The Heart Rocks
Heart Rock Hunters!!!! You know it's going to be a good beach day when you start walking and all the rocks seem to be in the shape of a heart. And everyone that you pick up is even better than the next. I felt like that crazy Powter peroxide head woman, “Stop the Insanity” – This can’t be! They're all calling to you….you are throwing away ones that before today you thought were like nuggets of gold!! Even the seashells and the sand dollars are shaped like hearts. They are calling to you, “Pick me! Pick me!”
Some of my friends, non-yogis obviously (Haha) have made fun of my heart rock collection, calling me insane for being so obsessed (I prefer passionate) with them. So I looked it up and according to Wikipedia, there’s a more informal definition that insanity could be “considered highly unique, passionate or extreme, including in a positive sense.” So there.
Years ago when my collection started, it was clearly not out of passion and not positive, it was out of desperation; a search for love outside of myself and a need to see it in some form to make up for the love I was missing inside. At the time in my life, I was recovering from a broken heart. My heart was broken into pieces. My space around my heart felt empty. My only salvation on one sad day on Castle Island in Southie, as an attempt to free myself from the pain, was to throw a heart shaped rock that was given to me that signified the fullness of love that I felt with that person into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. My throw into the ocean felt like that one time during a softball game at Brandeis, when I filled in at Center Field from my usual spot at Shortstop. I threw that rock with all my power and all my might as if I was trying to throw out a runner at home. But this time I was the one who wanted to feel safe or at least less insane at the time.
As I sat down from all my replayed memories, crying and distraught, I sat in the middle of a Heart Rock Party. All around me, every rock was in the shape of a heart. My tears of sadness turned into tears of joy and with the help of some sisterly love (Thanks Claire!), my faith was renewed in an instant and my heart was full again, of hope that love is possible, you just got to keep looking! So…of course I took a picture and posted it on Faaaaaaacebook! And my Insane Heart Rock Party began… it renewed my faith in love and that it is still everywhere especially inside of our hearts even if sometimes we have to be reminded outside of ourselves.
Until that day and yes, unfortunately after, there were more moments of insanity when I kept banging my head against the same wall. Come to think of it, maybe it was my heart because that’s what felt like was getting crushed. There was a yearning and longing for love that I kept trying to recreate over and over again. What’s another definition of insanity??? Oh yeah, doing the same thing and expecting different results…
So now years later and a lot of searching, more inward searching, and now especially that I have moved 3000 miles away from family, support, comfort as I have known it (Insane right? I know…) Well, things are starting to take shape. Taking the shape of change, expanding into a new form. When last I left you, I was dancing the high wire act between a lion and a lamb, read In Like a Lion. As I continue to move onward and forward …finally!!! I’m starting to feel a shift. As I let go of the old - expectations of friendships, fear within relationships and most importantly, letting go of the way that things should be. As I am finding out, when I let go of the way that things should be or the way it used to be, then all there is, is now.
I feel really wide open, stripped and vulnerable. Not knowing the future and only remembering from the past that everything changes. And I learned that skill on my yoga mat. I’m not scared of that feeling. I’m used to it, my body knows it, my mind craves it and it’s like medicine for my heart. That feeling after Urdhva Dhanurasana, (Upward Bow) or Ustrasana (Camel) where it doesn’t matter how tired you are but all you have is your raw and open heart, exposed, vulnerable, incomplete and yet full all at the same time. The heart breaks. It’s meant to break because the way it puts itself back together will be a stronger, fuller and wiser heart.
"If you're really listening,
if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world,
your heart breaks regularly.
In fact, your heart is made to break;
its purpose is to burst open again and again
so that it can hold ever-more wonders."
Heart energy is regenerative and it will heal itself. Vulnerability now feels freeing instead of fearful. Worrying that some thing won’t work out turns into trust that it always does. In essence, everything always really does work itself out maybe just not in the way that we want it to, they way it was supposed to or the way we think it should be but then there wouldn’t be something that makes us pause and reflect.
And now today, I stand stronger and wiser yet softer and freer. I see possibility when I cultivate openness and freedom and what used to feel like separation now I am able to see as the reflection of what’s within and all around me. It is why I love yoga so much, I love teaching and I love practicing. I love being in the space of people connecting to themselves. What people often misunderstand about yoga is that it is something physical that we go to do. Yoga goes beyond the physical. That’s just one way in, not the only way and then it leads to other ways that go deeper. It transcends skin and bones and what we can see. The lines in our bodies turn into lines of energy and those energy lines, nadis, continue where the physical body ends. We are not just connecting to our own bodies, we are connecting to the infinite space within the physicality; that divine space, the higher consciousness, the universal state that vibrates around our Heart Chakra. The electromagnetic field that expands beyond the body is the same kind of energy that floats around a yoga room, it’s an elevation of vibration. It is a place of freedom, openness, possibility and most emphatically connection! In English, the word "sane" derives from the Latin adjective sanus meaning "healthy". The phrase "mens sana in corpore sano" is often translated to mean a "healthy mind in a healthy body". So… by that definition, I don’t want to be sane. Sure I want a healthy mind in a healthy body. But I want my heart to expand outside this body. I want to be in-sane. I want walls or illusions that we are separate to fade away. I want to be in-spired, fused with spirit and I want that high-vibration feeling of a yoga room to transcend off the mats and into the world!
So yeah it’s a little simplistic, the shape of the heart in a rock to inspire the heart shape in the body but so what, love is simple. There are days when you need to see the shape of a heart. You need to see the shape to remember love, you need to see the outside to remember what's within. But today was not one of those days. Today the outer matched the inner. Today my heart field was so full and expanded that it was my walls, my expectations and my past that dissipated and crumbled all around me into pieces into the beautiful shapes of the ever-changing and expanding heart.