How did the rose
ever open its heart
to give all of its beauty
to this world?
It felt the encouragement
of light on its being.
we all remain too frightened.
This past weekend my teacher, Mary Paffard, was here teaching at HeartSong and she read this familiar and well-loved poem. It touched me deeply – it seemed like she was reading it just to remind me of what is most important in life.
I know you understand. Often students say to me, “I felt like you taught that class (read that poem, told that story…) just for me”. Somehow just the words that they needed to hear that day were spoken and there was a deep personal resonance.
There are some universal themes that we simply each need to be reminded of frequently. When we hear them, they touch us and it is perhaps a part of why we keep coming back. Poets, speakers, yoga teachers and even just the yoga itself shine that light of encouragement on us. When your teacher invites you take a wide and courageous stance or to work a little stronger in your pose or to soften and release over-efforting, she is reminding you of something important in you and encouraging you to be fully who you are. Our great poets, whose words we often bring to class, remind us to be more wholly ourselves. The words, the stories, the poses, they all give us inspiration to explore and open ourselves. It is a courageous act to do yoga. To look encouragingly at oneself is the ultimate way out of the fear that seems inherent in living.
What does it take for you to open? Where are your encouraging lights? Who sees you as you are? What would be the cost of remaining frightened?
For me, the answers to these questions keep me practicing and they keep me teaching and they keep me wanting to open even more. They make me grateful for being a part of this community of bright lights and open hearts.