You know how magic happens when you don’t expect it? One of the biggest “bummers” teaching yoga, can be when only 1 student comes to class (insert falsetto, “awkward”). Yet, consistently those are the most sacred moments students and I have! There’s a depth to our time together. We have a “moment” they’ll often fondly tell me about later. Depth is the nectar of life, as when we go “deep” we move into greater unity, wholeness, and wellness.
Blaise Pascal, a French renaissance man, said: “A trifle consoles us because a trifle upsets us.” What he’s getting at is how when our lives and relationships lack depth, we are easily distressed—a shallow life is thrown off-kilter by smaller things than a deep life. When we live in the “shallows”, we’re like a rowboat in life’s hurricanes, while dwelling in the “deeps” is akin to being a mighty aircraft carrier in a storm. Depth makes a world of difference; it turns life’s storms into gentle swells.
So, what is depth?
Depth is presence, unpacking our experiences, exploring tangents, vulnerably sharing, curiously asking, and diving fully into what matters most in life.
Ironically, going through the awkward stuff seems to help us go deep; perhaps because it forces us to put aside the “masks” we wear, and be real. Beautifully, as one shares the hidden, scary, troubling, sad, and hurt bits of us—despite the voice saying “only I” have this problem—we discover we are, in truth, far from alone in our struggles. Going deep in relationships breaks the walls of isolation.
A gift of practices that plant us deeply in the moment, our bodies, and beyond (like yoga), is they take us to a depth beyond words—a space I’d call divine. A place where peace, joy, aliveness, and love fill us richly. The best word I have for “what” shows up in these experiences I have on my mat, as well as in nature and in deep relationships, is Spirit. Thomas Keating sums it up thusly:
“God constantly speaks to us through each other as well as from within. The interior experience of God’s presence activates our capacity to perceive [the divine] in everything else—in people, in events, in nature.”
God, I believe, shows up to me during yoga via light-filled sensations, bubbly effervescent feelings, a sense of joyous contentment, an experience of blissful peace, and an overwhelming feeling of Love. Here’s to going deep, it’s divine!
Hugs & Love,Lang
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