Bowing To My Twenties

Epiphanies at six am?  Unthinkable?  That’s what YOU thought.  But think again, because I just had one!  Clambering around in the kitchen, putting on water for tea and I realized that I have been zealously telling this story called, “I HATED MY TWENTIES!” as though it was the gospel truth.  But guess what?  It’s actually not.  Sure, my twenties were not a drunken collegiate joy ride down a ten year long slip and slide… They were arduous and confusing as fuck.  But… This morning I was appreciating how blessed I was to have studied yoga all through my twenties.  And not just asana, but many facets of yoga.  Philosophy, ayurveda and nutrition, meditation, karma yoga (selfless service)… I love that now I can roll out my mat anywhere and guide myself through a deep, nourishing practice any day of the rainbow, any place under the sky.  I spent so much quality time sucking up spiritual sustenance through an impressively wide straw in my twenties.

And while I’m at it, I might as well tell you of my enchanted yoga mat.  Someone gave it to me (used) back in ’02 or ’03.  It’s particularly long and light blue, stained brown where my dirty bare feet have over eight years impressed all the dirt they wandered through.  My mat has traveled with me all over this earth.  It saved my life in Cuba.  I remember doing asana amidst billowing laundry hanging to dry in the warm breath of evening on the concrete in the back yard of the modest casa where Eric and I stayed for a few days.  A tiny home that contained FOUR generations of women, from age 9 to age eighty-something.  (Never in my life had I experienced tight knit family like that!)  The mother (as opposed to the grandma or the great grandma) was very curious as she watched me practice… so I showed her some things and when we left their home, we offered her the sivananda yoga book we had been traveling with.  She was delighted.  I wonder if she is practicing now…

My yoga mat has made love with much playa dust on the Nevada desert floor at Burning Man over the years.  (I was mostly the dorky anomaly who went to bed early and woke up early, zealously threading my way to center camp before sunrise to drink coffee, write and then dive into a long, slow, nourishing asana practice.  My yoga mat, which come to think of it, is more like a magic carpet, has flown me to the beloved city of lights, Paris, twice!  I have ritualistically unwound myself in the green grass beneath the Eiffel Tour many times.  And in the south of France, I have rolled it out along the wide sidewalks stretching on, parallel to the turquoise sea, as well as next to ornate, gushing fountains in elaborate jardins.  (Yoga is not a very common place phenomenon in France.  At least it wasn’t when I was there in ’05 and ’06… So mostly I got strange looks and inquisitive queries as I practiced.)  Throughout all my travels, yoga was my portable home.  A resting place that returns me to the infinite space inside where I ever belong.

My yoga mat has been my sanity on otherwise stressful visits with the ex-in-laws in New York and Colorado.  My yoga mat went to Taos, New Mexico to study with Natalie Goldberg once upon a blessed time.  Camping at Lake Tahoe and Mount Shasta.  Not to mention all the times it’s been rolled out and stepped on in mundane old San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.  Even last night in my “Temple”, (my sacred, beautiful massage and yoga and meditation room) I rolled out my mat and drank deep, sweet sips of a practice that delivered me back safely on the doorstep of the mansion of All Pervading Peace!  Yoga saved my life last night, as my “house” (my life, my sense of self) was burning down.  It still is… but when I come back to yoga, I don’t even mind.  Let me burn!  Purify me once and for all, you Holy All Pervading Fire Breather!!!

Also in my twenties, I spent five beautiful years with Eric.  Yes, it’s true, I was pacing my cage and stringing my days into a longer than sin garland of existential crisis… but still… Eric and I shared so much joy.  SO MUCH LAUGHTER.  We played like blissed out, dissolved children and lived like Life yearns for all Her children to live.  Try to make the world black or white and you will miss all the twisty, prismatic refractions playfully slapping your face and pulling your tangly mane.

In my twenties I immersed myself in the culture of transformational courses.  I did inner work.  I witnessed others bounce between the walls of cultish dogma and true revelation.  (Grin.)  I circled with women, searching thirstily for the woman buried inside of me.  Learning and drinking from so many sacred wells.  I forged friendships that I imagine will stretch on for the rest of this life and beyond (backwards and forward).

My twenties were certainly an uphill climb.  But that’s par for the course for a quadruple Capricorn.  (Sun, moon, rising and mercury… at least according to western astrology…)  I will be climbing mountains for the rest of my God given life.  I’m pretty sure of that.  But just because climbing mountains is strenuous, doesn’t mean you oughtn’t keep trudging upward with your eyes on the prize~ that feeling of expansive mastery, of weighty accomplishment as you let the expansive, lucid view inundate you, your chest heaving and suckling on precious sips of decadent breath.  People climb mountains just for fun all the time.

So did I “hate” my twenties?  No, that is impossible, because hatred is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder has abolished hatred from her sacred mansion.  This beholder is cleansing her memories with the holy water of gratitude and peace.

Amen.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. spirit2go
    Jul 05, 2010 @ 16:26:16

    You sure did have an epiphany yesterday — a Yoga Mat epiphany– so to speak!. hey – I’m a Capricorn, too. What a really fine bag of knowledge to always be able to fall back on – your yoga training. It is serving you well. Loved this:

    “This beholder is cleansing her memories with the holy water of gratitude and peace.”

    Reply

  2. souldipper
    Jul 06, 2010 @ 02:31:14

    Athena Grace, I love your contrasts: from the earthiness of Cuba to the glitz of the Eiffel Tower; from the celebratory chaos of Burning Man to the holy water of your soul. Keep that mat. It`s going to be famous some day.

    It`s been busy around here and I`ve missed our base-touching. Blogs are a way to sneak around in communication…you share your authenticity so willingly and I`ve been closeted with soul fodder while squeezing out opportunities to see how you are. Incidentally, I`m sorry to report that soul fodder does not mean sex. Sigh…

    Most of it is about distance healing…makes my heart burst with gratitude. The Infinite Creator pulls no punches, but sure packs good ones.

    Take care, Cappie! – Your Aquarius friend, Amy

    Reply

  3. Rosy Moon
    Jul 06, 2010 @ 17:31:24

    Quadruple Cap, I discovered that I’m a strain of quadruple Pisces- Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus, blub, blub!
    The mitigating Sag rising dries me out a little, but I was surprised to find out just how fishy I am!!
    Much love,

    Moon

    Reply

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