The Next Bar Flying At You

Today, the air was suddenly cool. It took on that crisp, wind-twirling attitude that is autumn. After a day spent hunched over the keyboard in my cute little studio, I jolted up and sped-walked, as we do here, to yoga. The room was heated. It was a slow-flow (read meditative) class.

As it rambled along, it became clear that here was a teacher who liked to talk. But it wasn’t talking, really. Between reminders to breathe, and to roll the shoulders down the back, she was dropping tiny seeds of thought.

My mind must have been fertile ground. Immediately after class, those seeds became seedlings, young plants spreading their roots in the comfortable soil of rumination. Post-haste, at dinner with a friend, I brought up the seedlings of contemplation; and later, I mentioned them to a friend on the phone, who comically responded, “Isn’t the point of yoga to stop thinking….to stop the mind’s chatter?” Yes, I laughed. But you know what? I was happy for the reminders. This is a thoughtful time of year. If we don’t think, assess, make plans, set goals, then time just passes us by. Day after month after year.

In celebration of autumn, the season of transformation and renewal, the time of the year priming us for growth, a yoga teacher mentioned these things that I’d like to pass on to you for the pondering.

1) Everything in your life can be a 10.

If we think¬† of our life as made up of different categories, such as our work life, our romantic life, our friendship life, our family life, our spiritual life, what rating would we give to each? Silently, the motion in my head began. There are categories now that I would rate a perfect 10 (that’d be my work life, where freelance writing has given me boundless joy) and there are areas that I’d give a score of, oh, I don’t know, a 5 (that’d be my romantic life, barring the final termination of a too-long-lingering on-again, off-again) and so on and so forth. You can have a life where all aspects score a 10, said our teacher. Why not? If not you than who? Now is the time to think about, in this season of change, any area that rates less than 10 and how to pull it on up to its rightful position. What’s in your way, what are the blockages, how can you remove them. What is the plan for getting to 10?

2) Which skin are you shedding?

The creation of something new often begins at the end of something old. A new path begins where the last one forked. At this time, as the leaves change from thriving, lively green to flaring yellow, red, and gold in one spectacular final act, a powerful cycle nears completion. Now is the time to finish grappling with the old, to come to terms with the life experiences you’re leaving behind so that you can forge new ground and life can sprout anew. Finishing the cycle in its entirety has value and is not to be shirked. Allow all the brilliant colors to emerge and flourish before they fade. Take the time to understand, yes. But when it’s time, let go. Let the leaves fall from the trees in their whimsical dance to the ground.

3) Look for the new bar flying at you.

Lastly,¬†our teacher planted in our minds, as our spines twisted and elongated, the image of the trapeze artist, holding onto the bar. You’re gripping tightly onto the bar as, oh wait, what is that up ahead of you, and me, and all of us? Right you are. It is another bar. It is a higher bar, it is a bar swinging faster, it is a new and different bar and it is right in front of you. Wouldn’t you like to swing on that shiny next bar? Well then, take in a big sip of air. Let go completely and reach for it.

All of us, let’s open our eyes to the new bar swinging before us. Get a good look at it, then reach for it, Babies. Autumn rising.

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