Say Hello Wave Goodbye
"Take your hands off me, hey,
I don't belong to you, you see,
And take a look in my face, for the last time,
I never knew you, you never knew me,
Say hello goodbye,
Say hello and wave goodbye..."
How many times have I belted out the lyrics of this David Gray song? Since it was released in 1998, I've sung it off-key through not one, but two divorces, and the one line that always rose up out of my guts like a burrito after a bottle of Fireball and good sob was "I don't belong to you, you see..." Was it just the obvious associations with my divorce(s) that connected me so viscerally or were these words a message from my soul, an invitation to experience a truth I held much deeper than my ill-timed Mexican dinner?
As one of my teachers Baron Baptiste says, "Go from being a human doing yoga to a human being yoga." Therefore my personal evolution beseeches me to noodle on my audacious adventures through the lens of yoga's ethical practices, the Yamas (practices/discipline) and Niyamas (restraints/focus observance). In this case, the application of the yama Aparigraha, or non-possessiveness, often interpreted as non-attachment, non-greed, non-grasping, non-stealing or clinging seems like the correct lily pad to poach and ponder.
Please enter People's Exhibit A: A recent little ditty from 'my' journal...
We don't own things. And things don't own us. We own NO THING. But, God knows it can feel like it. I mean, I can only imagine how pushing a human through my hips might lead me to believe I have some ownership rights over the wad of flesh that just ripped me a new asshole. Yet, by further examining the physical facts, it is clear that bloody, bawling ball of energy CAME THROUGH YOU--and he/she/ze throbs with their own pulse and soul. Ze does not belong to you. Instead, you/we are the channels and caretakers of Ze. The Good Lord/Universe/Divine Dissident entrusted that sacred energy to us as cosmic custodians so that we might leave an imprint, but not a cuff mark. To own something makes it yours alone. Alone. To own something separates it, divides it from the totality and from the Oneness and Grace of the Holy G. (End of entry)
Wait! Holy Shit! She's a socialist--or at the least a witch! Better get yer senate committees, torches and pitchforks and shut her up! (Actually I'm both and neither. And more on witches and socialists and fear and even pussy cats in a later post, I promise.) Yup. That's my writing, my practice and my life....#forwardneverstraight. Isn't this fun?
Now, back to it...
We don't own things--not the titles, degrees, lovers, kids, cars, accomplishments, adorations or the yoga classes on our schedule. And things don't own us--not even the mountain of debt that looms its dark shadow over the valley of possessions stacked lushly around us. Or can they? I'm suddenly re-minded of the adage, 'what we possess possesses us'. Is it our intention and perception that creates the cage? Are we imprisoned by the walls we build ourselves? And if that is true, how fucking liberating! What can be made, can be unmade!
I freagin LOVE a paradox. Life is a paradox. Yoga is a paradox, a weaving together of seemingly contrasting components. I see them all around me all the time and believe truth and joy lies in the contradiction. I choose to attach to that thought because it empowers me. Say Hello Wave Goodbye.
So, let's swing to the other end of our spectrum, shall we? If the apex of attachment is slavery, then let's jump on the freedom bus and set up our proverbial pup tent on this hallowed ground. Freedom!! Yes, yes! I'll take freedom for $800 Alex. Yet, glomming on to freedom is still glomming. It took a while for this one to saturate my soils. As an historian and citizen of the US of A, I'm acutely aware this country constructed it's foundation on the principle of freedom while it cultivated its infant (and adolescent and current) economy on the enslavement of others. But, it took me a wee bit longer to realize the freedom I clung to personally, too, had in fact shackled me to ideas and a life I did not consciously choose.
Yoga invites me to observe my thoughts, body, emotions and spirit as energy moving through. Yoga invites me into inquiry about why I think what I think and where I may have sourced that little tidbit. Have I looked through my own eyes and listened with my own ears through a lens clear of conditioning and indoctrination? Or have I acquired some mongrel philosophy so deeply imbedded that I can't even recognize where slavery ends and true freedom begins? And true freedom, to me, begins and ends with awareness and choice.
I know I ask a lot of questions and don't know if this a satisfactory ending for this post. But, I'm not attached to your approval. I'm instead attached to not being attached to your approval. Ah-ha! Are ya gettin' it? What do you think?
Namaste Peeps. Over and out.