Sharing with you a poem I heard recently read out by a good friend of mine. I’ve come to love poetry once again :)

Here goes:

 

THE JOURNEY
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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“There is a place in the heart where everything meets. 
Go There if you want to find me.                 Mind, senses, soul, eternity, all are there.

Are you there?

Enter the bowl of vastness that is the heart.  Give yourself to it with total abandon.      Quiet ecstasy is there- and a steady, regal sense of resting in a perfect spot.

Once you know the way                                    the nature of attention will call you to return, again and again, and be saturated with knowing, 

“I belong here, I am at home here.” 

Answer that call.

– The Radiance Sutras

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Took my first led class since coming home and it was exactly what I needed. In class, Teacher Tomo asked (and I paraphrase): Why practice yoga if you don’t use it to learn something and it’s just a workout? 

At the end of the class he asked me if I enjoyed my workout and I said I did but it wasn’t just a workout, but that I did learn something. I was reminded that Yoga is not about how deep you go in to the poses nor is it about touching your head with your toes or swinging that leg over your head. Asana is there to inform you about your habits and patterns so you can change and transform them if need be and thus free yourself from that which binds you and limits your from infinite joy and abundance or causes you suffering. Today I relearned that through the practice, you free your heart and soul from the fear that traps you in the past and allow yourself to step in to the future with hope and eager anticipation instead. For this, I am grateful.

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Sometimes the Universe whispers a response to your queries, but more often than not, it speaks loudly and clearly. Today, it did just that. 

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One of the core principles I’ve cultivated in my practice is harnessing the power of a rebound, which is something my early teachers talked about a lot. It also helped that my specialization in University was Family Life and Child Development, thus these patterns were relatively familiar to me. During my training in Byron Bay, I found myself revisiting that particular principle and it was a good means for me to integrate what I have learned in the past and continue to learn. 

Now that I am back in Manila, I realized that stepping away from my regular routine and stepping back on the mat as a student rather than a teacher allowed me to tap into that rebound once again. I was moving so far forward quickly all the time, relying on momentum, rather than harnessing the energy that comes from stepping back or moving from that space. Now, however, I remember to slow it down and to move with integrity. With that, I have a new spring into my step and a renewed love for the practice. For this, I am grateful :) 

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