I have been tending a sick child all week. What began as a headache turned into a fever and terrible cough plus sore throat. Thankfully, the batches of homemade chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, and hot teas have finally helped little man kick this cold to the curb.
So, today I got out my sage to help clear the air in and around the house. If you have never burned sage, it has an interesting woodsy smell to it that lingers after the sage is out…reminds me of when we go camping and I walk by my coat and catch the previous night’s fire smells…s’mores, wood, the air of the Rocky mountains in summer…all in that brief moment.
Burning sage helps me to recall those quiet moments. Those moments where I slow down. Where I balance myself, unmoving, and graced by the patience I seem so desperate to find in my normal day-to-day life.
I find my patience flees from me the minute I need it the most…when I am trying to get out the door to get to an appointment, when I have customers at the wine store demanding I explain the differences between Bobal and Pinot Noir but I see another group of 6 people walk in that also need my attention, when my son just cannot grasp a concept I find crystal clear…my patience flies out the window, I lose my emotional balance, and the crazy woman asserts herself.
That is why I practice yoga…not because I seek some pagan deity to worship, as suggested by a conservative blogger just today, but because focusing my mind on my breath, and by further extension, through the poses he suggested are acts of worship to pagan gods (I must have missed that lesson and pray he never actually performs a split, sits cross legged, or lies down on his back since he will be guilty as well). My own personal experience has been one of a deepening understanding of my own failings and how I can be better than my base emotions, accepting the person God made me to be.
By quieting my mind and turning my focus to my breath, I have been able to let go of emotional and physical scars that have plagued me almost my entire adult life, some scars stemming from my childhood. I have been able, at times, to let go of that which does not serve me. I certainly have not mastered it, anymore than that blogger has mastered the art of reserving judgement of others. But, I return each day to a quiet moment when I just sit, breathe, allow my mind to focus…sometimes it is on a prayer or intention, sometimes I may simply listen to the wind playing my chimes, sometimes I just imagine I am on a beach, enjoying the waves…whatever it is I find myself doing when I am engaging my yoga practice, one thing is certain: it brings me into balance. When I sit, unmoving, time slows down for that one brief moment. I discover patience once again and that crazy woman retreats once again.
Let go of that which does not serve you. You will be better for it. Sit and listen. You will be better for it. Find your own balance in a way that works for you, without judgement of yourself or others who choose a different path. You will be better for it.