clearly; who sees you; who is brave enough to be afraid
Accept his hand and guide him gently to your hearts blood
Where he can feel your warmth upon him and rest there...
If we assume that our Asana practice is reflective of our walk through life, then our Asana practice can be seen as an opportunity to really grasp the understanding that ultimately, we are finding our way through life on our own.
"May life go to immortal life, and the body go to ashes. OM. O my soul, remember past strivings, remember! O my soul, remember past strivings, remember!”
In her book, Letters from the Yoga Masters, Marion includes this prayer from the Isha Upanishad, which reminds us that “the yoga Masters claim that if you are drawn to yoga in this life, it is likely that the seeds of knowledge were planted in a past life”. These excerpts are from the first three chapters of Marion’s book which were a privilege for me to read as they didn’t make it off the editorial chopping block. These three chapters were such a soulful reflection of her journey to finding her Guru Dr. Hari Dickman.
To seriously embark on a practice of Yoga Nidra, be sure to gather those skills of stillness and of focus, and of observation. Polish them up the way you would a tarnished, old genie lantern…and dive in to your Nidra practice…all-in…nothing ventured, nothing gained…and when you feel ready to reach, reach far and reach true, because really, there is everything there for you.
“The same road that connects two souls together when stretched, becomes a path to God”…written by Muhammad Ali in the 1970’s. There is no doubt in my mind that Muhammad Ali was a yogi. He was connecting with something deep inside, and he was listening to it and paying attention to it, he was acting on it and living from it. He had faith in it and spoke from it. He brought this life forward…emanating it. A person can only do this when connected to his inner lifeforce, in alignment and in relationship with all that is.