I like to teach that the transitions in a yoga practice are just as important as the poses themselves. In meditation I am constantly looking for the spaces between my thoughts. Between worry and celebration lies peace. Creating space is more difficult than making up stories about who I am, what I will do or why things happen.
My dad always told me that life is a series of hills and valleys. This image has helped me to keep my expectations realistic but enjoy those fleeting times when I’m feeling on top and to accept my life and remain hopeful when I’m down. As my life continues on, I am learning that the highs and the lows aren’t necessarily where the meat of life lies, but rather in the spaces between, the climbing and the coasting. The peaks and dips seem to come so quickly and without much warning, while the trek up and the ride down show what a person is made of.
I had a terrible and terrifyingly low day not long ago (that I might write about someday) and ever since then I have been totally content with my slow, boring climb. It took me some time, but I decided to use this experience to change my outlook and appreciate all that I have even more than I already do and to teach myself and my kids that we have to get back out there and not be afraid to live.
As the weeks have gone by, my anxiety about the danger and vulnerability of life have lessened, but then Monday’s bombing at the Boston marathon reminded me of how quickly everything can change with no warning at all. Seeing how much so many lost in an instant was devastating, but I now await the inspirational stories of what these people will do with their heartache. It will be a slow and exhausting climb back from tragedy. The fact that this is our world is hard to swallow and even harder to explain to my children. But the stories are coming and they will give us hope and create wonder knowing that such good and happiness lies in the spaces between.