For a long time I saw change as taking extreme effort, a push of my will power, an act of self-discipline in order to bring about a new way of being or a new phase of my life. I’m not so sure now. Change seems to unfold inherently and without a lot of external pressure. Transformations seem to know when to occur; when the environment is ripe for it. As this spring season unveils her mysteries, perhaps I am just ready to see the beauty in allowing change to happen in its own time. Perhaps what I am beginning to see more clearly is my capacity for being sensitive and aware to when the environment is right for change to occur in.
When the snow has melted and the sun has shined, the grass is compelled to act, to grow. When the environment is ripe for change I too become compelled to act; it somehow becomes almost a responsibility to answer the call of the change that is inherently taking place. While change seems to happens regardless of whether I act or not (I keep finding more and more gray hairs each year!), I do recognize that with divine action (action from a deep place of knowing how to act) I can influence the direction or type of change that occurs. In many ways it becomes my choice of how I want to influence what is inherently unfolding in front of me. I may not be able to stop the change that is coming but I can help gently guide the direction of the change. Or I can ignore it, or try to make it be something other than it is. These ways of being seem to have had disastrous effects on my life, tugging me out of alignment with what creates contentment and happiness in my life.
Sita is one of the many energies in yoga that takes her shape in the form of a goddess. Sita’s energy requires a full embrace of the passivity of change. She is receptive and open and unattached to any outcome of change. She is allowing and open and deeply loving. I used to rebuke Sita. I saw her as weak, as passive, as an energy that gets walked all over. I could not understand how a strong woman would allow herself to be treated in ways that seems to dis-empower her. I knew nothing.
Sita’s energy, I am finding, is one of the strongest types of feminine energy in our world. She teaches us about the deep well of love that takes form in receptivity and passivity. She teaches us to allow our environment to move and change as it will, bending to it, bowing to it, and surrendering to it. In this way she asks for a sacrifice of small self ego; of any personal desires and wishes that are not in alignment with my highest good.. She asks for an alignment to the larger picture, beyond what humans can even conceptualize. She asks for us to trust in the power of sacrifice, whether or not we see or experience an outcome from the sacrifice that we hope for.
How do these thoughts and concepts play out in actual life? Well, in as many ways as you can imagine! One of the recent ways it is playing out in my life has to do with a re-birthing of a part of myself that I put aside four years ago. I have been in retreat from my roots of yoga. I have wandered away from my daily practice. I have lost connection with my sangha. I abandoned my students and stepped away from teaching. I let a part of me die as other parts were coming into being and seemed to need more room, energy, and attention to manifest. I have recently begun to sense that the environment is ripe for my return to my roots. I feel a longing to be on my mat again; a longing for the silence of deep meditation; for the light of my teacher and community; and for the waves of gratitude that come with being in the service of teaching. I am naturally, with effortless effort, integrating all I have experienced and cultivated over the past four years back into my spiritual roots of yoga. As this transformation takes place I am being mindful to allow Sita to speak through me; to all my transformation home to occur without an attachment to how home looks like after years of being away. And I am gently reminded that four years, in the cosmic sense, is a tiny little blip.
How are you inherently changing and growing? What is beginning to blossom for you this spring? And, perhaps even more importantly, what are you sensing is ripe for change but are afraid to move towards? What would it be like to let your Sita shine; to allow without attachment; to grow from the inside out?
Stayed tuned for more of these meandering thoughts, video posts on yogic stories, and dates for workshops.