A few evenings ago, I arrived to my weekly yoga class on the Palm’s beach. It was far from the idyllic conditions the class set off in, 2 months ago. Dubai winter has begun and brisk, chilled winds were already sending my yoga mat flying as our reduced class began. “What am I doing here? How can I open into postures when I am shivering and wanting to huddle up?” My graceful, assured teacher did come closer so she could be heard above the raucous gales, reminding me that once we warmed up that we’d be on the other side. As promised, a set of rigorous, long-held postures in no time circulated that life force and softened and unfurled my tense body. Nearly two hours later, she and I walked away, reveling in the vitality coursing through our bodies. She then so wisely commented on how we resist to anything uncomfortable, but once we go through and past the Death barrier, that release, freedom, peace and Bigger Seeing is on the other side.
This morning, a friend joined me for an invigorating sunrise swim. As we tiptoed through the cold, low-tide shallow waters, arms tucked in, staving off the inevitable plunge into the coldest temperatures yet this season, I remembered this yoga class and encouraged my friend, “Come on! Let’s just get through this death barrier and get to warmer waters and invigorated bodies deeper in.”
A former professor from grad school used to encourage us to try something new and unknown each week- whether eating a new fruit, trying a new sport or listening to unfamiliar music, to practice and prepare for a more graceful death transition when the big day comes. What would it mean to meet any death in a surrendered, trusting willingness? It would be to so know and believe my good is on the other side.
So when I swim again soon, I will untuck my arms, breathe into and feel the chill of my trailing fingers as I walk out further and further into deeper waters. When I find 101 things to do besides writing my book, including writing this blog entry, I will smile and go and open my book file and breathe through feisty gusts and frigid waters of fear and trepidation and simply write. I will remind myself that those distractions were just that good ol’ Death barrier teasing and testing me along. And when I feel the exhilaration of having written a spot-on paragraph or even an entire chapter I will laugh at the trickster Death is one more time.