Coffee Contemplations – Vol. V : Receiving


It was a perfect fall morning here in Berkeley. The sun shone through a rainbow of leaves as I waited impatiently for the bus. My back tire on my bike has blown out and though it’s the perfect day for a ride, I must settle into the cool cabin of local public transit. I’ll be late to the second day of a yoga immersion I’ve been lucky to attend. That’s a bit frustrating because like Steven Tyler said, I don’ want to miss a thing.. But sometimes, you do. Sometimes, the back tire blows out and the bus is late and your schedule gets thrown off and you miss a thing or two you were headed to. You feel this physical reaction to these moments, sometimes. Like a babbling brook gone rogue in your stomach, your heart races, you pace, you mutter and spat and mumble “omgs” and “wtfs”. What’s funny is when you do this- not a damn thing changes. The bus doesn’t have lightning speed. The back tire doesn’t change its mind about being flat. Time doesn’t slow down so you can catch up. It remains exactly as it is, and if you’re not careful, the anguish reality is causing you starts to sew itself into your fabric, so by the time you get to where you’re going, you’re hot and bothered, dragging funk and frustration in with you. It’s like this : You’ve stepped in shit and instead of saying ” ah man – that happened” and wiping it off, you’ve decided to track it along with you until everyone you meet has a furrowed brow because you’ve walked in dragging in all this bad stank in with you. People can tell your unhappiness.. and it’s contagious. You bring the bad mojo – the bad mojo does not arrive on it’s own and cannot survive without you.

It’s moments like this that you must step back. You have to step back and observe what it is you should actually be receiving. When you do this, you allow yourself to see the reality, accept that reality, and maybe, just maybe, receive the true gifts that have come to you. These inconveniences this morning we not inconveniences. They were the universe holding me.

My bike tire was flat so I had to go home- but I had also forgotten my keys.. which I didn’t realize until I got to the door to drop my bike off. Luckily, I was able to catch my housemate and get in. I was to be the last out of the studio and it would have been much more frustrating trying to get my keys after a long day of yoga to lock the studio some 2 miles from my house. I would have had to ride home, wake my housemate, ride back and lock up… that would have REALLY got me twisted in a bad mojo tornado… Blessing.

I took a moment to think about how much work I was about to do with my body and smiled at the prospect of not having to ride home after 8 hours of asana. Especially considering I would probably be starving with only a salad for lunch. Blessing…

I was able to see the beauty of the day around me, observe the trees and enjoy the sun for a few moments in quiet before going indoors for the day. Not only this, I was able to feel these frustrations well up, observe my own reactions to them, and also see the truth and blessing that was buried in them. All at once, I was able to feel the frustration, see the gift I was receiving and accept the reality I was presented. All these little things are what I needed to receive- and I would have missed them all if things had gone to “plan”. Sure – the result remained. I was late (but only by 8 minutes). My tire is still flat. But I am changed in the moment as it is; not as I dreamed it would be.

This is yoga. This is your journey off the mat. Taking the fatigue, the pain, the frustration, the fear, and the anxiety that wells up on any given day, at any given moment, for any given reason and transmute it into acceptance and even love and peace by surrendering to what you cannot change. By altering perspective and looking at things as they truly are, not as you expect them to be, you can offer yourself salvation from your suffering. Surrender into the moment and enjoy its sweetness, not matter how much of a challenge it is for you. The larger the challenge, the sweeter the reward.

So, next time things don’t go your way, pause. Open your eyes and look up. When you’re caught wondering what life is, see the sun through the trees, dancing shadow, color, and breeze and you’ll know- that is life. And it’s beautiful.

And if you’re kind to yourself, you’ll remember life is going exactly your way.

| namaste |




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