Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Discipline to Show Up

I was born 26 years and 26 days ago. Maybe it's the waves of change that have salted the water of my life recently, but this year seems especially celebratory for me. This got me thinking about what has happened to get me here, 26 revolutions around the sun, and very grateful for each one.

It takes about 274 days to grow a human that can very likely survive outside of another person. Note the always exciting feat of birthing this little being - the hours of labor, any post-operatives for baby or mother, etcetera.

In the first few moments of life post-utero, we arrive, charged with the incredible work of taking our first breath. If this doesn't sounds that noteworthy, consider that we basically have to suck air into a dense, fluid filled cavity that is locked shut with the force of hydraulic pressure, through a passage not much bigger than a  coffee-stirring straw...

Approximately 25 million air sacs are contained in a newborn's lungs, all designed to help extract oxygen from the environment in order to fuel so many processes in the body.

This is remarkable and stupefying at once. To consider that at some point in a past that we probably cannot remember, we chose to go through this be born, to exist just mind blowing, unfathomable, too abstract to adequately conceptualize, and maybe even a trigger for skepticism.

I [and you] grew for the better part of a year, the same amount of time it takes to travel millions and millions of miles around the Sun [which is millions and millions times larger than our entire planet]. We breathe, we live, we relate, we change shape. It's remarkable and not always easy.

Sometimes the hardest part of a yoga class is just getting there, of dragging yourself off the couch, out of the warm snug of a lover, away from the interwebs, whatever. Sometimes it's just hard to show up. Sometimes it's easier to finish a to-do list then sit and meditate on the sound of your own breath. Sometimes the hardest part is showing up...but the silver lining is that the really hard part is already over. We've taken the most difficult breath already. All the rest are automatic.

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