an atypical message on giving
One glorious chain of love, of giving and receiving, unites all creatures. ~Samson Raphael Hirsch
Just a few days ago, I found myself with an unexpected block of time that just happened to coincide with the 9am class at This Land Yoga. I know that every time I get on my mat there, I leave better than I came, even if it’s not always in an obvious way. That morning, though, it was all too clear. Lisa, long-time teacher and short-time owner, started us on our backs - a fairly typical opener for class. She began with some breath awareness - another pretty typical opener. What came next, though, was anything but. She began talking to us about giving, which is, again, typical for this time of year, but that wasn’t where she landed. Rather than emphasizing the need to give (which, of course, is important), she focused on the other end of that spectrum. Lisa, a teacher who always strives for symmetry, encouraged us to give ourselves permission to take. You see, it’s easy to always be a giver, especially this time of year when all forms of sensory input are hammering that message into us, not to mention that it feels so damn good, but you really need to balance that out with taking. When you go through life with the scale constantly tipped to one side, that weight becomes so heavy that you grow tired. Your smile fades. Your spirit wanes. You lose your breath. So this is my message to you, by way of my teacher that morning: Please continue to give, but for the love of your yoga mat, please give yourself permission to receive.