In Savasana tonight I had a vision of myself as a very old woman coming close to the end of breaths in this body. At first I got scared and rejected this idea and almost came out of Savasana to start thinking, but instead I decided to just be with it and open to it. I saw my children as people in their fifties with children of their own. I saw that they were sad to lose me and i realized my only hesitation about leaving this realm was that i worried for their happiness. I told them that they had been the absolute lights of my life, the greatest of gifts, that I had had a beautiful, fulfilling life, and that I would always be with them every step of the way. I assured them that they couldn’t lose me because I would live in their hearts, and that I was sure we would be together again.
When I came out of Savasana I was emotional and felt fragile. Usually Savasana is so peaceful, I feel so connected and open and quiet, so this was a very different experience. And it wasn’t a dream because I was awake, and it wasn’t a thought tangent because I actually saw this scene unfold like a movie. I wasn’t even terribly troubled at the idea of dying since it seemed I had made it a good long way, and my children were grown and seemed like happy people.
I love my life. I love my children beyond words, and I love teaching yoga and being with people and being of service and being in nature and feeling in the flow of things even when they aren’t unfolding exactly as I would like or might have expected. I love to learn and open and deepen and surrender, and sometimes be scared or sad or lonely or angry, because I know then that I am awake to my own experience. I have no interest in drama, or who’s fu*%king who, or what someone said or did, or who’s doing better or worse because life is just too precious and too short, and I’m pretty sure it’s about learning to love one another. I’m in a relationship for a long time, and it is full of history and complication and love and memories and hurt and anguish and joy and birth and work and so I don’t judge other people in relationships because I know the terrain is steep and sometimes full of rocks slipping underfoot and hail hitting you in the face, and sometimes it’s like a soft breeze on an untouched stretch of beach.
If we accept that energy does not die, it just changes form, then death does not seem so scary. I believe in a collective unconscious, I think we are all flowing to and from the same source, I believe that source is love. And yet, there are souls we cherish in bodies we love and want to touch and hold, there are voices we yearn to hear. Goodbyes are hard, they are like a knife through the heart, and death is the most definitive goodbye we know, not that we know it. Most people are afraid of the unknown, and what happens after we leave our bodies seems something we will never be able to discover until we experience it. But I meet people from time to time, and they seem so familiar, I think, “I know you, we have traveled together before”, and I find this comforting. Who knows if my vision is real. I hope to live to be one of those ninety-year-old yoga teachers with long white hair and twinkling eyes and deep laugh lines. Maybe it will happen that way.
In the meantime i want to celebrate this life and every person i meet and every experience i have and do my best to allow things to unfold, to cling less and to surrender more, to judge less and to love more, to speak less and to listen more because there is so much happening around us all the time, but there is a deep well of wisdom in the body, in the heart, in the soul. An atheist might say there is no soul, there is just the limbic region in the brain. A Jew might say there is no Jesus, and a follower of Jesus might say anyone who doesn’t believe will burn in Hell. I’m pretty sure my job is to find a way to love everyone, even the people who feel completely differently about things than I do, maybe especially them. I think love is the source. It’s not about making money or being right, love is the currency. How much do you have and how much can you give, how far can you fling it and share it and spread it. And to acknowledge that the body I’m in is borrowed, it will not last forever, and that goodbyes in the form of changes or deaths are part of this experience. So that I can fully appreciate every breath, every moment, every light in every eye I love. So that I don’t miss chances to tell the people in my life that I love them, not just on holidays, but every chance I get. So that a “normal day” is never taken for granted. We want to deny the reality that everything is temporary, that we are even temporary, but that is probably the very thing to acknowledge and accept so we can WAKE UP to each moment. If you love full on, full force, full blast, I think you might just take the fear out of death, out of goodbyes, out of change.
Sending you love, Ally Hamilton