Monday, January 17, 2011

She Said, "Don't Hold Your Breath"


I am a student of my own body, and my guru is the ability within me to be open and receptive to the lessons of my world. My textbook is written not on pages, but on the lashes of my eyes, so that when they fall, I may make a wish for the next lesson to be inscribed before my eyes. And even though it seems that sometimes the tests come before the lesson, hindsight is 20-20, and the lessons can be found in the past. And in every breath I take, I bring in newness, freshness, and opportunity, and I exhale the old, stale energy that no longer serves me. Each breath is a chance to start again, an erasure of everything but now, and the ability to choose a new direction.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yin and Yang

My boyfriend and I are doing the long-distance thing. As with any relationship, there are more an less difficult times, but a few weeks ago, I was feeling frustrated by our communication patterns that were emerging. I felt an imbalance in our relationship. The feeling was taking hold over the course of several days, and one night, I went to a Kirtan, during which I was very tired. It was just before the last chant of the night that I thought I would quietly make my leave, unnoticed, when the kirtankaar (a very talented one named Tanuj) began his introduction to the final chant- a chant for balance between Shiva and Shakti- the male and female energies of the universe, respectively. I thought, "...Maybe I should stay..."

Later that night, after discussing and resolving the issue at hand, I felt much more balanced.

During his visit here, we were doing our yoga practice, and he commented on how his right side has more tension and pain than his left, and at almost the same moment I noticed the increased tightness on my left side as opposed to my right, and a light bulb turned on for me. In (most) Traditional Chinese Medicine literature, it is claimed that Yang energy (associated with male energy) resides on the right side of the body, and Yin energy (associated with female energy) resides on the left side of the body.

While there is some controversy about how to diagnose the imbalance between Yin and Yang energy, and because it, as well as everything else in the body, is interdependent, it's difficult to make any clear and definitive distinctions of causation. It may be that pain on the left side is signaling an issue with Yin forces; however, it could also be interpreted that there is a manifestation of Yang on the left side because of a problem with the masculine forces. Complicated.

It was interesting, though, to be confronted with the seemingly opposite nature of my pain and my partner's pain. Maybe, instead of opposite being attracted to one another, rather they compliment each other.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name...

First of all, let me say I dislike the term, "boyfriend." Anyone who is in a serious romantic relationship should not be called a boy, but a man. Same goes for "girls;" if you are mature enough to share intimately with another, you are a woman. That said, the English language does not provide terms understood widespread to refer a significant other without other connotations. Other words like partner, or companion have the implication of a gay relationship. While there is nothing wrong same-sex relationships, our society has a tendency to categorize and specify based on what is conventional. Other words like significant other, gentleman caller or beau are either too formal or too old-fashioned. Then there's the term lover that if used in casual conversation would raise some eyebrows because of it's association with purely sexual relationships. I find myself hard-pressed to find a word that balances the emotional maturity, level of commitment, expressed intimacy and effort required in a sophisticated young-adult/adult relationship. It just doesn't feel quite right to use the same word I used in 7th grade for my current, and life-long innamorato (Italian for "a man with whom one is in love").
But then again, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.