So I am not usually so much into the meditation "messages" side of yoga. I have been to many different studios and the ones that have a set daily "devotional" kind of thing I just tend not to like as much. And my current studio (that I am loving) doesn't do this, but here and there something is said that is really poignant or causes some generic introspection. Each instructor is different and they each tend to have encouraging things to say in the way of pursuing balance in life, but it doesn't feel like a forced weird deal with "om's" and stuff.
So today Lisa (the instructor, who I love and reminds me so much of a family friend of ours, Paula) started off as most classes do with awareness of breathing. And then she paralleled breathing to life and how we need to both inhale and exhale...many of us "inhale" so much and take, take, take from life without "exhaling" out. If you think about the physiology of that, and take a breath and then continue to try to inhale...very uncomfortable. Same goes for exhaling...(and this is where I find myself a lot). If you continue to breathe out and give to everything without taking time to inhale, you have nothing left to give and you/I find myself gasping for little bits of "inhale" or things that would feed myself.
God made us to breathe. In and out. If you don't concentrate on your breathing and just lay on your back and relax, or watch someone sleep, there is a natural rhythm of in and out, sometimes a little more in and then a little more out...if we are working hard we need to do both more rapidly. And what an amazing parallel this is to life and our giving to others and needing time to be filled and "Sabbath".
Then I thought about how we are called to a life of giving. That is the model that Christ left for us is to constantly shine Him to the world around us. But what I tend to forget is the "refill" or the "inhale" that Christ also models and tells us to be intentional about. And of late I have found myself emotionally exhausted and feeling like I am doing nothing as well as I should. And this makes sense. Nothing is getting my full "exhale". I am down at the bottom of a breathe, taking little desperate sips of air here and there in order to have a little more to exhale.
How frantic does that feel?!
Then taking that further...what is the air that we inhale? I have been (as mentioned in a previous post) working quite a bit. And as a result of working the past, I don't know, 6 sundays? I have not been to church in at least that long. My home group, though I am appreciative for them, is very new to me and I don't have there relationships that encourage my spirit. I have found myself in a place where any spare moment that I have to myself (which are few and far between) I feel obligated to fill with some responsible activity (laundry) or succumb to the need to zone out or sleep for 30min, and as such the Word has not filled that space. My sweet husband, full of patience, has ended up seeing this madness happening and has felt very lost as to where to go to help me, and has just felt that he is adding to my "exhale" and not being adequate to fill my "inhale". This is such an unhealthy place to be!
So thank you Lisa, for being a vessel for my ever-gracious Father to speak a timely word to my heart. To remind me that yes, I am physically in the position where there is a lot required of me. But in order to continue to survive, and especially to do so with any sort of peace, I absolutely, must, intentionally, take time to breathe in. And He promises to fill that inhale with healing breath if I let Him. And maybe that is one of the many reasons why we are called to "pray without ceasing"...to be constantly aware of and inhaling in, our amazing Holy Spirit (ideally in a very natural rhythmic way) such that we would be always able to give the next thing that is required of us a full "exhale".
And then there is the physical aspect of "inhaling". A small amount of time dedicated to being still, pursuit of sleep that is sufficient, and realizing that it is okay to ask for help with other areas (like cleaning, etc) that would overwhelm that carved out time.
One more step in the journey...
Welcome to my stream of consciousness...I'm glad you could join me.