I arrived in the central coastal California area last night. The evening mist was a welcome sight and feeling, as I had just spent the past three months in the high dry New Mexico desert. Upon awakening this morning and connecting to the Internet, I read about the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Thankfully my cousin who lives south of Tokyo is safe, although his apartment is trashed from the main quake and several aftershocks. He fared well, considering the reports of many others. I thought about those people and how the effects of the natural disaster which occurred nearly 5500 miles away were also affecting both the waters and the people in coastal California.
News reports showed the local tidal effects which were a result of the tsunami. Amazing how the quake 5500 miles away was creating the present waves on the beaches near me… and just 12 hours later! The area beaches near where I am staying were closed today and residents were evacuated. I thought about how my plans to camp on the beach this weekend are uncertain. Pretty trivial considering the uncertainties millions of people in Japan are now facing. I sent prayers to all those beings affected by the quake and tsunami.
Being on vacation, I had more space in my morning…space in which to pause and ponder what happened over the ocean yonder. I heard a voice ask, “how does all this relate in terms of the recent quakes and tides in my life…what needs to get shaken and awakened in my life…what/who do I need to release to the outgoing tide and…what/who is arriving on the incoming tide?”
I began to think about some of the present uncertainties in my life…the lifestuff which has been tossing about in my mind over the past few months. Oh, those darn waves of the Ego mind which have the capacity and power to create what I call mental quakes! The things like where to live and what to do after finishing the second year of the Ayurvedic program with Dr. Lad. Over the past 18 months, I’ve made big changes in my life, both in respect to geography…moved from Nashville to Albuquerque; in my career status…moved from being a full time yoga teacher/Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant to a full time student; and lastly, in my personal status…moved from being in a relationship to being single.
I then remembered life is constantly undergoing a series of shake ups, break ups and wake ups. Change is life, life is change. And at times, those changes cause the body and mind to quake. I looked up “quake”. Definition: “to shake or tremble, as from instability.” Hmmm…peering into the near future (after my work in Albuquerque is done), my life looks uncertain and unstable when viewed from the perspective of the fearful ego mind. I looked up “earthquake”. Definition: sudden movement of the earth’s crust caused by the release of stress accumulated along geologic faults, usually followed by aftershocks.” Hmmmm…looking back on the past 18 months ago, I realized I made some life choices which caused not so sudden movements in my life, but moves which significantly changed my life. Those choices, because they were part of the Divine plan for my life, released various stresses that had accumulated in my life. However, as with any change, those choices created their own little aftershocks. Much like the tidal changes I saw here today, some old things in my life were carried out to sea and some new things were brought in with the tide.
During major life changes…the ebbs and flows…the Divine always knows. The ego mind, out of fear, panics when the tide changes and it will frantically search for a lifejacket…something solid to clasp and grasp. However, the heart, will trust and instinctively search for the life breath…that which allows me to remain free and let change be. The life preserver of the higher Self is Pranayama. Vital life breath is the translation of Pranayama. Breath is vital to life, in the physiological sense and the spiritual sense. The calmer the breath during the storms of life, the calmer the mind and heart.
The intuitive heart knows the only way to survive and thrive amongst the changing quakes, ebbs and flows of life is to ride the waves of change by riding the waves of the breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. For life is an ocean…an ocean of Consciousness. And in times like this when so many of us are sending thoughts and prayers to our fellow beings across the Pacific, we pause in the moment of our connection with strangers across the world and suddenly realize that we are truly all one. Never alone, but all ONE. There is one ocean of Consciousness…the pure awareness, Purusha, where we all meet between the pauses of the in-breath and the out-breath. The flows and ebbs of our breath connect us with our fellow human beings…in our homes, coffee shops, workplaces, and 5500 miles away across the Pacific. Let us pause and connect…and remember to breathe together through the quakes, ebbs and flows of life.