Strange to speak of renewal in the winter I know but each breath, each moment, is an opportunity for renewal. Long ago I gave up on perfection, but it does nag my subconscious a bit when I don't do the things I say I want to do. I have a new sadhana partner which has really helped me renew my Kundalini Yoga practice and given birth to my own personal sadhana for the first time in my 12 year practice. I'm falling in love with those early morning hours--the quiet, the sun rising through the windows, the sliver of moon setting to the northwest.
I'm beginning to understand what people mean when they say their sadhana saved their lives. I think I've been running on luck and fumes for years! But now I'm enjoying the practice and I feel renewed. A new beginning after 12 years! Everything is changing and the practice is holding me steady in the wake of my awakening--love is blooming and my heart is opening and it's exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.
Along with renewing this blog, and renewing my relationship to love, I'm hoping to renew my writing projects and get things going on my next book that I started more than 3 years ago! While I was in San Francisco I experienced a renewal of my relationship to AA. So although winter is creeping in, it feels like spring!
Meditation on Renewal
breathe in, breathe out
something new, something old
receive and let go
live in the flow
allow life to unfold
budding trees against stormy sky
spring comes as
winter draws near
More than 12 years ago, I took my first Kundalini Yoga and Sexuality workshop from Sewa Singh Khalsa in Seattle, Washington. It was the beginning of a very long process of transformation. I remember crying, sobbing really, during that first workshop and hearing him say to the men in the room, “Look! See what you have done!” Sewa Singh went on to become one of my first teachers and has had a profound impact on my journey within this dharma. A few years ago at Summer Solstice Sadhana I took his sexuality workshop again and I’m happy to report I laughed (instead of cried) all the way through it. Something had healed within me.
But one of the things he always told me that I never really understood was what to expect from a man. He often said to me, If a man sees you and doesn’t immediately want to serve you and devote his life to you then he’s not worth your time! Well, you can imagine my reaction to such an idea. I mean, we all grow up with fairy tales but this was too much to expect, wasn’t it?
I was a woman who had spent the better part of her life “chasing” men, pouring myself out to them, longing for them, serving them, and then waking up two years later not remembering what I even enjoyed doing anymore; my entire identity having been subsumed by the man in my life. The idea that someone somewhere was out there ready to worship me just by looking at me seemed absurd.
Meanwhile, I finally quit looking. The exhausting search of my 20s and 30s over, I relaxed into my life as a single woman: teaching, training, singing, writing, cooking and laughing, lots of laughing! I still remembered Sewa Singh’s words, but I didn’t put any hope in them—not for myself anyway. I was resigned to a life on my own—and it was a good life. But then one day this fall I sat behind the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and received a message that would change my destiny—and my faith in these teachings.
As a woman in this path we are encouraged to simply radiate and be still, to allow the world, and specifically the man in our life, to orbit us. As someone who was once described as a meteor, you can imagine my dismay. This type of stillness simply wasn’t in my toolbox. Yet, I had surrendered to my life as it was and I was happy; and therein lies the key. Waiting for nothing, I received everything.
I was given this message: “I am sending your husband.” With a skill built over many years, I immediately assessed that this must be a projection of my own ego—a desire. Still something in me was curious. Then I sat down in the sangat and heard the hukam: “The bride has waited in good faith and rejoices for her husband has come.” Well, I couldn’t ignore the two events together and call myself intuitive. But I was cautious; I asked my friends to pray for me because I felt something big was about to happen.
Three weeks later I received an e-mail from a man who will most likely (if I can stay out of the way) become my husband. The Guru’s word fulfilled. And like my teacher once told me, here is a man ready to serve me, love me and devote his life to me—and I had to do what? Nothing.
Now, it would seem that this fairy tale ending is the point; but it’s not. For many of us, being single is who we are and who we will remain. The point is to give yourself to the Guru and be still. Love your life and live your identity. Everything comes and goes in its own time. Be in the flow and grow and glow. This is the way of sahaj; this is the way of the devotee; this is the way of the woman.
(A version of this story appears on the blog I AM A WOMAN)