I've been sharing this poem in class lately. David Whyte is one of my favorite poets. He talks about this poem as an invitation to pay attention in a deeper way. Here's a great explanation and reading by the poet himself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq2NfrNt9EU Have a listen --- I love what he says: "There is no area of competency you can enter that will keep you safe from the disappearances of life."
Everything is Waiting for You
by David Whyte
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone.
As if life were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions.
To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.
Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus,
crowding out your solo voice
You must note the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things to come,
the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness
and ease into the conversation.
The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink,
the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness
and seen the good in you at last.
All the birds and creatures of the world
are unutterably themselves.
Everything is waiting for you.
As the days draw shorter and darker, and it gets colder here in the Windy City, you may find yourself becoming more isolated from others.
I invite you to remember your nature, and "your place in the family of things."
Please enjoy this beautiful poem by Mary Oliver:
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I've shared this quote in class several times over the past couple months, and received feedback that it's really hit home (pun intended) for a lot of students. I'm happy to share it with you here.
No matter how old we get or where we are, each of us at one time or another feels that twinge - that longing for home - the feeling that something is missing or lost. Sometimes we try to fill that emptiness or discomfort with other people, or activities, or food or drink or [insert your thing here].
Is it possible to decide, to choose, to be whole? To rest into and trust that you are lacking nothing in mind, body and spirit. To soften into that wholeness like a sweet, familiar song from long ago.
A student recently asked for recommendations on what to read to learn more about yoga and yoga philosophy. Here's a short list that includes some essentials and some other books that I've found truly helpful in my practice and teaching. There are more - but this is a good place to start! Enjoy!
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Bihar School of Yoga, Saraswati.
The Art of Pranayama, B.K.S. Iyengar
Light on Yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar
Atlas of Human Anatomy, Frank Netter
Living Your Yoga. Judith LaSater
Yoga for Wellness. Gary Kraftsow
Yoga for Pain Relief. Kelly McGonigal
Also, I'm highly anticipating the release of this book by my teacher, Tias Little: Yoga of the Subtle Body: A Guide to the Physical and Energetic Anatomy of Yoga.