It’s funny how we can be told, taught and read the same thing over and over again, and still not get it until, one day, it hits us like a bolt of lightning. Or, as often happens, you hear or read a teaching, and think, “Ok, yeah, I get it. That makes total sense!”, only to realize as soon as you step away you still have no idea what’s going on (this was my experience with math, by the way). But, one day, you’re going about your day, and whap! It hits you right in the face, and you get it. This seems to be happening to me all over the place lately.
I recently injured my back in my yoga practice. Not bad, but enough that it felt a little sensitive for a few days. (Side note: just because you can bend that far, doesn’t mean you should bend that far. Ego check.) Now, I’ve trained with some amazing instructors. I’ve been guided on how to engage mula bandha a thousand times. I’ve instructed students countless times on the proper muscular engagement to protect the lower back. But it wasn’t until I was on my mat, with an injured back, that I realized, if I engaged these muscles, just so, and pulled those muscles (yes, those), in and up, just so… viola! All the strain was gone from my back. After almost ten years, my yoga practice has been transformed in a matter of weeks.
But I’m not here to talk about yoga and throw around crazy Sanskrit words. Well, not totally. Do hit me up if you’re interested about learning more about the magic of mula bandha. Now, on to the realness:
I may have mentioned before how I love to vacuum. I find vacuuming to be an amazing meditative practice, during which I tend to have the best insights ever. Well, friends, today was a doozy. I like to think of myself as a bit of a seeker. At this moment, I am reading no less than four books on spirituality. I mean, I have to have something to talk about in my yoga classes. One of the primary teachings of yoga is that we are all divine, imbued with the same beautiful, celestial light, from what I like to call (I’m sure I got it from somewhere but I don’t remember where), the Divine Expression of the Creative Energy of the Universe.
Back to my vacuuming today. We’ve been on a huge 90’s music kick in my house, and to continue this awesomeness, I was doing my vacuuming with my 90’s Pandora plugged into my ears. I’m not sure how much you may remember about 90’s music, but it was the time of Destiny’s Child, Dave Matthews Band, a bunch of other angsty dude bands, and the queen of angst, Alanis Morissette. So this Alanis song comes on, but it’s not angsty at all. And one of the lines is “How ’bout remembering your divinity,” and it hit me right in the head. Hard. How about remembering your divinity? What might that really be like?
Before we consider that we, our ownselves, are divine, let’s step back for a minute. Let’s just imagine that we have a divine friend. Someone who lives with us, who is, so clearly, made in the image of G.O.D. This person shines from the inside with the light of the divine. You know, without a doubt that this person is nothing other than a living goddess. Or god, whatever. I’m not sure divinity quibbles overmuch about gender. How might you treat this person? Let me tell you.
You would love her, this goddess, unconditionally. No matter what she did, you would be unwavering in your devotion. You would always remember that she is divine, and honor her as such.
You would feed her only food fit for a goddess. The most nourishing, real, delightful food you possibly could. After all, this divine being saw fit to come spend time with you, here, on this earth. You would want to only give her body the best fuel, to take care of her and respect her body.
You would find her incredibly beautiful, and tell her so daily. You would love the shape of her body, no matter what it looked like. You would always remember that her shape is Divine Expression – ART, if you will – and honor it as the art that it is. You would never call her fat, and starve her of the food her mortal body needs. You would never call her ugly, and make her feel unworthy of love, because you know that she is.
You would never tell her she is stupid, or bad, or sinful. You would never make her feel that she is not enough. You would know how silly that would be, how impossible. Someone divine, a living expression of divine love, divine creativity, could never be bad, stupid, or sinful. You know she is always enough, because it is simply impossible to be anything less.
You would keep her body clean and healthy. You would keep her home, her surroundings, clean and beautiful. She deserves nothing less. She is divine, a goddess, a burst of brilliant light, here for a purpose, magical and reverent.
You would forgive her. No matter what she did. She is just learning how to be human. Maybe she’s never done this before. You would know that she is trying to find her way, just the same as you. You would forgive her, without hesitation and conditions. You would treat her with endless compassion.
You would remember that she is love. Pure, bright love.
Now. Maybe I’ve made my point.
Imagine that, somehow, this goddess lives inside of you. She is magical, after all. Imagine that your bodies have merged, and the light of her divinity, her Divine Expression, has infused your entire body, and made you divine as well.
Imagine that it has always been so.
You were never separate.
You just forgot.
It was you all along.
How would you treat yourself, if you could never forget your own divinity?
Would you do all the things I listed above?
Would you forgive yourself?
Would you love yourself?
If you can never forget your own divinity, something else has to happen, right?
You can never forget the divinity of every single other person. No matter their gender, age, color, sexual orientation, kindness, religion, job, social status, if they’re an asshole…you see that same light in all of them. You recognize each of them as the Divine Expression. You realize they are all connected to you by the same spark, the same magic. What happens now? Do you treat them all with the same kindness and gentleness you showed for that precious goddess living in your house?
The same forgiveness?
The same compassion?
The same love?
I’m not saying that from here on out, I will remember the light in myself and every person I see. I’m not saying I can or will do all that stuff all the time. I will forget, probably more often that I will remember. After all, I’m still finding my way. But for just a moment, I saw it. I understood it. My hope is that, with time, practice and study, those moments will become more frequent, longer, more enduring.
It’s all a practice.
And that, friends, is what this ordinary housewife thought about today while she was vacuuming her floors.