Separate? Or whole.

Today, I heard someone suggest we should separate from our day. To separate from our to-do list. For a few minutes to partition the aspects we wanted. That we prefer. And, I get it. Our days are busy. Our to-do lists are full, fast and anxiety-producing. How are you? Busy. How are you? Busy. Don’t we all just want to separate?

Yoga means to yoke. To bring together. To bring all the pieces of our lives in. All of them. Not to separate from the pieces of ourselves, but to draw them in. Connection. Like water molecules collecting up with other water molecules. We are made up of more than 70% water, and were born with this inherent desire to be attracted to the different aspects of ourselves.

Not to separate from our day/ our lives/ our bodies. Which is often our tendency. We are pretty good at that actually. A glass of wine. Or a bottle. Shopping online. Or maxing out our credit cards. Sex that’s out of integrity. There was a commercial when I was little, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” Anything to numb out. To separate and attempt to forget in a way.

I get it. I want to separate from certain circumstances. It would be much easier than facing it. Feeling it. Letting it fully digest in my being. Which is also different than analysis. Figuring, managing, maneuvering. Often we are up to that as well. We are either trying to separate from it, or dissect it apart even further.

And, we see it in our physicality as well. We go for a run and attempt to exhaust ourselves. Faster and faster and faster we run. We go to the gym. To the studio and often crave (like a glass of wine) exhausting, numbing, separating routines. That maybe if we can just focus on our abs and exhaust ourselves then we will feel better. Temporarily maybe. Exhaustion does have an effect. It does create a space that many of us have connected into where we feel empty. And, I get it. It feels temporarily good. And, then we return back to our mind, body, spirit. Is it any different than eating an entire tub of ice cream?

Rather, this great practice of Yoga asks us to invite it all in. To take a deep breath and collect up the disparate pieces of ourselves. The parts we like. The parts we don’t like. The easier circumstances. And, the more complicated ones. The ones we are so grateful to have. And, the ones we aren’t. The aspects we prefer. And the ones we don’t.

How else can we move forward? How else can we feel whole?

Sometimes days, weeks, months, years can go by without arriving into exactly who we are. Where we are. With all the pieces of ourselves collected up in the same time zone-past, present, future. In the same room. In the same inhale. In the same exhale.

Yoga is a practice that’s asking us to breath it in. All of it. The parts we like. The ones we don’t. Our preferences. Our aversions. What we understand. What we don’t understand.

How else can we feel whole? How else can we see clearly? Think clearly? Feel clearly? Act clearly? Otherwise, we are acting from a separate piece of ourselves. Some piece that has limited perspective. Limited understanding. Limited experience. Imagine doing a handstand with only one arm when you have two. With one finger when you have 10. You can do it, maybe. People do it. You might even spend a whole lifetime doing it. But, it’s a whole heck of a lot harder. And, metaphorically disintegrated.

What if instead we could plant our feet or our hips, and draw in a breath. And, with it all the pieces of ourselves we have cast aside. And bring them in. To the closest point within ourselves. With if we could hold steady with the full range of feelings that rise up within every single human being. What if we could witness our turbulent minds. Thoughts coming. Thoughts going. Thinking we are this thought. Then, thinking we must be that thought. Then, witnessing yet another thought pattern emerge.

Seeing clearly that we are in fact all of it, and none of it simultaneously. In a way that brings us deep and clear freedom. A freedom to be in an unbroken and undamaged state of being. The sum total. The aggregate of our full birth to death experience.