The full quote is one I've used many times teaching yoga. From David Whyte:
"Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn / anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive / is too small for you."
But as I begin to grow roots in a new land. I have begun to wrestle with the idea of "aloneness" in a different way. Working from home in a completely new place doesn't really give you the opportunity to make a lot of new friends. I find myself being EXTRA friendly at Starbucks and putting more than I typically would in the tip jar just to eek a little extra conversation our of the barista and have some basic human conversation. Lame. I know. But I've always been a people person and I've always been in places where I had a strong community around me - so this is pretty new.
However, part of the reason I moved out here was because I wanted to learn new things, try new things, explore the world - and prove to myself that I can walk my walk. I wanted to prove that I can be uncomfortable and alone, and that I can be okay.
I also wanted to build something new. Not clear on what yet. But it's percolating.
This morning I went to a class at Breathe Together Yoga (a must visit if you're in the San Jose area) and took a class called "Hot Tapas" with a brilliant instructor named Prajna Vieira. She lectured throughout class that true yoga is really about leveraging pranayama, bhanda and drishti to seal in the energy of the practice. Posture will forever be reliant on body type and body history - but the true depth of practice is to prevent what she (and many before her) have referred to as leaky prana - or leaky life force. The bhandas consciously (but not aggressively) seal the body, the breathing allows for flow or movement of energy and the eye gaze steadies the mind from darting all over. I could go on and on, it was masterful, but that's for another day.
So SPEAKING of leaky energy (which sounds almost gross ... ha ha)...
When I left Boston - I was exhausted. My husband had left in mid August to start his job, which left me (and my superhero mom) with 2 kids, a very stressful day job for a busy marketing agency, and a full yoga schedule. Oh, and did I mention we also had to sell and pack up a big old house in the mean time, while trying to manage the logistics of a cross country move? No? Well - that happened in about 5-6 weeks. To say my energy had leaked in about 1,000 different directions is an understatement.
So now. As I sit here on the other side of it all - (working from home - nobody other than me and my husband to put as "emergency contacts" on any of the kids school forms) - and start to feel lonely, I think that this is probably the universe giving a much needed gift. To offer me the opportunity to move simply and slowly. To start to really focus on self-care in a holistic way that felt almost impossible over the last 1.5 months. Today, as I worked on those energetic sealing practices I kept thinking "Prajna you're a gift from the g-d'd universe if I ever saw one!" So deepest bow of gratitude to the woman who taught me this morning that yoga is really about an ability to control fluctuations of energy - because it helped me realize that this time of stillness and what I had labeled as "loneliness" is actually just what I needed to hit my own, personal "reset" button.
I'm sure I'll be buzzing here and there in no time. But for now, I'm teaching myself to lean in to this sweet aloneness just a little bit longer.