Saturday, March 5, 2011

Finish what's on your plate

Yesterday I realized: I am overwhelmed.

I currently have four jobs (that I get paid for) and sit on three boards. Next to my bed is a stack of books I'm in the middle of, lists of thoughts too important to keep in my fragile head while I sleep, and lots of socks donned before bed and cast off before waking.

It wasn't the overpowering urge to text while driving yesterday that put me over the edge. It wasn't the six bags of props et al I left with in the morning, each prepared for another aspect of the roller coaster day. Yesterday, I realized I was overwhelmed when I drove to a yoga class after the journey of the work day and saw the sunset. February in Colorado is not known for sunsets, because few are like this. If you are in Kansas or Hawai'i, you see the sky change colors over the prairie or the sea, but in Colorado the sun disappears behind the mountains without any warning. Suddenly, it is twilight, the day's eyes are squeezed shut and all that is left is the darkness to remind you that once it was light. Just before a snow blows in, and sometimes near the full moon, the mountains grow at sunset. Maybe this happens every night, and I just miss it. Perhaps the mountains reach up on occasion or there is a mystery of physics and light that explains the phenomenon, but it is nothing short of breathtaking.

Smallness happens at dusk. We can't see as far. We're forced to look inside.

It was in this inward gaze that I realized there was no space inside for thinking, or breathing, or sunsets. My plate was full. My plate is full, and even though yoga is the soul's equivalent of vegetables, I realized I needed to work with what was there before I added more, even if what I was trying to add was nutritious. The sunset drew me westward, home. Once I arrived, I drew my life as I wanted it to look: with plenty of room for sunsets.

Why does it feel so good when nature makes us feel small? Because it silences the bigness in our minds.

Agnaye Swaaha, Agnaye idam na mama. Prajapataye Swaaha, Prajapataye idam na mama.

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