"This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival." ~ Rumi
This week my not so little child turned three. I baked cakes and covered them with primroses which were quickly removed at his request and replaced with smarties. Three years is such a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things and yet I can't really imagine a time before he was here.
I've heard it said that the early years of life are the ones you don't remember but never forget. My mum died a week after my son's first birthday and it fills me with such sadness that he won't be able to remember her, but I also know that the love she gave him in that first year has become an integral part of who he is and how he lives his life.
This time of year brings a lot of stuff bubbling busily up to the surface for me. The abundant spring flowers and the low evening sun remind me of when my son was born, which fills me with joy and awe. And yet there’s also space for grief, heartache, and anxiety. All of them noisily return as April’s beauty tells me that my mother’s life ended as the world around me sprang into life.
It's only human to want to sit stubbornly in the good stuff and run and hide from the not so good stuff but Rumi’s words remind me, the human experience is to experience it all. Inviting everything that comes knocking at the door, just as my mum would invite everyone into our home with open arms, and endless cups of tea.
Through an embodied yoga practice I believe that we can learn to respond with more ease and skill to everything that life brings, instead of resisting and reacting in a way we know, deep down will only cause more suffering.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.