Sisters pose with love on Coney island.

Naturally, Love

When we feel thirsty, it is natural to turn on the faucet. When we feel open, it is natural to love.

Love is not difficult: it is the natural byproduct of a disposition that says, “Whatever is here, is here.” Amen. “I will not try to change this.” Amen.

In this way, naturally, love doesn’t make too much of a fuss.

Icicles of love.

When love starts to make a fuss, it is because love is attached to something that isn’t real. Like an idea of how reality should be, but isn’t. Say:

“I have been practicing yoga for fifty years now. Shouldn’t I be able to do a proper crow pose?”Maybe. Or maybe not.

Or say:“I have been teaching yoga for a long time now. Shouldn’t I feel healthy and fit all the time?”

“Shouldn’t this be easy for me by now?”

“Shouldn’t I be sweating less?”

“Shouldn’t my body look way better than it does?”

“Who’s that over there – didn’t she start after me? Why is she so flexible?”

Melting icicle of love.

When we think too much and experience too little, our love gets cramped up and confused. We start to tell ourselves, “As soon as I become rich / beautiful / smart / successful / fit enough, I will love myself and be loved.”

When this happens, almost as if a magical switch has been pushed, we find that it has suddenly become impossible to become as rich / beautiful / smart / successful / fit as we dreamed – and that at every turn of the corner, the dream seems to be just another step away.

In the midst of this kind of thinking, without so much as a sound, our love can dry up like an old spring.

Waterfall of love.

The good news is, if we are looking for love, love is abundant – even more abundant than water.

Love is abundant because it cannot be earned – it can only be freely given.

And we can practice giving love to ourselves, for free, every time we step on our mat.

We can allow ourselves to be where we are in our journey, wherever that is: mappable or unmappable.

We can allow ourselves to sing – either with our voices or our bones.

And we can learn, over time, to create a space that nurtures who we are, not some shadow of ourselves, and certainly not our so-called “ideal” selves that are, in fact, a thousand leagues behind who we truly are – right now.

Love deep.

– M.C. J.

[ Images from Flickr: I, IIIII and IV]

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