Just before my double mastectomy, a friend and I were texting, and she said ‘This is the yoga you’ve been preparing for all these years.’ To which I replied, ‘Well, that’s frickin’ bullshit.’
But we both knew she was right. All I really had to do, was let go. My practice has always been about letting go of unnecessary things. I focused on the simple process of breathing in and breathing out, taking on and letting go.
For years now I’ve been working on exhaling longer than I inhale, letting go of more than I take on.
If you’ve followed my journey at all, then you already know… a lot of things have fallen away. Bad habits, old ideas, judgment, over-indulgence, impulsivity; all slowly falling away.
As each next thing starts to fall away, I hold tightly for a while. (Like I held onto my beer!) Grasping and clinging. But eventually I loosen my grip. And soon, it slips away.
It’s a practice of softening and releasing. Softening my heart, my grasp, my stubborn head. Releasing my ego, my expectations, my judgment. Inhaling and exhaling, taking on and releasing. A practice of creation and destruction, preservation and annihilation.
Pema Chodron says:
‘Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.’
I have been annihilated. And I have found that which is indestructible in me.
I can see it. Hear its whisper. And even summon it up on occasion. As long as I keep myself vulnerable and open to annihilation, I will continue to visit this indestructible place.
I am there right now. Breathing deeply. Inhale, count to 4. Exhale, count to 8.