I was feeling sort of raw. Like my skin wasn’t working quite right, forgetting to protect my insides. Exposed. A naked heart that had had to accept just a little too much reality in one week. I walked in the empty room, unrolled my mat and attempted to let it all go.
But the harsh words + truths kept ringing in my head. An annoying bell, clanging.
A few more yogis took their places, chattering quickly + happily. The teacher finally settled into her spot. Her slow words + long smile, usually a comfort, a breath of fresh air, well, they bugged me in this moment. I just wanted to get going. I wanted to move my legs, hold difficult poses and breathe life back into my raw, unprotected heart. But I’d have to wait.
She started talking about the moon.
The fullness of the moon. Lord, help me. I can’t deal with the woo woo. Not tonight.
I half-smiled at her but, inside, I was rolling my eyes. Come on, lady. Let’s get into our dogs, sometime today.
She turned from moon talk to heart talk. To the fullness of my heart. I sighed, hesitantly leaning into the idea of all this. This moon + heart talk, instead of what I came for.
You never really get what you come for.
Maybe three minutes passed, and we started getting into the good stuff. The lengthening and movement I signed up for. Some warriors and triangles and pigeons, even an attempt at a scorpion! And then, as we’re bending + breathing our way into something tricky and my legs are shaking and I’m trying to relax my forehead and twist more and more still, at the same time…
The moon talk becomes real talk.
“When you’re in excruciating pain, can you soften your heart enough to feel full?”
Alright, Moonbeam, I get where you’re going. Your metaphors are magic. I’m a jerk for internally rolling my eyes at you. You win.
There’s a good 30 minutes left in class. And now, I recite those words over and over and over again in my mind. I don’t want to forget them because they are beautiful. They are the words, well, maybe not the exact words, but the concept, I want my life to look like. The me I’m working on being.
When I’m drained. When situations are too much. When hard truths come a swinging. Will I tighten my jaw and give sharp glances or will I soften and bend with the wind? When I’m hurt or disappointed or frustrated and I’m feeling sort of raw, will I be brave enough to let Jesus BE JESUS and breathe hope and grace and beauty and newness back into my bones, into my skin? To wrap up my naked, vulnerable heart.
That’s what I’m going for.
Less internal eye rolling and more open arms and heart, whether it’s woo woo or not. More space for goodness + fullness, even when my heart doesn’t feel good or full. Not glassing over hard truths or a raw heart, denying reality, pretending it’s something it’s not, but actually, truly, whole-heartedly believing, knowing there’s beauty in it all, if I choose to soften my heart + let Him fill it up.
Class ended. We all namaste’d Ms. Moonbeam. I rolled up my mat, grabbed my flip flops and keys and walked out into the night.
As the door shut behind me, the string of tiny bells tied to the handle bounced and danced together, quickly + cheerfully ringing. I looked up in the sky, searching for the fullness of the moon, my heart. And even though I couldn’t see it and dark clouds hid it from shining bright tonight, I know the truth is, behind the heaviness, underneath it all, it is there.