Into the Center

Listening to Earth.jpg

When Muscle is weak
and Will is soft –
from grief –
what then can hold me up
where do I find my strength
where do I find relief

My feet
know the ground
much better than my head
It is to them I turn . . .
to me their wisdom speaks

“Yield,” they say, “and breathe
find your center –
Dynamic ground
of your own Being, enter –

~ July 4, 2009

© Carol Stall, 2009

My beloved mother made her transition in March 2009. I wrote this poem almost four months later. Her death was not unexpected except for the fact that it came much sooner than predicted, but she was prepared and she had no regrets. She did all she could to help us, her children, to prepare, and blessed us in so many ways that it would take a book to tell. I knew and know that she has only left behind the body, and yet in the aftermath of her physical absence from this plane, her death impacted me especially physically in the sense that my usual dynamic, “Energizer Bunny” energy was left very flat. I struggled to resume my physical yoga practices but finally had to surrender to the need of my body and emotions for stillness instead of movement, effortlessness instead of activity, silence instead of talking, and absence from the grid instead of remaining engaged.

This poem came to me late one evening after meditating. I grabbed a pen and a book and wrote this on the inside back cover. It paints the experience of how my longtime practice of Yoga came to the assistance of healing myself, of being in true presence with my Self and allowing my Self to be exactly where and how it needed to be in those times. That is, my yoga body taught my insistent mind, which expected me to pull myself up by my bootstraps and carry on as if nothing had happened, when in fact one of the most powerful and potentially devastating life transitions had just occurred. My body taught me to and helped me to let go of false self expectations, to go deep inside myself and to abide in silence, in the strength of gravity and the support of Mother Earth, in the waves of my breath, and in the depths of my soul – the dynamic ground of my own Being.

With appreciation to my beloved teachers, Shri Anandi Ma and Donna Farhi

(Attached painting is Listening to the Earth, by Gilbert Williams)

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