December mornings in Mysore were two hours of practice, home, rinse in the bucket, then bundle up and take a twilight ride out to the lake.

As energy from practice released what had been holding in me my mind would sputter and race. Karma yoga in the kali yuga. Just go. Just walk.  

I was getting ready to say goodbye. Stubborn as hell I, I fought back with tears, fire and pavement pounding.

I can fight this.

I can win.

We will not give up.

 


You know the feeling? Heat in the face, palms hot, stomach muscles cramping and flying. The worst mornings I would immediately call my partner. Seeing his face would calm the fire but the next day it was always more of the same.

11 years ago when I went to Berlin I would run my fingers along the bullet holes. People on peaceful tree lined streets were unknowingly a part of a history forgotten in peaceful new growth. The significance was not lost on all of us.There was war there once and the buildings told a story new generations could not and Shiva gave way to Shakti.

As pictures and memories come down in my apartment my partner and I joke, “ this place looks like a sad hallowed out castle.” We are both stubborn, loyal, and some parts of us will always remain radically in love. The same fire and scrappy nature got us by for a long time but in the end partnership looks like this; teamwork. The heart knows no bounds in the framework of a lifetime. Your limits will determine what you are and aren’t willing to give up for someone else and this got the best of us. We couldn’t move together. The space of not knowing gives way to hope that is quickly shot down by the moment. Rinse, repeat. We didn’t realize how exhausting this was until the ball dropped. It’s over and filled with freedom, flight, fear, faith, and WTF? A friendship is there now. Something like we haven’t had in a while. When there are no responsibilities or expectations all that is left is love. So much love.

A while back my separation from an old love looked like wine, cigarettes, and throwing his checkbook out of our window in Harlem. After the book flew so did I; I flew down the stairs, hopped a fence, and dug in the bushes to retrieve what I’d tossed. This time around it looks like practice. Every sweet, weird, and painful damn day I trot to the shala to work out my karma. The role that I played, am playing, that I will play, and letting it all just incinerate into the ether. I do this without thinking. Karma yoga. Focused movement. Let it dissolve. Give it to God.

I teach with my whole heart because I know some of the folks in the room are in it too. This is our container and our tools. A shala is the safe space where the work unfolds. My routine holds me upright and friends hold my hand. They tell me sweet things, send me hilarious memes and dance videos. They let me cry. My family has made me food, offered resources and given me time to talk about nonsense and sense. There is an intimacy and connection unfolding around me now. When vulnerability meets honesty it gives others a chance to be raw in their passion, heartbreak, practice and love.

 

“Every time we choose courage we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.” ~Brene Brown.

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