Since we relocated to Ligonier and are under construction, a big theme that’s been coming up for me in various ways has been this:
“Even though you are not equipped, keep searching.” -rumi
The end game. The journey. The long haul. Keeping your eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel. But what if you can’t even see the light yet? Or what if you did in the beginning, but now it’s been so long that you’ve lost track and can’t remember where you were going or why?
We all have callings on a soul level (dharma, or our soul’s purpose). That doesn’t mean that you can articulate it consciously, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the stars are yet aligned for you. Sometimes the “equipping” part takes months or years in which we must keep searching. It’s not easy. There are lots of ways to encourage such an alignment, but sometimes, (all of the time?) nothing is really in our control anyway and we just have to WAIT. (Oof.)
So how can we at least stay connected to our source? How can we continually be reminded over and over again that YES, there is a reason for all of this nonsense and YES, it will totally be worth it?
I’m totally in the trenches with this, and in the midst of processing, uncovering more and more techniques that have been helpful for me. This is my very real-time experience. Here are a few useful ways that I’ve found to stay connected to my dharma without forcing an outcome:
Do the emotional work. Let yourself acknowledge when things really suck. That’s okay. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings without looking for a silver lining all the time. (I’m TOTALLY guilty of this, for the record) Start to understand: who are you within this situation v.s. who do you think you should be/are/want to be? One of the most fundamental questions of yoga is “Who am I?” Who am I without assumptions, expectation, insecurity, anger, judgement, fear? From there, you’ll find that most of our suffering comes from not being fully present with what is actually happening.
Do the physical work. Move your body and feel (REALLY feel) what’s in there. Most of us desperately need the gift of our own full, deep, undivided attention. When things get crazy outside, we often lack this level of awareness. Energy (whether we label it as “good” or “bad”) WANTS to move. Whether that’s walking, dancing, qi gong, swimming, or doing household chores, feel the way your body feels while you’re moving with intention. This type of practice is equipping you for stillness in many ways.
(Yoga also teaches that our dharma exists within the psoas muscle, which deserves a whole other blog post, but maybe dedicate some extra time to exploring that.)
Do the spiritual work. Dive in to prayer. Meditation. Devotion. Sadhana. Seek a spiritual mentor. Ask yourself what your soul is calling for and take the time to simply listen, accept, and know that these big desires may change from time to time. A useful mantra for this spiritual path is: I am an evolving soul.
Know that none of these suggestions stand alone. Emotional work is not separate from spiritual work, spirit is never separate from the body…etc. And ultimately, we must still allow the process to unfold on its own. But do keep searching.
And lastly, for anyone who has ever undergone or is going through major home gutting/renovations, I feel you. How incredibly humbling, ungrounding, transfor-freaking-mational and so many other feelings! Please reach out and let’s help one another to stay connected. This slow process of whatever you’re in right now is both inspiring and agonizing but it is working for your greater good to develop patience, acceptance and perseverance.