Archive for November 9th, 2011

November 9, 2011

The Doorway

Ok, so stick with me on this post, I promise it’ll all come together!

On Monday, my yoga instructor spoke beautifully about the concept of obstacles. She is so amazing with word pictures, and used the example of a doorway.

I paraphrase Mel’s words,

“Imagine a doorway. You are on one side, this is your current life. Through the doorway, imagine being able to see all your desires…the realization of all your current dreams and goals. That doorway is there as a symbol of present and future. It has to be there, your present and future are two separate areas of your life…and the doorway separates them. The door is open, but there is still a threshold that you must cross. This threshold is an obstacle, or obstacles, that you may have in your life. You must overcome this obstacle before crossing through the doorway…but what awaits you on the other side will be well worth the journey. This is the purpose of balance, be it in life…or in yoga. Figuring out how to cross that threshold with grace and strength, so you are ready for what is beyond it, is the very idea of balance. In today’s class imagine this balance, pull into it, find your strength and then open yourself to what it can give you, and what you can give back.”

Yoga has become very symbolic of life to me.

The idea of balance used to frustrate me. I heard, and read everywhere that the key to being happy was balance in life. I had decided that this was something that stay-at-home wives decided was the key to life; women who had no worries about time management, kids being sick, or how their next grocery shopping trip would be paid for. Obviously, I am still learning about…well, everything. In the past few years, I’ve realized that the idea of balance is not universal…it is actually very personal. We each have to figure out what balance in life is, in our own lives.

In yoga, figuring out a pose is exactly the same as figuring out an obstacle in life. There is the small scale of trying to figure out the pose in a single class, knowing there will be another opportunity next time to learn more…and then there is the larger scale of feeling completely free in that pose, mastering that single pose. From there, the threshold of the doorway has been crossed and you are free to move forward. It may have taken you a day or a lifetime, you may have done it gracefully…or by trial and error. Either way…you’ve learned something and can take that with you as you come to the next doorway, the next threshold, the next pose.

It’s the same in life. Each day, we have to deal with obstacles…and we learn more day by day. Eventually, with enough work, we overcome the obstacle we’ve been living with. This allows us to move closer to our true desires in life; to cross the threshold of the doorway between our present and future. My goal is to figure out how to do this gracefully, to float through that threshold with a smile on my face…instead of falling headfirst through it, only minimally prepared for what lies ahead.

I’ve done that by the way, both literally in a yoga pose (many, many times…ouch!) and figuratively, through a threshold of a doorway. I may have overcome the obstacle, but with very little grace, and it wasn’t pretty. Both in life, and in yoga…I may have crossed the threshold, but I wasn’t completely ready for what was on the other side.  Crossing with strength and grace is a much better idea, and tends to lead to fewer pulled hamstrings!

The obstacles in your life are there for a reason. If you allow them to, they will push you toward that doorway. From there you are able to see what you can achieve by overcoming those obstacles.

We will be pushed to many doorways in our lives, and will have to overcome many obstacles to cross the threshold of those doorways. The question is, will you simply look through the doorway…knowing that there is joy on the other side, but refusing to overcome whatever is keeping you from it? Or will you chose to work hard and believe that the obstacle is there for your benefit, eventually choosing to overcome it? Will you choose to remain in the present, or embrace what the future holds?

While this may all seem very random, I do have a point that is relevant to the blog this week.

Yesterday, I was able to cross though a doorway. I had been stuck as a writer, not knowing how to write the next chapter in my adoption story. You all knew that I’d received an email very quickly after I’d sent my note…but I didn’t know how to even begin to explain what came next. I was afraid. Afraid to write the wrong thing, to be too personal…or not personal enough. I learned a very beautiful lesson about doorways though, and again, it corresponds to the practice of yoga.

When you’re standing at a doorway, aware of the obstacle that has pushed you to it, aware of what it will take to cross the threshold…you are not alone. In yoga, there are very few poses, none in fact, that I am able to feel fully free in without the physical guidance of my teacher aligning my body in the right way. I’m just not there yet. I can cross through the doorway though, with the guidance of my teachers.

In life, with my writing obstacle in particular…I wasn’t able to figure out the next step. I was standing at the doorway, knowing what pushed me there…but unaware of what it would take to cross through. A very special woman came alongside me at that doorway, and offered to help. She helped me find balance in the same way my yoga teachers do.

Thank you, Alexa, for helping me find that balance…so we could move through the doorway together, with grace and strength. Your post yesterday was perfect, and I am so excited for what we’ve found on the other side.

Thank you to the Sweetheart, for catching me when I’ve needed to fall in the past month, and in all the months before. Whenever I am pushed to a doorway, I know you’re there.

Thank you to Mom and Dad CYL, for being excited about something that could cause strife with many others.

Thank you to Doc and Mel, for teaching me that being pushed to the doorway is only the first step…and that stepping through it with grace and strength is possible.

And thank you guys, all of you who supported me in the last two adoption posts. Your words, comments, emails and thoughts mean the world to me.

So, what comes next? Come what may.