“Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come.” Rumi
Last week I looked around my house in the midst of some home improvements. Outside, huge stumps with what looked like mile long roots were being uprooted, the flooring in our family room torn out, the kitchen walls had been demolished. The furniture was pushed to a corner, some turned upside down, covered with sheets to protect the fabric from the dust. I sat in the midst of what seemed like total destruction and thought “this is a metaphor for my whole life right now”. Total chaos, instability, a complete uprooting. There was nothing to cling to, there was no steady ground to stand on and I remember hearing Pema Chodron say “in the midst of groundlessness you need two things; acceptance and unconditional kindness towards yourself”.
Last night I taught a beautiful yoga nidra class with my long time and beloved partner Carin Cundey. Carin is moving to Texas in the fall and I’ve been too excited for her new life to even contemplate that we won’t be working together any longer. She read the above Rumi quote and I pushed back tears as I thought about how we are all live each day in the midst of uncertainty and change. I will miss her so but will take her words to heart as I know her energy and love and support will be with me (as will mine with be with her) as we move on separate but always together.
Today, I woke up and looked around, the yard has been leveled with beautiful new grass taking root. Untrodden flooring has been installed and late last night I cleaned and put the kitchen back together again. I smiled as I remembered all I have learned from my dear sweet friend Carin. I sat in the same spot I had a week ago but this time I thought “I needed total destruction in order to rebuild from a stronger place”.
Chodron says “there’s nothing to hold onto and no escape from the groundlessness of being”. Sometimes groundlessness is something we chose other times it’s circumstances beyond our control. But if there’s nothing to hold onto the question then becomes how can I find strength and clarity in the midst of the instability? Can I accept that there will never be a time when it all fits together just perfect? And would I really want it to? Most importantly, can I find unconditional kindness towards the sweet self I see in the mirror every day? This is my practice, why I meditate, why I do yoga, why I show up every day. I don’t yet know what’s on the other side but I can no longer say that I know the side I’ve been on is better.
“Anything can happen my friend, intend for it to be fabulous”.