My first yoga instructor was always reminding me to stand straight in tadasana. “Elaine, stop leaning forward. Your head is in tomorrow, anticipating, reaching. Be here now.” I still weave a bit whether I am standing on my feet or my head. Back and forth I go, balancing, trying not to lean forward into tomorrow, or backward, clinging to yesterday. Leaning back, I am fearing or resisting what comes next. Leaning forward, I can feel my anticipation. I am eager to move on, preferring the next moment, to this one. Tadasana, mountain pose, teaches me, “Don’t just do something, stand there.” I am leaving May 17 for a month in India to practice standing still, and breathing.
It is unfamiliar and uncomfortable to “… just stand there,” which is why we need to practice. I must remember that I am uncomfortable, clumsy and that does not mean anything is wrong. Everything is all right. I am simply learning. The busy-ness of our 21st century existence does not always encourage or reward patient learning. We are educated and socialized to be competitive, productive, efficient, and fast. We are expected to keep pace, leaping any gaps between the past and the future, like the synapse between nerve endings.
East Shore is right where it needs to be, in its middle, between conversations on race, between familiar and unfamiliar governance, and anticipating the next settled minister. It may feel uncomfortable—middles usually do—which is why we so want to escape them. This moment between what is and what can be is our middle. Somewhere in between where we have been and where we are going is the opportunity for some new realization or creation to be revealed.
Everything is all right. Be patient. Be curious. Be kind. We are all in process. Something new is being revealed. Anything, and everything is possible.