August 21, 2013

When the Heart is a Lonely Hunter. ~ Shelley Adelle

I can touch my toes and balance on my arms for god’s sake, where’s my perfect lover?

She told me she wanted a man who could set her in her tracks. As a beautiful woman who has a talent for most things, she’d never been told “no.” In fact, obedience is one of her greatest skills.

We talked about it more after class and over lunch, and it turns out that she regards herself as a huntress. Like Minerva in the forest, her keen awareness allows her to seek out her prey and best it. There’s a craving, though, to be the object of desire—not the one that’s in charge of the pacing or destination. “It’s foreplay that’s missing,” she says.

I hear this often from my strong and powerful women. Do men struggle with this same challenge, I wonder? Are both sexes struggling with having everything they want and yet not wanting what they’ve got and can get?

Do we really want to anticipate more, to offset the high-speed constant access that modern life affords?

Applied to Yoga, I can see that her practice has helped her cultivate a deep awareness regarding her motivations. Boredom, sensual deprivation, a desire to be the object of affection, and loneliness plague her. She doesn’t always want what she knows she can have, yet there is a compulsion to forever control the hunt, to feel connected to anyone regardless of consequence.

Dialing into her breath has only accentuated her longing. Discontent lingers. There is a desire for the illusion of powerlessness: push me up against the wall, set me in my tracks, and see me!

She’s aware of her power and feels incredibly lonely, as if she were the only goddess in the forest.

It’s true. The gift of discernment, one of the fruits of our labors in downward dog, can sometimes taste bitter. We see ourselves from the outside, our great capacity to affect change and create joy, and in spite of ourselves we can still choose to act in the opposite direction of love.

We often choose sabotage.

We sabotage our freedom by chaining ourselves to relationships we don’t want and by chasing after relationships that don’t help us to grow.

We sabotage our peace by creating drama and strife where none exists, with gossip and with substance abuse.

We sabotage love’s gifts by setting up rules that do not reinforce trust, clarity and acceptance.

We sabotage our health by refusing to rest and by sharing our bodies with the wrong people.

In all of these areas, we choose to ignore our inner voices and to act with our lower mind. Worse still, we are childlike and inflict these wounds upon others. We may take the time to allow the long process of Yoga to unfold, but then we fail to remember all of the sweat and tears it took to get into that first full backbend and we become impatient in our day to day.

I can touch my toes and balance on my arms for god’s sake, where’s my perfect lover?

Having received the revelation that we are powerful, turned-on beings, we can minimize the power of others and convince ourselves that we are alone with our magic wands. This is a folly.

Instead of bemoaning the lackluster that surrounds her, my friend would be well suited to jump into unfamiliar territory. In class I say, “Play with the edges and explore. Be daring, try not to anticipate. Leave room for surprises; be mindful of your reactions and how this affects your breath.” In life (and to my sweet friend) I say, “Break out of your patterns, try something new, surround yourself with fresh experience, work less, delight in that unknown and listen to your breath.”

I’m betting that by letting go of the need to control or best her prey, she’d find herself in an unexpected situation in the not-too-distant future, and she’d suddenly find herself cornered by someone who not only sets her in her tracks, but who also steals her heart, applauds her power, and forces her to catch her breath!

It’s the constant searching without purpose that exhausts us.

That’s the hunter who takes more than he can use and who encroaches on what others want just because he can. Without setting an intention to our actions, we become a bull in the proverbial china shop.

Too, if we leave class with unfocused Shakti we may inadvertently slay an innocent bystander who is attracted to our light but who doesn’t stand a chance against us if we set our sights upon them without first determining if it’s a relationship we actually want to be a part of, romantic or otherwise.

Better still, breathe into that dissatisfaction you feel, that loneliness and craving for foreplay, and see where it’s rooted. That is the fertile soil that must be tended. Perhaps we might be shocked to find there’s a room in our heart made of glass that only the tune of the universe can satisfy, a deep eternal “om” that comforts, uplifts, nurtures, tickles and caresses.

Perhaps it’s self-love that’s truly transformational!

I believe in love at first sight. I also believe in love that grows over time. Sweet yogis, hunt with intention. Set yourself a course and walk softly, and if you think you’ve mastered the acreage of your life then get your butt to a new and unfamiliar field!

Seek patience. Take what you need, leave the rest. Fear not. There are many powerful creatures frolicking throughout the forest.

And the perfect lover? Well, that begins within. Om Mani Padme Hum.

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Asst. Ed.: Moira Madden/Ed: Sara Crolick

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