I am writing you from my hometown, Baton Rouge, LA. I will be here for a few weeks, soaking up the semi-tropical climate, exploring nature and spending time with loved ones. I hope to cross paths with my fellow Baton Rouge yogis and I wish my New York yogis a blissful next few weeks. Check out my calendar for the most up-to-date teaching schedule. In the meantime…
Picture a seed planted in the soil. It rests in the middle of a lush terrain with a variety of vegetation, including many types of trees. This seed already contains the DNA that will determine the type of tree it will become. Still, it needs to be nurtured in order to grow. It needs the right amount of sun and rain as well as the right type of soil in order to transform into a tree.
Each element plays a central role in this tree’s growth. Yet, it’s not the job of the sun, rain, or soil to decide what type of tree the seed will become. The DNA is already there. Still, each element contains information that it needs to share in order to help the tree develop. Each element is a messenger. If the sun were to refuse to shine, if the rain held itself back in the clouds, or if the soil withheld its nutrients, the seed wouldn’t be able to become a strong tree. It could still grow, but it wouldn’t have the chance to express itself fully.
In our lives, we all have seeds that we need to nurture. Some of these seeds are ready to become relationships, situations, or other opportunities. We all have our truths— our messages, the information that we can share with others— in order to help these seeds grow into trees. Perhaps some of us can offer the sun, others the rain and others the soil.
Sometimes we hold back from speaking our truths, or from delivering our messages, because we fear or dislike the consequences of speaking up. At times we want to control what type of tree will grow. We might think, “If I say how I really feel, this seed might grow into an apple tree. But I really want it to become a pecan tree, so I’ll hold my tongue.” That is actually beyond our control, however. Perhaps, in a relationship, the other person is waiting for you to offer your words which serve as the spark that will propel the two of you forward in either direction. Maybe speaking your truth will result in a great opportunity for change, or even in two people going their separate ways. Even that is beautiful, if that is what the opportunity holds.
Of course, we need to speak with compassion and mindfulness as well as sensitivity to the right timing. If the sun shines too harshly, if the rain floods the terrain, or of the soil offers the wrong type of nutrients, then the seed will encounter some trouble.
What we can do is offer our sun, rain and soil in the best way that we know how so that the seeds in our midst have the greatest chance of developing into the trees that they are meant to become.
During your yoga practice I invite you to speak your truth through your body. If you cannot breathe fully in a pose, if you experience pain, or if you are misaligned, then your body is telling you to adjust or to rest. If you ignore that information and try to force a pose, then you are not being truthful. Instead, when you tune into the breath and respond to the information that your body offers you, you can find your true edge in each posture— that place where your energy can flow freely, you can expand and open, safely. May you practice speaking your truth through your yoga practice on your mat so that you can prepare yourself to speak your truth in other aspects of your life.
Here’s a video to get you pumped as you get ready to speak your truth: Sara Bareilles – “Brave”
Peace, light and Happy, Healthy TREES!