Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to choose, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. —Gilda Radner—
Last Saturday, September 8th, was my 10 year anniversary of ordination as a Lutheran pastor. I haven’t served full-time in a congregation for three years. Over the past three years I have wrestled with my ego, my sense of purpose, my vision for the future and more; all because I experienced a huge loss of identity as a pastor. It hasn’t been an easy role for me to just set down and walk away from. There are some aspects of being a pastor that I really miss and other parts that I wont let go of because I still am ranting on and on (to myself and my dear friends who will listen) about some particular topic of frustration and critique of the world.
And as much as I have lost from not being a pastor, I have gained in other ways from becoming a mom. But, becoming a mom has also been a huge identity shift that came with it’s own internal conflict. Just as I struggled to let go of being a pastor (even though it was exactly what I wanted), I have also struggled to commit to all that being a mom expects of me (even though it is exactly what I want). Life seems to be a big improv game of what ball I’m going to pick up and play with and which I’m just going to let go of, for the moment.
So, what does this have to do with yoga? Well, lots. I know that my body absorbs and stores away all my tension, joy, angst, pride, everything. The more self-awareness I have about what is going in my mind-body-spirit, the more I can practice letting go of what I need to let go of, and holding on to what I am ready to commit to. In a physical practice of yoga you can experience release, challenge, engagement, and opening in your physical body and that has a significant impact on you mentally and spiritually.
The next Daily Bread Yoga retreat is Saturday, September 29th, 9-12p.m. at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church on Philo Rd, Urbana. The topic of our little exploratory yoga practice will be about letting go and holding on; on the mat and in your life. It will not be a therapy session, I promise. Just 3 hours to be a fly on the wall of your own life; to consider what baggage you might be ready to drop and what bags you are ready to pick up. And 2 solid hours of yoga mixed in to make your body feel good enough to purr.
It would be great to have you there. Please come! And let me know if you are planning on it!
$20, bring your own mat (or borrow mine), and a bottle of water.