a story is not THE story

Here we are, September 7 – nearly three quarters of the way through the year – 6 months of our dance with COVID 19 and I find myself rather quiet. I am often shy to write because I tend to want to place things in context – to have the back story already known. I prefer a conversation and when I can those that can last for hours. Leisurely with a friend or two, punctuated with quiet, the wag of a dog’s tail, coffee and a snack. Or on a roadtrip where topics appear and reappear on the breeze.

How do I briefly set the context of today? I am made up of the fibers of my dna, my family, my friends, 50 years of life exposed to the here and now and everything that has trickled both through and into my consciousness. Exhale, I take a breath and experience the moment vs. my thoughts. Experience the moment and not a story. Yet story does allow us to share, to connect, to learn, to feel, to relate.

What stories do I tell myself? about myself? others? how we relate? are they true? maybe they once were. And then the rabbit hole of what is true and who is it true for or to.

Practice, meditation – sometimes gives me a rest, brings me to the now and the freedom of no story. It also shows me the stories I perpetuate with and without examination, the stories I turn away from and too easily turn to.

There are many techniques used in yoga to make friends with self-reflection that becomes self study. Svadhyaya is one of the five niyamas. The niyamas are one of the eight limbs of yoga. And the niyamas are observances – inner observances to support us in our practice and thus life. Svadhyaya may include but our not limited to readings , meditation techniques, and asana (postural/movement) practices that support and prompt reflection . Noticing is a step and then noticing what is prompted physically, mentally, emotionally during the noticing. Do I relax, do I tense up, do I avoid, do I smile?