“Feel the space behind you” was one of the suggestions I received in a recent yoga class.
While I generally feel I’m aware of the space surrounding me as a whole, that slight instruction made me realized that while I may be aware of it, I’m not necessarily present within it; at least not completely. I’m not really, truly, honestly feeling the 360-degrees surrounding my body. Sitting upright, eyes closed, I tried to feel that unseen space. My back eased, something melting away into soft gooeyness (a very technical meditation term, I’m sure). It was as if I was able to lean back into the nothingness. With that release, my chest was able to open and I felt more grounded; I felt more full, more present.
I’ve felt this before. In fact, most recently in the shower while playing around with freeing my mind of my To-Do List, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was that caused everything to “click.” Yes, I felt more present, experiences and sensations seemed clearer and more enjoyable, but I didn’t necessarily correlate it with a change of physical awareness. It seemed more mental to me. Maybe it was a little bit of both? Perhaps a mental awareness of the physical? In my experiments over the past couple of days, regardless of how focused (or not) my mind may be at the time, the moments in which I’m able to click-in to this awareness inevitably translate to a physical sensation for me. Well-timed! This is, after all, the last day of Week Two in the Meditation Challenge: Mindfulness and the Body.
I think it’s interesting that Sharon’s subtitle for Week Two is “Letting Go of Burdens,” because there’s this other thing I feel when I’m able to lean back and let go: Love. Again, appropriate timing I suppose, but it’s true. This lightness comes over me and I open my eyes and I’m just so much more appreciative of everyone and everything around me. I want to reach out and hug someone. It’s an interesting feeling, and definitely not a result I would have expected from feeling the space behind me. I’m sure there’s more to it, and more to come from it, but I think I’ll leave it at that for right now.
So, is that all we get in return for letting go of our burdens? Love (and clarity, lightness, and joy)? Even if that’s it, it seems like a pretty good deal to me.