“We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.”
– T. S. Eliot
Last week I attended my kids’ Spring dance recital. It was another tear-jerker. From the very first dance to the last I am a mess of tears, smiles and random shoulder jerking. Something strikes me deep to the core – is it the music? Is it witnessing bodies telling a story without words, is it the choreography of the dancers moving with such grace, trust and abandon? Is it the the sheer joy or shock of watching my kids change, grow and progress over the years? Is it the tiniest ballerinas who seemed to have just learned to walk and now in a bright yellow tutu smiling on stage and showing to the world – Here I am!
It’s all of it, I’m sure. This year though I was really taken back in time to when we begin such endeavors whether they be dance, sports, playing an instrument, or yoga. There is a beginning stage that is pure and sweet that has packed within it so much potential and growth. I had a pang of longing when I cried (no, bawled!) seeing the itty bitty dancers come out on stage to follow the teenage dancer turn in circles and sashay around the stage. Oh, to go back in time to just try it again! To be a beginner again.
Sitting in my chair with my mom next to me who too had tears in her eyes, I felt the unavoidable passing of time and the waves deep in my heart of nostalgia. Everything moved through me; regret, shame and revelation. You would think I go to dance recitals for therapy purposes. It comes and it goes. I felt regret that I didn’t stick with certain passions of mine along the way, that I got distracted by something else or hit a plateau or that pothole that landed me flat in a world of “not good enough”. The opposite feelings can happen too…there is just as much regret in feeling that I put so much time, energy and attention into one thing to become a “master” and then realize that mastery is only fun for awhile.
Is there an in-between? Is there a space where I can be who I am and where I am in my life with equal parts grounded in faith, self possessedness AND beginner’s mind and uncertainty?
The practice of yoga and the living of yoga is my “dance.” As teacher Molly Kenny says in her book, “No Gurus Came Knocking,”
We practice in the straightaway so we have it in the curve.
Some of the curves are self imposed and some so unexpected they literally take my breath away. It is one thing to practice practice practice and another to put on the yellow tutu and go out on the stage of life and discover oneself in faith and trust that there is enough there to feel whole, boundless and free.
I yearn for the beginning of the exploration. I yearn to know how to breathe again. I yearn to know how to stand on my two feet, arms by my side, heart open with my soulful eyes open to the world of pure potential, uncertainty and transformation.
I hope we continue to see and to know each other in the in-between; the straightaway and the curve, the practice room and the stage and at home and in the wilderness of our lives knowing that our connection to source, to divine breath and to our shared humanity will be more than enough.