I re-read the greeting / opening in my second-to-last newsletter, and decided it might be worth sharing with a wider audience. Do people ever tell you to “Have a Blessed Day!” or respond to you “I’m blessed”, when you ask how they are doing? I’ve pondered this one for years, and I think the reason this language doesn’t sit right with me is twofold:
1) It’s not in my world view to think that one person is “blessed” any more than anyone else, which is implied. (Some people sure appear lucky, but we can never really know what it is to be in that other person’s shoes. We just imagine, and do our best to be compassionate – starting with ourselves).
2) Along with this theme – “blessed” means someone or something outside of you blessed you. I am aware of the religious overtones. And I’m pretty cool with God (so long as this God is cool with all people and creatures).
We in the yoga world sometimes toss around the word “blessed” without overt religiosity, but it feels inauthentic (to me personally). The greatest joys in my life have come from me actively participating in it. Not passively. Not any more “blessed” by a higher being than anyone else. Blissed by the process. By taking the reigns and enjoying the journey. “There’s no failure in practice, there’s only failure to practice” Moses Brown. Bliss by immersion in the practice, bliss by immersion in the process, bliss by walking the path.
I’d better clear up one thing before I cut and paste: I’m from the south, so there ain’t no way I’m going to stop saying “bless you” when those around me sneeze. Sometimes it’s ok to “bless” someone else.
Now for the cutting and pasting:
Miraculously, for the 10 days I was in Seattle and Vancouver it didn’t rain at all! Bright, blinding sunshine followed us nearly every day. It was blissful to be without agenda, organically savoring one handcrafted meal before rambling to the next. I heard it was raining a lot in my hometown, DC, but even then, do you know what surprised me? I was excited to come home. Yes, even excited to write this newsletter.
It is a darn cool thing to love my day-to-day life as much as vacation. “Blessed” insinuates passivity. Although I rock the attitude of gratitude for 10,000 things that have come effortlessly in my life, I know I actively crafted my current life set-up (inside and out). (If you’ve been following my newsletter for a while, look back to April 2013 for a tiny bit of the back story)!
More juicy details on this subject will come up on my blog and during the my Feb and May retreats. In the meanwhile, let’s connect over on facebook, or Instagram (where I’ve posted some great vacation photos. XO, Ariele
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