09 November 2015

The pain of this life: how yoga shows me the way

This picture says things on a few different levels. 
It says I practice yoga wherever I am (in this case, my parents kitchen in their apartment in Sweden)
It says I'm quite flexible
It says I'll do it even with my 2-year old climbing on top of me through the whole practice
It says my 2-year old is standing on top of me like a boss
It says I have a boss
It says I surrender to my boss. 

I have practiced yoga for the past 13 years. Almost every day. Through travels and change. Through ups and downs. 
Through a 14-kilo toddler climbing on me, pushing my hips further towards excruciating pain. Through relationships, through studies, at work, on vacation. Through giving birth, through almost dying from malaria. 

Yoga keeps surprising me, every time I think I had it nailed. 
It gives me so much- a place to know myself, mostly. A place to understand how I'm feeling. A place to understand that today I might be feeling different from yesterday- may it be physically, emotionally, spiritually. A place to take a breath and get to know the current state of affairs. 

The past week of my life has been one of incredible transformation. Pain, love, emotions. Physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain. Sickness, suffering, death, hurt. All of it thrown into a mix. On the outside it looked great- I had my parents here, helping me. But they added to the pain. By me having chosen not to live in the same country as them, I feel guilt, pain, longing. My children adore them, they adore my children. Why am I in such a deep need to separate myself from the place I grew up in? Why do I have this extreme drive of travelling, leaving, going away? It gave me so much, to travel and live different places. It developed ME, beyond the conditioning. But when the shit really hits the fan, it's the family that ultimately will make you feel the deepest. There's nothing like family. They are our core, our structure, our home. So why...?? The boss on the picture has not been himself since they left. Why am I doing this to my children?
My mother also left her country at a very young age, but her mother came to live with her. That made sense. 

So this week has given me more than enough of life. All possible emotions, pain, love, trauma. Death. Someone died. Someone part of my history. Now a ghost of the past. The strongest memory I have of him is on the Christmas Eve of the year 1986. I was 7. I still believed in Santa Claus. But Santa Claus that night was wearing my uncle's watch. I whispered to my father "that's Sten's watch" and my poor father had to somehow cope with my disappointment in their global lies. Those Christmases in my grandmother's home. Full of strong, loud, powerful people. All bearing my last name. Some of them now dead. Gone. Me- here, far away. Not sharing my life with them anymore. Why?

My husband and I had the idea at the same time; maybe I need to have an hour a day to myself. Our smallest baby is old enough to be without me an hour a day. So this morning was the first time. First time alone in more than six months. No one to care about except myself. I was rolling out my yoga mat in normal fashion- determined to make it intense, deep breaths, strong practice. Short and sweet. 

Instead I ended up in child's pose- and was frozen to the spot. So many emotions, on so many levels. I was surprised at the fact that I could just not get up. I was stuck. So many feelings. So much pain. Twenty minutes, frozen in the same position, sinking deeper and deeper into everything that I felt. And I felt a lot of things.

Always busy, always taking care of others, always doing something. I became numb to my heart.

For the first time in so long, I felt so much. And I was surprised at the force of the feelings. And I knew it was yoga that showed me my current state of affairs. I feel this way right now. But if I hadn't had the tool of yoga to show me exactly where I was, I would have kept doing something else to numb those feelings. I have this tendency, to keep going, so that I don't have to feel too much. But yoga refuses to allow me to do that for too long. 

I don't know how to end this post. 
Only thing I know is that two of the people that died in the past year, were amazing people. Why? 
They spent most of their abundant energy caring for others. 
Being there for others.
Feeding them. 
Making the right decisions based on the wellbeing of others. 
Divorcing in the 40's for the wellbeing of their children. 
Driving 300 kilometres on Cristmas Eve to help their old mother. 
Creating a space, organizing dinners, showing up to support. 
I hope to be remembered like that when it's my turn. That's why I keep going and keep sacrificing.