Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yogi Sarah


I'm offering up all my negative thoughts to the universe in a very unlike-me Yogic fashion today, after finishing the chapter "Pray" in the book Eat, Pray, Love, and after using a pull buoy this morning.

Huh?

I don't pray. I swim. Honestly, praying just hasn't been me. I guess I come from a 100% self-reliance sort of place. There's certainly a lot of luck or chance involved in where I've gone and who I am, but divine intervention? I think not. And then there's that I'm-not-sure-if-there's-a-God thing.

But this chapter in this book just may have changed my mind a bit (although I found the author quite self-indulgent and out of touch with reality at points)...not about praying in the traditional sense of asking for divine intervention, but about what praying actually is and can be. A prayer doesn't have to start with "Dear God, please..." or actually with anything at all (but, of course, it can if that helps you). It doesn't have to be asking for something, or any kind of desire. It can just be silence (or, in my case, duh, swimming). It can be envisioning the coiled twine rope of negative thoughts being pulled out of the top of your head and into the wispy pre-dawn mist. It can be laughing at a really, really funny joke and feeling the ick peel off your heart to reveal that juicy white apple of love that lives underneath and drips of sticky joy-juice only when you belly laugh with sincerity.

It can be placing a pull buoy between your legs for the first time in five years and just gliding along, like I did this morning. I thought I hated the pull buoy. But now I know I don't. I pulled with one part of me and followed limply with another, letting myself take charge and follow at the same time. Yay me! It was nice, and I got lost in calmness. Apparently that is the best prayer situation I've got within me: gliding in the water both in charge and not, present and not, happy.

So this morning I thought, why don't I pray, in whatever way I might? Why don't I choose parts of my life - enjoyable still times when I know I feel myself completely present - to call "prayer" and claim those times just for me and what I want to let go to the universe? I will, dammit. I'm offering up negative thoughts and feelings, once I've had my fun with them (come on, a life with positive thoughts only is no way to understand the universe) to the idea that we are all God; that God is really just letting go and being happy in the moment; that nothing I feel is any more important than anything anyone else feels. That I have the power to forgive whatever or whomever I come across during the day. I do that. Lots of times. Most frequently for the 24 hours after I swim.

So here's my yogic conclusion: God is nothing and everything and It's (I just can't say He's) also in my pull buoy.

*warm up:
300, 250, 200 free with last 50 done as backstroke

with buoy only:
* 2 x 25's fly
* 50 back
* 2 x 25's breast
* 200 free
* 100 IM
repeat 3x

with buoy and paddles:
*3x150's free
without buoy and paddles:
*200 IM
with buoy and paddles:
*3x150's free

Om.

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