Interconnectedness has been the theme of August. But like a challenging high school literature class, it took almost the entire month for it to come into focus.
The first three days of August felt like three weeks with no explanation as to why. Why did everything suddenly feel like it picked up speed? Why did I experience waves of sadness or exhaustion at the start of my classes? Why did I find it harder to wake up those first few days? I knew a shift was about to happen; I just didn't know where. I shared my time on the mat with my students who echoed the same feelings.
As the week continued, more and more of my students wanted to talk about how frazzled they felt. Was it the craziness of summer vacation ending and the kids preparing for school? Was it the desire to stretch the fading sunlight, trying to squeeze in as much as possible? Or was it something else? Our practice on and off the mat continued as we soothed the nervous system, relied on our breath, and grounded ourselves with stabilizing poses.
During the second week of August, my friends, students, and coworkers called, emailed, and texted through tears as they experienced life-changing moments: health concerns, family changes, work challenges...various chapters that were ending too soon before others could be envisioned. Yet, the month didn't stop its growing momentum. We returned to our practice, breathing, watching, and feeling our way through the shifting internal and external landscape.
The third and fourth week continued, offering less and less daylight hours, but issuing in some clarity. Students looked out the studio window and remarked how the trees seemed to change color earlier and earlier every year. Do they? Or is us, and our wishful desire not to move into the newness being presented? As we practiced meditation and honed our inner awareness, we allowed ourselves to connect to our souls and to each other. And that's when my ah-ha moment happened.
I realized that what occurs in community is the same as what Robin Wall Kimmerer states in her book Braiding Sweetgrass. "Trees talk to one another via pheromones wafting through the air," communicating important survival messages. They also join as one unit via and underground network of mycorrhizae, or fungal strands, that "weave a web of reciprocity between the trees...assuring their continued growth" (19-20). Humans do this as part of community every day. We feel into communal energy. When one of us experiences a shift, we all adjust. Even when words aren't spoken, we know when our loved ones, friends, or neighbors are feeling through a transition. There's something in the air, something we may not be able to decipher analytically, but our subtle bodies know what to do. We reach out to one another. We share time. We share emotions. We join together to offer support from one being to another living life in the same space, with the same thought, or sharing the same feeling.
I am blessed to be involved in multiple communities of family, friends, students, and neighbors. I'm lucky to experience these moments of life together. I am with you whether providing a meal, sharing a class, talking on the phone, or thinking of you. And I feel your reciprocation of love and support. May our month of interconnectedness continue to hold us close as September invites in an array of new experiences. Thank you Friends. Much love to each of us!