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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I have been going through a difficult phase for a while now. My life is very uneven and I have been caving in on mindful care of this body that's been entrusted to me. I'm not sure what all accounts for this, but upon reading Eknath Easwaran's Thought for the Day today, I had an epiphany.

My choices...the toughness to take hold of my life...and the very disciplines that will aid me in that are some of the areas that I'm falling down in...meditation, hatha yoga, and exercise. I keep telling myself "baby steps" but I'm not even succeeding in the baby steps. Through my public acknowledgement to you, my friends on the Spark Journey, I hope to find a new pathway to begin, yet again in my never-ending quest toward loving care of body*mind*spirit.

Here is Easwaran's commentary that "set me on my ear:"

The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.
-- George Bernard Shaw

The real issue in life is choice. If you had a car that could only turn one way, would you say that it is free? If it ran around crashing into things, denting its fenders and wasting all its fuel, would you shrug and say, "That's the automotive nature. That's my car's mode of self-expression"? It would take you a long time to get anywhere, and where you arrived would not be up to you.

The other day I set out for a drive through the California wine country. With a car that did not obey me, I might have ended up about a hundred miles away at the River's End restaurant, where the Russian River empties into the sea. It is tragic, but many lives are like that. At the end of the line there is nothing to do but go inside, get something hot to drink, and recall a line or two from Swinburne: "Even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea."

Meditation and other spiritual disciplines are largely meant to give us the toughness required to take hold of our lives. Without this toughness, despite the better goals we may cherish in our hearts, we will not be able to take the road that leads where we want to go.
-- Eknath Easwaran
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    To drift or to let go - there is a difference but it is hard to find the balance I think. Thank you for writing - and hope you feel as your making progress!
    2822 days ago
    I have found that when I let go, and flow with the current, some of my greatest life lessons unfold. Embrace this time of challenge as a time of learning and growth in an area yet explored.
    2825 days ago
    Sorry for the unsettled period. Please do not be too hard on yourself. I believe we take steps backwards to put us on a better path forward and see opportunities we might have missed before. You are the 'captain of your ship' and here's to taking back the helm.
    2826 days ago
    So much life in you, Maha! Your love of life will see you through! Your compassion for the journeys of others will teach you! Your kindness will wash over you -- along with the gratitude of all you have touched (I am at the front of that line).

    May you find peace and contentment in your journey!

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    2826 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/29/2010 8:47:18 AM
    When the time is right, it will happen. I was overweight for years and then after I broke my ankle I started to lose, and here I am 47 pounds lighter and my ankle is fine. Spark People has definitely helped me to stay focused on what I needed to do for my self.
    2826 days ago
    Renewal for me sometimes simply begins with letting go and slowing down and allowing good things to happen. Sometimes too much steering can be a problem, too. Peace, friend.
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    2827 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/28/2010 6:43:19 PM
    My advice - Free your mind and release blame, seek wonder and beauty and then recommit to yourself entirely and find what makes you complete.
    2827 days ago
  • EOSTAR_45

    and more emoticon

    Remember that even the darkest night is followed by day. May day come soon.
    2827 days ago
    I agree with WhiteLotus, "Sometimes it's OK to be on the raft in the river--going with the flow" Don't beat yourself up or feel like this is the rest of your life. Sometimes determination takes a hiatus. Self discipline goes on vacation. Baby steps can be a good thing. Add a short meditation while out walking. Try for a few yoga stretches here and there throughout the day instead of a long session. This is actually how I have worked back into yoga and meditation after a five year struggle with loss and subsequent deep depression. Little bits work because they feel good, then you gradually want more.
    2827 days ago
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    2827 days ago
    Now that the demands of a busy semester are coming to a close, may you have more time for your personal healing.

    May your difficult time end soon.

    And may you find a smooth pathway back to your loving care of your body*mind*spirit.

    And by resuming meditation, yoga, and exercise, may you feel that you are again at the reins of your life.

    Also, may you feel a sense of real achievement and growth resulting from your academic work during these past several months.

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    2827 days ago
    I read the THOUGHTS this morning, and I for one, would love to end up at RIVER'S END at Jenner for a hot cuppa or a very cold mug. The road is not always easy, but we choose the road and travel it the best we can. Learning as we go. I hope you find that the next few weeks will bring you back to the stillness in your life that you so deserve.

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    2827 days ago
    Sometimes it's OK to be on the raft in the river--going with the flow--I am so against whipping ourselves for perceived failure. In everything there is a kennel of learning from which to make the next choice. Love your beautiful spirit. Keep an open heart--
    2827 days ago
    I LOVE the Shaw quote and am going to paste that right into my signature the very next thing I do! I've just been sharing, I think in one of my recent blogs how I know I'm in trouble when I'm feeling "bleh" and lacking enthusiasm in my life. I think enthusiasm is synonymous with "steering"!

