Waxing Elephantic

Last night I was out having dinner with some of my OM-ies.  There were huge flat screen TV’s on every wall.   I didn’t like the idea of it. TV’s in a restaurant?  Why?  There was one directly in my line of vision and I was hoping I wouldn’t be distracted by it.  Luckily, it was tuned to a sports news network, so for the most part I ignored it.

There were a couple of times when I pointed out my daughters’ obsession “One Direction” in a commercial.  And there was one moment when I was talking and I caught an image out of the corner of my eye, turned my head and said “Look! An elephant!”

At that moment I had a brief thought about how I had not seen many elephants lately.  And I put that thought aside for later.

There was a time, not too long ago that elephants were everywhere.  Everywhere I looked.  My friends and I were snapping photos of elephants everywhere we went. Like Ganesha, they became a symbol for me, of change, of the fluidity of life, of obstacles that were placed in my way and removed from my path, obstacles that would effect change in my life.   But over time, the sightings faded. Or was it my obsession that faded?

When I was in teacher training I was attending 5 or 6 yoga classes a week, practicing faithfully at home, and running 3 or 4 times a week.  Was I obsessed? Was I manic?   No, I don’t think so.  I was committed and I was passionate.

I had tapas (not the appetizers, though I did eat a lot of those last night). I had yogic tapas, a fire in me.  I had the desire to burn off negativism, to condition myself, both mind and body, through more positive activity, diet, rest, meditation. I had the desire to bring myself to my greatest possible state. And the elephants were there to remind me to keep that fire burning.

The sun is a constant source for itself. It burns and burns.  But I think we are more like the moon; we wax and we wane.   We live our lives in fits and starts.  Our passions burn brightly and fade away.  We have to work to keep our fires burning.  We have to work to sustain our passions, sustain our interests, to be more like the sun, and renew our own energy.

I know that the elephants are still out there, so why haven’t I seen them lately? Did I become less open to them?  Did I give up on them? Was I taking them for granted?

This morning, I made a conscious decision to get back up on that elephant!  I ran for the first time in weeks.  Within a few blocks, I could feel that fire rising up in me.  I became aware of the cadence of my breath and my feet. I chanted in time: Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha.

The elephant sighting in the restaurant reminded me, they are still out there. They are still in here.  I expect more sightings soon.

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