Old friends…some we let go of…some the flow of life has just carried us down stream of…They were ours for a season…we have great memories and we learned so much together and experienced life together and now we might say hello during the holidays..make a random phone call ,”What was your recipe for upside down apple pie with the pecans on the bottom?? “
But there are some old friends who hover in our spirits… we are still connected by a silken thread of love…of memory…and of a faint glimpse of a future that could still unfold if we would just take a step. Maybe we are faced with a meddling fear…what if it isn’t as good? What if I don’t have enough to offer? Yet, we have to face it… the movement forward lies within….we have to take a breath… a moment of stillness between the thought, the emotion and the action.
This is where my heart was when I stepped onto my yoga mat last week. My old friend…not a girlfriend, a neighbor, co-worker or lover…but the very practice I am still teaching others to love…the practice of breath, self awareness, movement, focus, surrender…has escaped me so often in the last year that I have become disconnected from the very sacred joys that called me to teach the practice to begin with . Part of the rift has been the issues of life…family, wedding, travel…aging parents. Another wedge has been my own body complaining painfully because it had become out of balance. Needing to strengthen here, diagnose the real issue there…rotator cuff is torn…I am sure it is a very old injury that I have dealt with for many years but didn’t have a name so the necessity of staying on course for strength and healing was vague.
So I the other day…I took off my shoes, as God commanded Moses to do as he stood by the burning bush…and stepped onto the holy ground of my mat. I lifted up prayers for patience, awareness, a new connection…and I began again. I used to think I was “less than” for not pursuing the “advanced” poses and contortions of a very athletic approach to yoga. But as I am exploring a renewed calling in this ministry to others as well as a kinder and truly authentic approach for myself, I feel a sense of true freedom washing over me. Maybe it just comes with age…or enough self inflicted injuries to force the need for it to the surface. But I hear God’s voice from the book of Isaiah, chapter 43 saying to me once again ,
” Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See ,I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
And streams in the wasteland.”
The practice was softer…with the blessing of greater awareness dictated by self compassion. The result? A sense of contentment…grateful and happy to feel, to connect to reach, to explore.
Yes, God is leading me into new ways of being. Who knows what is in store? Instead of becoming mournful over what I have let lay fallow, I am choosing to see what a newer, kinder and truly real way will spread out before me. What a wonderful realization…that my dear old friends…God’s presence in the breath, my body, my heart…have not abandoned me nor forsaken me. That God’s mercies are truly “new every morning”!
And so now I wonder…Is there an “old friend” within you? What new thing might be springing up in you? What might you need to bless and set afloat so that new ways of being can come to fruition? A dream, a part of yourself that needs a wash of renewal? You are such a treasure…please allow me to encourage you to take time to close the door, take off your shoes and sit with your loving Creator…on holy ground.
Old friends…sometimes they live within.