Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The End...

I officially filed the divorce papers last week.  It was surprisingly simple.  I showed up at the courthouse, signed my name and paid a fee.  It's done?  Is that it?  The end of a 25 year marriage over with a signature and $330.  Seemed so strange. Almost anti-climatic.  As I drove home I wondered why there wasn't some sort of ceremony for divorce.  What's an appropriate reaction? Congratulations?  My condolences?  

The past 2 years, since the separation, have been a roller coaster of emotions. I was surprised that when I left the courthouse the only emotion I felt was relief.  I have spent 2 years grieving.  It's strange though.  When a loved one dies, there's a funeral.  Your family and friends come to support you as you say your good-byes.  The grieving is expected.   The emotions I felt at the end of my marriage were much the same.  Once the anger, resentment, and fear passed what was left was grief.  I didn't expect that.  What was even more difficult was holding space for my children to grieve and work through their own pain.  I would go to work and teach my classes.  I would make dinner and clean the house.  I would do the grocery shopping and fulfill my obligations.  Grieving and processing in private.  Doing what needed to be done while experiencing the most intense emotional turmoil I had ever faced.

I am grateful for my yoga practice.  It was through my sadhana that I was able to truly process the emotions.  It was my sadhana that gave me the strength and courage to walk through the darkness. I didn't numb my emotions.  I didn't run from my feelings.  Firmly established in my sadhana I was able to face each tidal wave of emotion head on.  For that I'm grateful.

The most difficult challenges we face in our lives become our greatest teachers.  With this thought in mind I decided that my divorce ritual will be a thank you letter.   It will go something like this...

Dear Ex,

Thank you for the craziness....It ignited the fire within me to seek out peace.
Thank you for your harshness .... It helped me appreciate kindness.
Thank you for making me feel less than... It gave me the drive to be the best version of myself.
Thank you for not being supportive.... It taught me to be self-sufficient.
Thank you for not providing... It made me a hard worker.
Thank you for teaching me what love isn't.... I now know what love is.
Thank you for the constant fighting... It made me appreciate harmony.
Thank you for abandoning me.... It taught me that I am stronger than I ever imagined.

In gratitude...
The End

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My new friend, Saraswati

I should begin by saying that I have not done any sadhana to Saraswati.  At least not yet.  I've always heard that she is the Goddess of music, art, dance.  I've always thought that only musicians or artists did sadhana to Saraswati.  I was wrong.  She is inspiration itself,  pure consciousness.

The story goes that in the beginning Brahma, the creator, asked "How do I bring order to this chaos?"
Saraswati answered "With knowledge.  Knowledge helps man find possibilities where once he saw problems."  What I didn't know is that Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge.  "She is the river of consciousness that enlivens creation."

That story struck home for me because my life has felt like complete and total chaos for the last couple of years.  I recently went to talk to a counselor who basically said the same thing to me.  Her advice was "Knowledge is power." She set me on track to find the information that I needed to bring order to the chaos I was facing.  It was quite empowering.

Saraswati is creativity.  She is inspiration. She governs over our speech.  Her energy embodies the power of discernment. It's said that if you were to pour milk into the lake, Saraswati's swan could separate the milk from the water and only drink the milk.  It is her gift of discernment that allows us the ability to separate truth from untruth.

Honestly, while I was reading,  I was surprised at how powerfully I was drawn to her.
Goddess, Lakshmi, is about using the senses to enjoy all the beauty in life,  Saraswati is more simple, clear, pure.  She's more interested in meditation, higher learning, wisdom.

"The question arose: who did Vishnu, the preserver,  need more? Lakshmi or Saraswati? Wealth or Knowledge?......Vishnu replies... "I need both knowledge and wealth to sustain the cosmos. Without knowledge, I cannot plan.  Without wealth, I cannot implement a plan.  Wealth sustains life; the arts give value to life.  Thus both Saraswati and Lakshmi are needed to live a full life." ~ Devi, Devdutt Pattanaik

Again, this is powerful for me personally.  I tend to appreciate practicality over beauty.  I look at something beautiful and while I can appreciate it's beauty I do not always see the value in it.   My mind doesn't see the value in something that has no practical, useful purpose.  This is a mental pattern that I'm working to change.  I look at some shinny, beautiful thing and I immediately ask "What's it's purpose?"  Instead of passing it by when I can't think of a useful purpose I try to remember that "beautifying my environment" is it's purpose.  

Both Saraswati and Lakshmi are needed to live a full life.  I have a feeling I'll be writing more about Saraswati in the future but for now here's her mantra.

Om, I bow to the flowing one whose essence is wisdom and the power to manifest

Use her mantra when you need some inspiration, when you are learning something new, when you need to give an important talk or speech.  Invoke her energy when you need help finding a solution to a problem or when you're making music or art.

 ~Awakening Shakti, Sally Kempton