While on my yoga mat, the teacher let us know about Peace Day and I scoffed at how far I felt from inner or outer peace. As my sweaty ego attempted eka pada koundinyasana, I tapped the sweet girl named Emma practicing next to me on her right shoulder with a shaking left foot fighting against the balance and weight of my entire leg, and well body, on own my left shoulder as my right temple nearly graced the studio's wood floor. Sorry new friend. And sorry dear body of mine. Did you know that September 21 is the International Day of Peace? Me neither.
So on this day of peace, I push my way through the Power Yoga class. It had been a while since I had seen the mat and oh my, I felt it. You know what I mean? The class is packed, the heat is on and the teacher has a powerful voice. We get to the core workout by minute 52 and I literally say to myself, "haven't we been doing core all class and muscle memory, where are you?".
When I come back to downdog, the teacher offers our 180th chaturanga and I surrender to child's pose and take a pass. She then speaks about friction, that moment when we come up against something, a force against relative motion in our lives. Yep. Preach to me yoga teacher, you got me at the most vulnerable state. How do they always know?
And she inquires, "when we come up against friction, how do we know peace? How do we embrace peace here and now?".
I pause to ponder friction with my head touching the mat. I recall when I was little at my Grandmother's house in Indiana. My sister and I would stare at each other from across the living room. We had big white socks on and we would say 'go'. We would brush our feet against the berber carpeted floor with one index finger pointed out until we met in the middle and our index fingers touched and boom, electric shock! It was a fun game.
And I realize in my yoga class, that I choose electric shock over peace quite often. I enjoy the thrill of the odd lightning bolt that comes between two fingers, the rush of uncertainty, and the experiment of life in friction. And I also realize that this pattern is absolutely stressful. Shit, and then I laugh for a moment to know that when I meet most people, it is with electric shock. "Hi, I am Jacki Carr, LIGHTNING BOLT, nice to meet you!"
I join the class in the final flow and choose peace on Peace Day. I mean, it seems fitting. I remove the metaphorical the big white socks and I embrace pose to pose slowly and I breathe deeper. Peace is a practice.
Yes, peace is a practice. Peace is a choice. I see.
How do you respond to friction? Lightning bolt or peace?
How do you meet the World? With a lightning bolt or peace?