This Place of Invitation

by Julie on December 3, 2010 · 15 comments

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Anjali, by Ramona Klee on Flickr

Anjali, by Romana Klee on Flickr

Reverb10 Day 03 Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

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I really like this prompt. Just reading it takes me back through so many experiences of 2010. As I do, I discover that, in general, I feel alive much of the time…much more than I used to before certain experiences awakened me to a different way to be in life.

Feeling most alive isn’t always the same as feeling good. For me, it’s not about peak experiences.

That being said, as I went back through the year to pick one moment, my mind went to peak experiences (it’s hard to teach an old dog…):

Traveling in Ireland and climbing Croagh Patrick alongside barefoot teenage boys or standing on the peat in Connemara or hearing live Irish music and feeling my body light up with the joy of music from the heart…all immensely pleasurable experiences. My mind also searched for other highlighted moments of the year, something that stood out as different from the others. As I sat with so many choices, my time to write ran out as I had to head out the door for yoga.

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Today, the teacher asked if we had any requests for class (something she does when the class is small). A number of requests were voiced. Then she mentioned that usually when she asks that question, someone pipes up with ‘Power Yoga’. I realized that’s what I wanted today…to sweat hard and to push the boundaries of what my body can do. So I raised my hand to make it clear that’s what I wanted.

She laughed.

She obliged.

She seemed to fill all our requests taking us from intense twists, to shoulder openers, to hip flexor stretches, to optional Chaturanga, and even a one-legged Chaturanga for me, the one that wanted power yoga.

Then she led us into pigeon pose. And here in the intense opening of pigeon pose, I remembered the prompt for today. I sat with the question of what it is to feel fully alive as my entire pelvic girdle was responding to the invitation to open.

I could feel the tightness of those muscles hanging on as if to say, “It’s up to us to keep things under control.”. And, balanced with that tightness, I could feel my skeleton resting on the ground, responding to the muscles saying, “It’s okay. I’ve got it. You can let go.”

Alongside this conversation between the muscles and the bones, there was another conversation. I noticed that feeling of something deeper, what I can only call deep awareness, holding my mind as it flitted about, trying to manage the perceived pain of the stretch in which the body was engaged. This deeper place, this place of serenity and constancy simply invited me to let go, to drop in. I found myself dancing between simply being this place of invitation and being the mind with it’s manic need to manage the experience.

And then it happened. I let go. The muscles gave it over to the bones. The mind let go into the heart. The heart dropped into the body. Something deeper just held it all. And in this moment, I felt the physical palpable opening of the hips, where groin crease relaxed into thigh, and bones settled into the mat. Hot sweat dripped, while pain settled into sensation. Struggling to hold on let go.  Cranial fluid softly pulsed. Joy surfaced on the waves of breath.

It all became simple. Personality acceded to Self.

In this moment, I could feel muscles held by the bones, and bones held by the earth. I could feel the mind held by the heart, and the heart held by the body.

One let go into the next, and before I knew it I felt deeply alive. Human. Open. Trusting.

Invitation.

Invitee.

Invited.

Acceptance.

Simple.

::

image, Anjali, by Romana Klee on Flickr (cc2.0 license)

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Cristina December 3, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to completely let go. I would be terrified! To just completely not have control?!!? This will be something I work on in 2011… to fully face my control issues and attempt to put them in perspective. To understand that I don’t have to be in control and it’s okay to let go. To give myself permission to do so.

Julie December 4, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Cristina,
It’s an interesting thing to let go. It’s not that it happens all the time for me…no, not at all! But, in those moments, there is such freedom, such peace. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, here.
Blessings,
Julie

wholly jeanne December 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

i so loved traveling to ireland with you vicariously. i remember us talking about you climbing the Croag Patrick. our bodies know so much, don’t they? our bodies are quite the cache of deep knowing. there’s such wisdom is in our muscles and bones and cells and tissues. such deep knowing. we should take better care of them, honor them, listen to them, our bodies electric.

Julie December 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Jeanne,
Yes, honor them. Love them. Be in them…
xo
Julie

Janet December 3, 2010 at 6:04 pm

is this what the kundalini rising feels like? yoga is so good for the soul! loved reading this.

Julie December 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Thank you, Janet. Yoga is good for the soul.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing!
Julie

Dian Reid December 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm

i over extended my hip flexor today, and as i read through this post i wondered what it is i could need to let go of. the chill in the night air in my refusal to light the pilot of our wall heater just yet seems to be just the ice my hip needs at the moment. letting go. still pondering this beautiful experience you’ve so gracefully shared, allowing it to burrow and help me explore my own moment, my own letting go. your writing always stirs me, whether just below or deep within my surface, dear friend. thank you. xo

SB December 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm

So well-written, it’s almost like I was there too. The question is now: can I come with you tomorrow?

Julie December 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Yes, you can. Not sure where you are, but there’s always room in our class!
Julie

StarletShay December 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm

WoW that description of your moment was spectacular! I hope you’ll find many more moments like these!

Julie December 4, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Thank you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing…
Julie

Amanda December 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

Oh, Julie, this is astonishing. The nicest, truest description of a “yoga moment” that I’ve ever read. That release, it’s what I yearn for… and when it happens… yes, that is being truly alive. Thanks so much for sharing and for introducing yourself on my blog, so I could find this…

Alana December 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I love that your moment happened the moment you needed it most. Life is perfect.

Julie December 4, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Alana, It is, isn’t it.
Love you,
J

Bev December 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm

That was a powerful experience to share! Thanks.

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