Triumph. Now there’s a word. Is it an onomatopoeia almost? I feel a sudden lift of my heart when i read it on the page. I want to breathe it again and again. Triumph, triumph, triumphant heart, invincible calm; you will triumph.
When i was a little, i put in place some pretty uncompromising systems in this human body and brain and heart. They kept me alive, i think, and safe when things were dangerous and volatile. I am thankful for these layers and layers of reinforcements. I was lucky to have them. Years ago, when i started to teach yoga, i began to discover them again, because i had forgotten i had put them there really, and I began to see what they were made of and what they were making a fortress about. I have spent much of my adult life (so many years; i just got to 40!) trying to go backwards into these layers and find the little guy that put them there, take her by the hand, uncover her. She resided there, dormant, stuck for a long time, underneath the sludge and survival of those reinforcements.
These reinforcements, in my business, are what we call ‘murky shit.’
You guys, yoga is a miracle. Living is one too. And by the grace of the gods or whatever pulls and pushes us into the secret mysterious stuff, i managed to go through those layers, by the grace of my pals holding spaces with me, sometimes without knowing it, by the grace of the human urge to thrive, i got to see the things and see her and see me and be a whole entire human sometimes. And not be afraid to breathe into all those tendernesses. Not quite a triumph, but a bit neat. I feel like i learned to swim, learned to hold my breath, went down to the bottom of an unknown ocean, waded through all those disorienting and dense and weird deep-water plants and found a treasure, not knowing what it contained, but found that little guy and coaxed her into taking my hand, and taught her to swim, held my breath, waded backwards through the disorienting, weird-neat plants, held our breaths underwater some more and then swam back up to the enormous animal-pull to the light and the air and a big breath in and another and another. This, this!, is a little triumph, for me, or it might be a big one.
Konrad, who bawled his eyes out at his 40th birthday party at the glorious tenderness of being alive, says this is 40.
Carl Jung says the first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.
I realize that little me is actually just me; there is no separation of course. It has taken 40 painstaking, adventurous, weird years on this earth. It has taken choosing, especially in recent times a lot of (A LOT) of the bloody hard way to get to see the reinforcements clearly so that i might begin to relax them, piece by piece. It has taken a lot of karma burning off for me to feel whole.
Can you even believe it?
That being a whole person, finally, is a triumph?
40 is a triumph.
Taking a sabbatical from the beautiful murky waters so you can enjoy the pull up to the surface is a triumph.
Feeling your heart lift off the page from the words, triumphant.
Teaching a one-last regular yoga practice that felt like swimming upward from the dim and muffled ocean floor and seeing the light grow and get closer and closer and closer and pressure on the lungs, we’ll make it, and breaking through the top of the ocean and breathing a triumphant breath and for it to feel like that for others, even. I mean that’s a bit of a miracle.
And so, today, on my first official day of this new summer and sabbatical season with fortiness really settling in, i put myself and portman in the car and we stuck our arms and heads out of the windows like free, happy birds, and went to the best coffee place, well out of the way. We walked our walk, honestly unfettered, checking out all the cute and quaint purposeful stuff in the wolseley backlanes, and I saw a cat sitting on a second floor open air porch, beside a pretty nice cluster of rainforest green potted plants and I thought, well if this isn’t just the life. And that? I think that’s a triumphant thought.