"Personality and personal identity are in some ways like co-ordinates on the street map drawn by our interesting relationships. We know who we are and we define what we are by references to the people we love and our reasons for loving them."
-excerpt from Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts

Woke up this morning, after a short stint at sleeping, to walk to the shala with a dreary mist blowing in my face...it being unseasonably cool...I shivered not from the cold but of the thought...am I back in Ohio and is it October? Yikes! Funny, because the weather kind of matched my mood...I was feeling down...that meditation last night shook some more crap up to the surface...I thought I was fine last night...guess not. However, once inside the shala my mood lifted momentarily...yes!..the favorite part of my day. I did a bit of maneuvering though...I got out of my usual spot and found some place new...you never want to be too comfortable...I wanted to change my perspective. But, I was next to this guy who kept knocking his arms into me and his legs would be all up on my mat...when my practice was done I thought to myself...did I just get beat up by this dude? Funny thing is...he had no awareness of it...I guess I'm more amused by it than pissed off. What can ya do.
Sharath came up to me while I was back-bending and said..."Krounchasana"...in a authoritative but kind way. I think I was more happy about doing krounchasna than getting another posture...because its one of my all time favorite asanas (c'mon we all have our favorites).
During backbending he helped me reach for my ankles again...but this time he let go for a moment so I could stand on my own...I rooted strongly through my legs and my spine popped all the way up through my upper back. YES! That felt awesome. My upper back never pops. I think I just grew a couple inches after that...if felt so good.
So...after practice and breakfast...I headed over to Kumar's early, since I agreed to be an example for his massage students, just to debrief over some of the stuff I'd been feeling. I mean...this meditation is intense...but I'm also doing a fairly intense yoga practice too...so I had questions. I told him I was feeling a bit agitated...and that doubt...that doubt is creeping up again...something I experienced several months ago. He simply told me that this is a good time for me to be totally aware of what I am feeling...take a look at it...so I can grow from it. I looked at him like...riiiight...that sounds like fun. But seriously, this is good stuff...
In my heart...I know what this is...and it scares the shit out of me quite frankly. Its about taking the next step...no holding back...just taking it. Living my truth...not talking about it...but living it...not saying I'll do it...but really doing it...and there is responsibility in that...my awareness has expanded but now its time to grow into it. Its time...and I feel it so strong...but then...why do I doubt myself in the same process? That's what I have to examine...
I remember trying to live up to some standard...that was so false for me and slowly ate away at my soul. And, this past year has been so representative of that...so many changes. I remember it so clearly last October...when I had this whispering in my ear saying...your life is about to change...like it or not...it was almost like this force...Then a month and a half later everything set into motion...first, my long-term relationship ended...I lost my corporate job...and I remember it as clear as day as I was driving to my friend's house...there was that whispering again...it said go to India. So, months later when my passport & visa were stolen just a week and a half before my trip...I felt really defeated...like why? I told a trusted friend and mentor...I lost my identity...and she placed both hands on my shoulders and said..."yes you did...and what does that mean?" At the time I wasn't sure if I needed to hear those wise words...but because I respected her so I knew exactly what she meant. It was symbolic for me to start...to start on the path of relying on something much more real than what we build in a material sense...and I thank God for that lesson...as hard as it is...and I thank God for all those who've guided me and supported me on this journey. Peace.

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