Brene Brown defines "true belonging" as: "...the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn't require you to changewho you are; it requires you to be who you are."
This month, our practice gives us the physical capability of grounding ourselves, connecting with our legs, our feet, and our selves. Grounded, accepted, we can experience belonging.
The meditation at the end of our practice is from the Vedanta tradition and is known as neti neti. It is a form of inner cleansing. We take the time to move our attention through the body and release any tension along the way. You hear me say, again and again, "The body is yours, but it is not you." Then we feel into the sensation of our weekday work, similarly releasing its tension, smoothing its texture in our minds. "Your work is yours, but it is not you." And then to our close relations, our loves, the responsibilities of our hearts. We soften and release the sensation of those roles with others. "They are your roles, but they are not you." And then to your opinions, your ambitions, your identity. "They are yours, but they are not you."
The first time I was taught this meditation, I cried. I felt with a rush the first opportunity in years to set down motherhood, partnership, effort to build a future. It was unreal. I didn't know I was carrying so much, holding so much. Or what a sweet relief I'd feel in putting it down.
Then hot on its heels was waves of guilt. How dare I stop mothering, even for a moment?! Didn't I care about my family? It was a tug of war. I wanted that quiet I'd found. I wanted the momentary freedom, but was it betrayal?
I dared to persevere. I stayed in the practice. I dared to belong only to myself, to the Self I found in the center of the meditation; to the essence that remained. And surprisingly, when I returned to my body, my work, my roles, I was all the better for knowing myself as My Self. I was kinder, fuller, more patient because I wasn't aching for fulfillment that I couldn't articulate. I'd found a means of touching what I'd sought through food or ability or outer love.
It wasn't betrayal at all. I belong to my Self and when I live fulfilled from that ground/foundation/center I can support far more than I imagined.
Use this month's sequence to reset. To return. Find your way back in to what you need. Take seven minutes at the end of class to rest in what we've made and let it help you to release what isn't needed and reconnect to what is vital.
This is the work of the feet, the legs, the energy at our base. To hold us, to give us stability and daring to do what can be done. Our foundation lies inside.
Come soon. I'll be there all March. I look forward to seeing you there. Full class schedules below.
Much love, Martha