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How to Navigate the Dance of Grief and Gratitude

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Hello there, Dear Ones.

In Jivamukti Yoga, the Beloved School of Yoga that I did my first yoga teacher training in back in 2005, there is always a "Focus of the Month". For this month of November, the focus has been “Life is Cosmos, Not Chaos".

And throughout the month, I’ve really been reflecting on the different ways that we as humans can create chaos for ourselves.

Patañjali teaches us - yogas chitta vritti nirodha - Yoga is when we quiet, the fluctuations of our mind that create chaos.

A focus specifically that I have for today is that life is a gratitude prayer.

In life, one of the most difficult struggles that I feel we as humans experience is the difficulty in holding space for paradoxes.

Holding space and witnessing the experience of gratitude - simultaneously - alongside grief.

The question is - how can our experience of gratitude not invalidate or diminish our lived experience of grief?

Just as - how can our lived experience of grief not invalidate or minimize our experience of gratitude?

This idea feels like - in the art and practice of yoga and mindfulness - where the rubber meets the road.

How can we hold space for the Both/And...

for the paradox...

knowing that both can be true simultaneously?

I feel it’s our mind those - chitta vritti - those fluctuations - of our mind that really create the chaos and have us live in this land of that we have to be dichotomous.

Where we have to choose either/or.

I feel that when we’re put in that position of having to choose either / or that creates suffering and chaos.

One of my favorite lines in a chant is - "kindly release us from all calamity, bondage, and suffering, just as a cucumber is released from its stock without any injury".

For me, that reminds me of Cosmos.

That the natural evolution of a cucumber is to be released from its stock.

But it wouldn’t be the cucumber it is without the vine that it’s grown from, without the soil from which it grew and sustained its nutrients. And then, there is this natural evolution of release.

And so today, I really invite you to get curious about how you can hold space for the truth of the both / and.

Of honoring that dance of grief and gratitude in your own heart.

And that is one example of a paradox.

There are many emotional options of both / ands that we can hold space for simultaneously.

I am phenomenally grateful for all of you.

For being here, for helping be part of such a rich community of truth seekers... of being such beautiful wildflowers and coming together and being inspired by one another.

And exploring where are these truths and where these teachings lie in our own heart, so we may be that radiant sun that inspires other to keep searching within for that, spark for that light within their own heart.

May continually inspire others to show up fully in their whole hearts and bright spirits, no matter where we are, or where we find ourselves, or what city we may live in, or what country we may be visiting.

That is an inevitable, inherent divine, right and light within every one of us. And when we come together, we get to reflect on it with one another. We get to share it with one another. We get to inspire one another.

And how can we hold that gratitude in the depth of our heart in the forefront of our mind simultaneously with the weight of grief of that cucumber being released from its stock?

So, I invite you to allow that to land wherever it may - in the depths of your heart, in the forefront of your mind, and may it carry with you in movement and stillness, both on and off the mat.

All right, with all of that. I love you all so much.


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