Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Does It Bring You Alive?

By Healingyoga

"Sometimes, in order to know what love is, we need to experience what it is not."  --DD

Last night I was struck with the strong desire to do a little Spring Cleaning (why these cleaning urges seem to strike late at night, I'll never know). I found myself tossing things that I had once not so long ago thought were important, things I thought I loved. Yet, as I threw these items into a bag, I found myself thinking, "I don't need that. Heck, I don't even like that." Suffice to say, I went to bed in the wee hours but left my office in a cleaner, less cluttered state. 

The desire to toss what no longer works for me continued this morning. I sifted through the bathroom and the kitchen, bagging up clutter as I went. Then I got a delivery. I'd been wanting this specific piece of furniture for a long time, yet I never bought it. I came up with all sorts of reasons as to why I shouldn't have this item. Today it arrived and I rearranged my living room in order to make space for it. As someone who prefers function over form, I never really cared for decorating my surroundings. I was more of a stick-it- where-there's-space-for-it kind of girl. Every space I've lived in reflected that aesthetic (or lackthereof) until this one. This time around, I'm putting things I love in my space. The colors, the objects, the fabrics, the arrangement -- it's all me and I adore it. 

Years ago when I first desired that item that is now sitting in my living room, I heard this quote from David Whyte: "...anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you." I immediately teared up, for I had made my life small. Very small. It was like my house prior to last night and today's spring cleaning whirlwind -- it was filled with things that I thought I needed, but were, in fact, too small for me. It took a few years, but I eventually Spring Cleaned my life, letting go of people, places, beliefs, stories, and many, many things. It took me a while to figure out what brought me alive, what I loved, for I was so used to living so small for so long. And now, a few short years later, I have sitting in my living room a tangible example of choosing things (and people, places, and beliefs) that bring me alive.

I suppose that's why right now I'm practicing a specific Kundalini kriya that I've been building up to 31 minutes. I enjoy it. It makes me feel good. Kundalini isn't my primary style of yoga in regards to my daily practice but it's become a big part because it's what I'm loving right now. There was a time when I practiced a style of yoga not because it brought me alive and felt right but because it had become habit. It started out feeling right (I loved it) but somewhere along the line, my practice had become too small for me. I didn't even realize that I was no longer anticipating my time on the mat with glee or injuring myself on a more consistent basis. I continued to hang on, thinking that my practice was what I needed, what I would always need.

After some trial and error, I found a style of yoga that fit me better and it infused life into my yoga practice, my body, and my soul. Once again, I found myself looking forward to unfurling my yoga mat. Rather than something I was doing because my head was saying it was what I wanted, I was following what my heart dictated. My body followed and injuries became a thing of the past. 

While I grew up in a house where Spring Cleaning was the norm, I never gave it much thought until recently. The idea of going through your life, questioning what you need, and making space for the new is pretty damned appealing. Sometimes we're so deadened in our life that this numb feeling becomes the norm and we forget David Whyte's brilliant words. The simple question -- Does it bring you alive? -- can do wonders to clear out your life and make it lighter and brighter, both on and off the mat. 


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