Julie MacAdam

Reverence: a state of holding high regard for something or someone. How can we bring into our practice a connection to this type of elated respect…for our bodies, for our minds, for our beings? That way, we don’t get on the mat with the intent to “fix” something, to “accomplish” a goal, meet the “challenge” or “obtain” a sense of peace. Rather we instead move in a way that is imbued with a sense of kind regard that might create a space for a natural goodness to emerge. It is getting out of our own way that we contact right where we are; and yet, that often is one of the biggest challenges and triumphs both.

If we start to practice from a place of needing to get better or somewhere other than where we are we might not ever arrive. And we might have a long way to go; that’s that catch, isn’t it? That way of approach is like the snake chasing its own tail: it’s somewhat foolish and mostly an innocent misunderstanding. Or, perhaps it is the type of entertainment that we are unconsciously after: having a problem so that we might fix the problem, to discover another problem, so that again we might feel the boost of developing a solution. It is a saga and it could go on forever! It is entertaining and maddening, both. That doesn’t mean don’t start. No, start, and start right where you are and just as you are. But you might also consider what are you really after? What is the deeper call to practice? What are you hoping for? Looking to reveal? To receive? What is your intent, your aim?

Often, we want transformation. Some type of change in life – whether it be on the physical, mental or emotional levels…somethings gotta give. We are perhaps a bit dissatisfied, or entirely ready to make shifts. The attempt to better ourselves is a genuine act of care to be celebrated! But the truth is, we are not broken. There is nothing that we need to fix. And because of this, practice will not fix it. It is not a magic band-aid. No, often we come in touch with the hard things in life, in ourselves; the ways we shut down, numb out, are ambitious, angry. The disillusionment begins…and it is just what needs illumination. The shadows that interfere with the omnipresent light.

But…a skeptical voice asks…what is it doing? What’s the point? Am I just wasting my time? Isn’t this a big game…I mean…I’m chasing my own tail!

Well, yes, and no, both. For me, practice helps me to remember as I so often forget. It is a way to clear out some of the cobwebs and dustbunnies that are real as far as meets the eye and yet just the same as everything else dressed in drag. We’ve got cleaning to do, responsibilities to fulfill, and a call to answer. Gifts to share, to offer, to elevate. It’s okay if we let it ring, but God [by whatever name, form, or no name] on the other line would love to chat. Practice, with reverence, is one way to answer the phone and engage in conversation. There is so much to be said in the silence. It isn’t just on the mat.