Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sorry and Glad Together

(extra points if you can name the band who sang the title song...)

So this weekend - the culmination of our Anusara Immersion 1 - ended with the doors of my mind being blown off. When Deb talked about being lit up w/ the radiance of Shakti, she wasn't kidding. While I fully expect every day life to creep back into my brain, I still feel moderately justified in warning you of long, introspective posts in the next few days.

This weekend was a strange one. Yesterday found many of us exhausted for various reasons and emotionally drained as, almost every one of us to a person, seemed to be standing at some personal crossroads or precipice. Some of us had looked and jumped, others were gathering up the courage to jump, still others had turned away - not yet, not now.

I understand these crossroads. I've walked through a couple of them. Some (divorce) for the better, some (Hiroshi) for the worse. These crossroads are often painful and difficult (witness all the tears yesterday) but they are always worthwhile. For, if nothing else, they teach us invaluable lessons about ourselves.

And, while practicing today, I came to realize that much of my difficulty these last few days/months/etc. has been because I historically don't like to remember myself before these crossroads. I tend to look forward and not look back.

We all know that cliche about history, right?

To wit: I have this odd memory of being a kid - 10, 12 maybe - and looking through my "baby book" - that scrapbook my mom kept in her drawer until it was overstuffed with useless things like play programs or certificates of achievement. There was a picture in there of summer camp. I liked summer camp. I cannot honestly remember a single thing that happened at summer camp that would have troubled me. But I do remember crying -- really really crying -- at the end of summer camp, when it came time to float our Memory Candles on the lake and sing "On My Honor." And then, I got home, and I never - NEVER - wanted to look at that picture of Camp Mosey Wood - all those girls, suntanned and grinning with missing teeth. Now, the writer in me wants there to be some hidden reason - a counselor who took criminal liberties with young bodies, or a traumatic turf fight with another camper resulting in self-esteem loss. But, the truth is, camp made me feel a lot - I missed mom and dad but also kinda liked not being home. I liked my new friends but wouldn't ever see them again. It was scary, exciting, adventurous, thrilling, joyous, and sad. And, it's a lot easier to deal with all those emotions by not looking at them - at the picture that captures them - than it is to, say, feel them.

It hit me like this. We were catching up as a group on Saturday a.m. And it was my turn. And I was explaining my new living situation and the difficulty it presents. "He's got four sisters and is close to his mom. And they're all into sharing their feelings. And I'm not so much with the sharing of the feelings."

Hell. I'm not so much with the feeling of the feelings.

Thus, today, while running us through the most exhausting 3 hours of asana I've ever lived through, Deb practically challenged me to start feeling.

Because it's only when we reveal our hearts - to ourselves and to the world - can we really become to embrace and embody the beings we're meant to be.

It's a pretty lofty goal. It's gonna take a whole lot of work. And it probably won't be pretty.

I wonder - am I up to the challenge?