(Written March 31, 2016.)
We experience change in cycles, especially in nature. The changing of the seasons – winter, spring, summer, fall – is a cycle of change. We usually enjoy and embrace the change of seasons and come to express this change in different ways. In springtime, for instance, we purge our clutter and clean out the closets. We open the windows and breathe in fresh air.
Today during my yoga and meditation practice, I reflected on the in-permanence and cycle of change. It was partly prompted by the state of my career journey, but also by the beauty found in the change in weather. (Note that I’m inspired to tell this story, as I love learning how the practice plays out both on and off the yoga mat.)
Upon arriving at yoga I stepped out of the car into a rain and light hail storm. Take cover; watch out! Once safe inside the warm and quiet studio, the rain took somewhat of a back seat as I breathed in the calm and arrived to my perch overlooking the prairie. I was no longer getting pelted with precipitation, and could now enjoy the cleansing nature of rain from a safe haven. While practicing I focused my visual attention on the beauty of the chaotic birdbath sitting atop a stone covered balcony and sanctuary of Buddha statues, rocks, and succulent planters, just above the prairie. The water droplets were hitting the birdbath and invoking a quite tumultuous basin of water. I found joy and beauty in the sheer unrest and unease of the moving water. After the rain soon passed, a most beautiful transformation occurred. Mist from the ground filled the prairie and field of grass just beyond it. The water vapor rose into the sky, creating a wispy, fog like mist that clouded the air like a light smoke. The water was evaporating just as soon as it had landed and was cycling back into the atmosphere. I found so much beauty in this transformation, just as one can find beauty in the cycles of practicing yoga. Breathe in, breathe out, up, down, breathe in, breathe out, repeat.
The short-lived transformation of water from rain and hail to a wandering fog mist made me smile. Transitions between phases are impermanent. This is part of their beauty. It is a skill to see and BE IN the transition just as we are IN the state. By this I mean, we get wet by the rain and look to the sky again once the storm has passed. However, in between, we might be lucky enough to see the literal transition between rain and clear sky.
One way to describe my career journey right now is that I’m on the verge of a transition to a yet undetermined next step. One way to experience this is to enjoy the rain while I’m in it. Sing and dance; splash in the puddles. Another way to experience this is to acknowledge that it’s raining, while anticipating the mist. Can it rain through a foggy mist? In this latter way, there is a great struggle to enjoy each state for what it is. Moreover, given that the next step in my career path is yet undetermined, the stage of foggy mist has nowhere to vanish to. It must just BE. It is in this that I find uncertainty and discombobulating feelings. It is from this place that I seek calm and a sense of balance.