Every once in a while, my husband and I go through the house searching for things we can get rid of, and devise a better way to organize our environment. Some "stuff" is easy to recycle or give away. Other "good things" are harder to let go of, but we know they are not being used--a beautiful chair that no one sits in, a chest full of fabric for future sewing projects. I've noticed over the years the occasional "I wish I hadn't given that away" feeling is far outweighed by the joy in giving it to someone who will use it, as well as the creation of space.
People often talk about "aha" moments in Yoga. A light bulb goes on and we have a moment of enlightenment. A common "aha" moment for Yoga students has to do with discovering a new way of thinking about ourselves and our world. Sometimes this happens through quiet reflection, sometimes through the assistance of a teacher, and sometimes through life experience. The key is to recognize the benefits and value of all three, and to approach our learning with a balance of self-empowerment as well as a willingness and openness to receive.
In a recent visit from a wise person, I was reminded of The Four Agreements, a book written by Mexican author Miguel Angel Ruiz. I've spoken of this before, in its similarity to yogic wisdom. As one of my students said, "It's simple, but not easy". And so, we remind ourselves by eating this good 'spiritual' food. We remember the truth, we practice, we fall short and get back up . . . remember, practice, fall short, get back up . . . remember, practice . . . and this is what we mean by Yoga Living.
"Just witnessing is enough". These words were said to me in a letter during my first few months of living in Malawi, Africa, while serving in the Peace Corps. They have always stuck with me. I thought I knew what it meant to "witness" but I wasn't sure how witnessing could be "enough"? Was it enough to see all the suffering-AIDS, hunger and poverty-and not do anything?