I had lunch the other day with a friend whose life is suddenly brimming full with a variety of opportunities. Any one of them by itself would feel like a bounty. With multiple ones arising simultaneously, because they are not necessarily in perfect sequence with each other, making decisions seems like a conundrum rather than a blessing. Over a rather delightful lunch, my friend gave me many details of the various things that were going on, and the places where they seemed not to synchronize in a way that would allow her to have it all with ease. “Any words of wisdom?” she asked. When I was younger, I might have tried to make specific suggestions. Specific suggestions, though, are always colored by our own particular preferences, prejudices, and desires. Instead, I said, “In the style of yoga I practice, the first principle for starting every pose, which I find works for what I do off the mat as well, is to ‘open to grace.’
“Opening to grace means to soften, to listen, to open ourselves to the universal in which the details arise, to allow what is to be in the flow,” I added.
“Without getting into the details, the essence of the next alignment principle [muscular energy] is the application of proper boundaries. Even though we want to be soft and open, we still do not say ‘yes’ to everything. Although open to everything, we steady ourselves and use our knowledge to discriminate and find a good container for ourselves so that we can act with more light.”
“Ah,” my friend replied, “I’ve been trying to control everything without allowing things to unfold. What you are saying makes sense.”
My friend will find her own way, and I look forward to witnessing the great joys potentially unfolding for her. Any time she invites me to share some of the wisdom I’ve received from my teachers, it will be my delight to pass it on.