Every once in a while I have the urge for a good yoga practice, but I don’t practice regularly anymore. I keep meaning to start up again, to find a new studio, but then life gets in the way and all of a sudden it’s been months since yoga even crossed my mind. It’s unfortunate, because each and every time I do allow myself a good yoga practice, I am reminded how much I love it and how wonderful it makes me feel, both inside and out.
Recently, although I haven’t been to a studio in quite some time, I’ve decided to treat myself to some yoga movements at home on days when I either don’t have time for the gym, or days when I simply feel that I need some healthy, flowing movement to feel my best. I sometimes just do this on my own, moving through whatever flow feels good in the moment. However, I’ve also taken to searching the corners of the internet for some guidance when my brain isn’t feeling up to the task. This has brought me to Lesley Fightmaster on Youtube, and I’ve found her videos to be just challenging enough, but also the flow and relaxation that I need sometimes.
In one of the recent videos of hers that I followed, she finished the practice with a poem by Rumi, entitled Houseguest. I just wanted to share this with all of you today, because it struck something within me that was hard to let go. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
In that moment, this poem really resonated with me and has stuck with me ever since. I find myself thinking of it often, going back to read it over and over since that day. It’s a poem that’s been around for centuries, yet it’s one that I feel can impact each and every one of us at any time in our lives.
It just really struck me as a beautiful notion, to embrace the bad things that come into your life, instead of always trying to push them out. We expend so much energy trying to get rid of the bad in our lives in order to make room for the good, but maybe there is something to the notion that the bad things are there for a reason, and instead of always pushing, maybe sometimes we should allow these things to run their course without too much stress or negative energy expended.
Of course that’s easier said than done, but I think that we do sometimes spend too much energy worrying about the bad things, and all of that worry can cause you to miss out on something good that may come your way. We’re not all going to love all negative things that happen to us, or celebrate them by any means, but maybe trying to find some peace in them is what we’re missing. Whether or not you are a believer in “everything happens for a reason” (I am), I think that some solace can be found in the belief that even negative circumstances can bring good to some extent.
Maybe whatever we are going through makes us stronger, maybe it prepares us for a future circumstance, or maybe it just teaches us a little life lesson in humility. Whatever it is, embracing and allowing life’s changes both good and bad could lead to a little bit more inner peace, once you stop giving all of your energy to the negative things that may occur.
Let’s face it, there is no way to completely avoid all challenges or disappointments, it’s just part of life, although sometimes very difficult to understand. But maybe the key here is that we don’t always need to understand, that we can just let things be and do our best to continue on in the face of adversity. “Meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in” really resonates with me specifically. Meet things head on, take control, and do your best to turn each day into something that will make your future better.
Readers: Do you have a any specific quotes or poems that resonate with you, that you turn to at different times in your life?