Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Art of Breaking

   Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

  I am learning not to "should on myself" because it usually results in some kind of crap. Like my last blog post, which was the result of my thinking I should do so many blog posts a month I should have something interesting to say, I should, I should, I should. And the result was a completely mediocre post. That is the first reason I have not blogged in two months, the second is a little more complicated so let me take you back to the beginning ...

    With a very shaky and trepidatious hand I wrote in the back of my first bible "God will not use you until He breaks you". The year was 1995 when I wrote that without much thought, I do remember feeling a slight shiver at the prospect of being broken, but I quickly forgot that ominous prophecy and got on with my life. I began teaching yoga and Tim and I moved back to Austin and I opened my studio. Opening Quiet was a Spirit led surprise that I neither planned nor expected, and after a lifetime of professional success, I was in no way prepared for the hardest 2 years of my life. Build it and they will come, they say. Follow your heart and you will soar they say. "Crap" I say. I felt like a jilted prom queen with no one showing up for my classes. I stoked the fires of envy looking through FaceBook posts of huge yoga classes going on down the street from me. I cried and I hated it. When new clients showed up I smelled scared and sad and so no surprise only a few returned. I was living in a pressure cooker of self pity and fear. Nice, huh? But the thing is I do believe in a loving and omnipotent and omnipresent God who works all things together for good. And the circumstances of Quiet coming to be were riddled with supernatural "coincidences". So I added confusion to my misery stew, but somehow I kept at it. I don't think it was faith or even perseverance, but rather pride. There were a lot of people rooting for me and I was creating the illusion of success and I would be damned if I was going to let that illusion crack.

     After two years of this struggle I was driving to Quiet worn down and praying a pathetic "what do you want me to do" kind of prayer when that "still small voice" that is unmistakably Holy Spirit spoke to me again. "Release your image" it whispered. Stunned I didn't even know where to begin with that. Did I need to stop wearing make up, did I need to disassociate from my labels? I received this directive about a year ago and here is how I have shifted from it up to this point. Everything I think I "should" do is to maintain an image, my opinions reinforce my image, the idea that my mind is in charge of my body is a false image. The idea that our bodies don't have their own intelligence is a false image. When I plan ahead or rather dread ahead it is image related. I am sure I am just scratching the surface of image at this point and it is a lifelong journey. But here's the thing, as I release opinions and desires God has given me a replacement image. In Romans 12 we are called to be living sacrifices and on the surface (at least to me) this sounds like a horrible thing. Visions of Mayans tumbling to their deaths filled my head. Bur here's how it is playing out in real life. The living part I feel on the inhales and it includes all sensations of life, breath,  energy, grounding, ascending and feeling Gods spirit flow through my veins. The sacrifice part I practice on the exhale and it includes releasing everything I do not need, my external body armor, my headstrong manipulations of people and life because "I know best"  the muscle tension that is held because subconsciously I want to project a certain image. I am sacrificing the mundane for the amazing. Releasing your image and embracing being a living sacrifice is a place of  little control and often it feels like there is no ground beneath my feet. But the thing is my control resulted in the mediocre and what I thought was the ground beneath my feet was probably just my stubborn locked knees. So instead I breath in and feel my heartbeat and all of life, and I breath out and let it go because it was never mine to control in the first place.

     And somehow, along the road, people started joining me at Quiet, not for my plethora of yoga knowledge or my awesome illusions, but rather just to come and breath and be. And that is where I am. Learning not to frantically "should" all over town. Breathing in the fullness of life with the knowledge that in every breath is found my yoga, my God, my life and my breaking crumbling image. And I am more happy in this brokenness than I have been for years. I will leave the last post up even though I am not proud of it, because I would only delete it to maintain "my image" and today I prefer to be broken into a thousand tiny pieces because being broken frees you up in the most wonderful way.