For months I had been spinning my wheels, irritated and unhappy at my job, looking for a new city to move to, a new group to join, a new technique to learn, anything to alleviate this feeling of going nowhere. Unhealthy habits had crept back into my life like opportunistic pests sensing my weakness. I just wanted to feel better. To feel like I was doing what I was meant to be doing. And in all that effort to be doing, I lost my being.
Due to the stress, the unhealthy habits, and the vicious cycle that these two factors seem to always enable, my meditation practice had tampered off to a few minutes every morning before I started my day. I clung to this like a life raft, and indeed it was, and still is, a practice that keeps me afloat during precarious times.
My short morning meditations had started to develop a common theme. Depending on when I woke up, I would sit for a while, or simply pause in my little mediation room and bow for a few minutes, but one element silently crept in and began to tie everything together as my prayers evolved from a myriad of requests to one simple plea:
Guide me. Guide me through this day.
Lead me to the people who need me and to the people I need, too.
Lead me forward towards that which my soul is longing for.
I'm here. I'm listening. Just guide me.
Something about the act of just admitting now lost I felt was a huge relief, and became the most peaceful part of my day. Surrendering control, even for a moment, and allowing myself to commit to being open to what lay ahead- without any idea about what it could be- became my morning ritual.
And so when I received an email from my yoga community announcing a four month training in India that would be personally taught by the spiritual head of Kriya Yoga International, instead of dismissing it as a opportunity that I was neither prepared for or worthy of and moving onto the next email, I paused, listened within, and quickly realized that this was a door that was standing wide open, as an answer to my inner prayer, and was mine if I chose to accept it. Everything within me shouted "yes!" And it would still take months of deliberation, being struck by flying objects (seriously) and subsequently coming into exactly enough money to pay for the program expenses before I finally committed. But the Knowing never budged, because I never stopped trusting it.
The Knowing has to be surrendered to. Every morning, if possible. Every moment, every breath- even better. The Knowing may ask you to do really scary things. Jump out of comfort zones and into the unknown. It will never push you. But will quietly wait, patiently, while you run in circles here and there, drive yourself crazy in all of your effort to figure things out and establish security, and will still be there once you have collapsed in exhaustion. It will be smiling slightly, sitting calmly and will ask you one more time, "are you ready to let go, and be led?"
I trusted that Knowing across an ocean and all over a country I had never been to. It took care of me every step of the way. And I'm still struggling to let go of wanting to control life. But my grip is much looser and my faith in the Knowing, much stronger. And whenever I find myself running in circles and collapsing again into a puddle of confusion, I remember that calm smile, and the path that is illuminated just beyond it, just bright enough for me to see where to take the next step.