It's been silent here since mid-December (are those crickets I hear or is that a pin dropping?). This is the longest I've been away from the blog since I started it. I've been getting a lot of questions along the lines of, where have you been and what have you been doing? My cryptic yogic answer is: nowhere and nothing.
It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings: Not all who wander are lost.
Sometimes wandering about without direction is necessary. Have you ever taken a walk without having a destination in mind, allowing yourself to explore and go where you heart desires? If not, I recommend you give it a try.
That's where I've been and what I've been doing -- wandering.
In my destinationless meandering, I've found myself going not further but deeper -- deeper into my relationship with myself, my relationship with others, my relationship with my yoga practice. While I've missed you all, it's been a pretty amazing few months. I'm back here feeling refreshed and more in the moment. I didn't come back with a plan for new posts or a list of products that I want to review or a plan of any type. I'm going to simply write when and about what I am moved to.
A few months ago, I learned that someone I had met many years ago got a divorce from her first husband and had recently lost her second husband in a freak accident. Not only was I struck by the tragedy of the news, but I was also shocked by the path this woman's life had taken.
You see, when I first met her, I sat down with her and her new husband (they'd been married for a few weeks at that point) and listened while she told me of her "plans." Perhaps plan is too weak a word, for this woman had a detailed account of how her life was going to go -- down to the birth order and sex of her yet-to-be-conceived children. I was 26 when this happened, so I was partly in awe of her grasp of her desires and partly horrified that she had her life all planned out.
Planning and I never quite got along (my college application essay was essentially a dodge of the ever popular "where would you like to be in 10 years?" question using a fancy metaphor of a building under construction). I would, on occasion, flirt with plans but then quickly abandon them when I decided I liked the freedom of having choice in the moment better. Yeah, I'm fickle that way. That got me into quite a bit of trouble during job interviews when asked, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Pffffttttt...I despise that question.
So here is this woman who I met all of those years ago living a life that is so far from her original plan that it's unrecognizable. It's like she set her GPS to NY but she ended up in California. The destination seems all wrong. And if her heart was set on NY, then she's going to be seriously unhappy in California. Perhaps she'll be sitting in California wondering how the heck she got so lost, focusing on how she doesn't have what she so desperately wanted.
Ironically, my life, which was looking like it was headed in a very predictable direction back when I met Ms. California took a huge turn for the unpredictible. I now find myself moving in a drastically different direction. I don't wonder how I got here though, because it doesn't feel all that strange to me. I guess that's because I never set a firm destination on my GPS. I started going in one direction and then realized that it wasn't the right one for me and I rerouted.
I literally do this all the time. I set my GPS to where I need to go but then I decide I want to take a different route and my GPS screams at me for not following directions. Yep, I'm all about the metaphors -- first it's the building under construction (which did gain me entrance to college, thank you very much) and now it's the ever helpful GPS app on my phone.
Unlike when I used my GPS, I have no clue as to exactly where I want to go. I make my choice of the day based on where I am and where I feel moved to go. I'm constantly rerouting. Interestingly enough, I'm never disappointed with where I end up for the moment because my heart and happiness weren't set on a specific destination.
Rerouting happens every day on my yoga mat. I might start out with a specific practice in mind but I often need to readjust based on my body's needs for that day (or my state of mind or emotion). Or, if I handle time in such a way that I'm not practicing until later in the day, I need to adjust my practice. If I rigidly grasp onto the idea of a certain type of practice or a specific goal, then my practice goes from joy to suffering.
Rerouting is a skill, a discipline really. You see, the woman who I mentioned earlier -- her happiness potentially hinges on whether or not she has the ability to reroute. If she doesn't, it's possible she'll end up a bitter person bemoaning her bad luck and life gone "wrong." If she lets her original plan eclipse all else, she'll suffer.
I'm not saying plans are bad, just that they feel a bit unnatural to me. These days I prefer to let things unfold organically -- in life and on my yoga mat. I can say that I've had some of the most delightful surprises when giving myself permission to reroute. I never planned to stop blogging for 2 months but that's where my heart took me. Yes, I'm glad to be back but I also cherish where I've been and all of the suprises and delights that presented themselves along the way.
I hope you allow yourself to reroute when you feel moved to do so rather than tie yourself to a plan. I hope you wander. I hope you readjust your yoga practice based on your needs when you step onto your mat. I hope you discover for yourself that not all who wander are lost.