    I know I just won't allow myself to be rudderless for long and I am confident this is true for you as well...!

    2827 days ago
    "The toughness required to take hold of our lives?" yup, but as WALKINGANNIE says, tenderness and tenacity are pretty good also.

    Just be as kind to yourself as you would be to anyone else -- a tenacious tenderness can balance the necessary toughness!!
    2828 days ago
    Guano happens! Doubt happens! Running off the road happens! Karma happens!

    Being you didn't just happen!

    You have worked your butt off learning, growing, working, experiencing life and it's not particularly fair that you are having this trouble now, but it's natural, and you sure got some wonderful tools to pull yourself out of this ditch when you are ready.

    And boy do you have friends! You sure have a lot of great support and advice from them! I can't add anything better.

    I can just say, I don't worry about you a bit, I have seen too much light coming from you. Change the bulb when you can, start fresh and shine on sister!
    2828 days ago
    Oh Maha, I hear you, but please be gentle with my friend, Maha.

    May you be filled with loving-kindness... towards yourself.

    pan> emoticon

    2828 days ago
    But it's my NATURE to crash around and end up at a bar where the river finds the sea!

    He says that like it's a bad thing!

    What about being happy with whatever comes?


    What about being happy with some cake?

    I mean once in a while...

    Maybe we're just on a break from knocking ourselves out?

    Yes. I am enabling you.

    I should prolly hush now.


    *is me... not telling you I think you're awesome RIGHT NOW... even BEFORE you get MOAR perfect-er*
    2828 days ago
    I too am sorry you have been going through a difficult season. But remember: It is in the valleys that we grow and become better people. After reading your blog I am now sorry that my "Popi" & I have not gone to Yoga in 3 weeks! emoticon Te amo, Francesca
    2828 days ago
    I'm sorry that things have been difficult for you lately Maha.

    Sometimes we all get a bit off-track along our way, but you have the toughness, tenderness and tenacity that you need for this journey. I believe that we learn at least as much from the less obviously productive experiences that we have as we do from the times when things seem to go more smoothly. Our imperfect progress through life gives us understanding and empathy for others and greater appreciation of better times.

    You are a wise and resilient traveller. You are willing and able to take the actions that you need and want to take. You have the character and determination to do what you want to do. Be generous to yourself as you start the next phase of your latest advenures through life. Your body, mind and spirit will be grateful for your focus and mindfulness.

    2828 days ago
    "And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer."
    – George Bernard Shaw

    "Meditation and other spiritual disciplines are largely meant to give us the toughness required to take hold of our lives. Without this toughness, despite the better goals we may cherish in our hearts, we will not be able to take the road that leads where we want to go."
    -- Eknath Easwaran

    What an impact the above had on me today! I too have been lacking in my meditation and other spiritual disciplines...

    Sorry things are a little adrift for you lately Maha! Sending big love filled prayers to help you find the balance and direction you seek!

    2828 days ago
    Suchahoot said the KEY WORD - perseverance. Perseverance, my friend, will get you there in the end, as long as you keep trying!

    But I have to ask this - can you forgive yourself for being human and NOT being perfect, and move on forward, or is that part of the issue also? For me, that has always been a part of it.

    Thanks for sharing, you wonderful person!

    2828 days ago
    Life is certainly a windy, uphill, downhill, forward, backward & sideways journey! But would we really want it any other way?

    2828 days ago
    Great Blog Maha, I totally identify with your feelings - sometimes even the baby steps seem like too much! But we also have to be gentle with ourselves and keep trying, life is about the journey after all - not just the end game. We may learn more in fact by falling down and picking ourselves up then if we never fall down at all.

    My favorite part of your blog? The reference to Rivers End! I used to go there as a child with my family and then again with my husband on our trips up the coast to Mendocino. Great location and great memories - thanks for the memory!

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    2828 days ago
  • KAT573
    Life is a journey and sometimes we let go of the rudder, or it is wrested from us by the changes we are not prepared for, but we can learn, so that next time, we will have a better idea, a better response. It is not our fate to be perfect in this Life, but to become more who we are by facing where we are at, and forging where we need to go, no matter what. Keep on keeping on!
    2828 days ago
    How wonderful you got the message. I certainly enjoyed todays THOUGHTS and they will carry me on this gray/rainy day. It's OK...I love it.

    Baby steps will work. It just takes a LOT OF THEM.

    2828 days ago

    That's what I said aloud after reading your post. Thanks a lot for whopping me upside the head this morning!

    You know the thing that comes to mind is how we all seem to continue on. Perserverance is such an amazingly strong human trait. Sometimes the cadence is even two steps backward & one step forward, but we still motor on!

    Here's to doing a little more steering along the way!
    Thanks, Maha. I hope you have a marvelous day.

    2828 days ago
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