Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m moved by one of my favorite jazz vocalists, Dianne Reeves, and by the lyrics of her song, “Testify.” Aside from the commercial frenzy that this holiday can sometimes be, it’s a good reminder for yogis to remember grace, and remember to love – not just to love another person, but also to love yourself and love your life.
It’s so easy to forget about love and fall back into the doldrums of limited consciousness – getting caught up in the challenges of life, the difficulties, the routine nature of life. If you’re not careful, you’ll get pulled down into the materiality of life simply by the general mainstream of consciousness, that, like gravity, weighs you down to the lowest common denominator. It’s all a matter of priority. Every day through my practices, I try to prioritize remembrance of the spirit, the essence of life. I choose to shift from living a material life to a spiritual life (which paradoxically embraces the material as well).
How to shift? Well, I think Dianne Reeves says it in her little spontaneous talk before her song,
“You know, there comes a time in your life, where all that stuff you’ve been running from, fearing from, all that stuff that really gets to you in your silent space. There comes a time when you have to stop, take a deep breath, turn around, and look at it. Then you have to stretch your arms out real wide to get ready to embrace it. You hold on real, real tight to all of that stuff, embracing it, facing it, until you find yourself embracing yourself. Then you can leave all of that stuff behind and walk on with peace of mind. […]