Pirate Ships, Yoga, Life.

Have you ever been on one of those pirate ships at amusement parks where you slowly and gradually swing higher and higher on each side until you almost seem like your going to flip over?

This is basically life.

All signs point to the fact that ups and downs are inevitable and nothing ever really stays the same.  These ups and downs start small, little back and forths, and gradually swing higher and higher and more extreme. At this point, at least for me, I think that maybe, just maybe if I held on a little tighter I could start to control the ship. Then, maybe things would calm down a little bit, a little more comfortable, a sense of ease.

So I push. I prod. I change things. I hold on for dear life because if I don’t cling onto everything with my little claws I might lose everything I love – or worse, fall completely off into a pit of doom and despair – or death.

This behavior seems to come with a heavy backlash. Little by little I’ve swung side to side, back and forth. I become accustomed to the swinging and I begin to feel immune to the rocking. 

I find myself teetering on the edge of my seat, hanging on for dear life.

I begin to swing so violently that as each swing peaks, I think I might fall out – freak out – crawl out of my own skin – collapse – again – maybe even die.

This is the jarring and exhaustive swing I have found myself in over the years, time and time again. It used to last for years, now it’s easier to catch in a day or two or a week or sometimes within the same day. But it’s the same message every time.

SLOW DOWN and LET GO.

The thing is, is that sometimes it feels more painful to slow down because I’m terrified that if I slow down, I might lose it – lose it all.

As I’ve talked to others, this seems to be others experiences as well

in fear of letting go, we fear we may lose our families, our businesses, our money, our house, our car – all the things that we’ve held onto, all the things that make us US.

But what if, what if we gently let go, little by little. We let go the death grip we have on our lives. The counter swing becomes slightly less jarring. Life doesn’t have to scream at you so much to SLOW DOWN. You let go and you realize…oh my gosh! I’m still alive. Everything’s actually OK.

And there you find yourself, gently rocking back and forth in a calm, comfortable and soothing manner.

It feels as if the Mother Earth is gently rocking you back and forth, just as if you were a baby.

And to your surprise, it FEELS GOOD. You don’t feel like you’re going to fall off your seat. You can look around without getting dizzy. You can see the ground. You can feel your feet.

And here, if we choose, is where we can stay. We can stay here in the warmth and gentle rocking of life, carefully and gently walking down the middle line – the middle way. Sometimes we stumble a little to the left or right, but that’s OK. Soon, we’re back on the right track. We don’t fall off quite so long or quite so far.

This is the middle way.

There’s a reason that yoga preaches “the middle way.” Because it’s just all too true. (Even though, DANGIT, I don’t want to always believe it!)

For me, I was taught the middle way a long time ago – but I fought and clawed my way through life, hoping that I could control everything so I would be MORE  happy and be MORE successful and have MORE friends and MORE MORE MORE MORE.

Not till I realized the backlash I was receiving did I decide to let go – and ever so slowly, finger by finger, I’m starting to return to the middle.

And let me tell you it really does FEEL GOOD.