In one sense, we transform ourselves by transforming every obstacle, large and tiny, into an opportunity to practice kindness, generosity, and compassion, forbearance, tenacity, discipline— in essence, skillful means, as the Buddhists say. this is the daily Magic of Blessing Force of the Lineage— not floating in air, telekinesis, materializing objects and dematerializing ourselves.
It has taken me years, and will take me years more to transform EVERY obstacle into an opportunity to practice— to hear the call to action by my missteps— and yet I practice anyway and I trust that every moment of practice helps me remember myself.
I have taken many missteps, beat myself into submission, ridden the downward spiral— in fact I notice now that this beating and spiraling were shields of sabotage that kept me from hearing my calls to action and perpetuated my victim mentality and blocked the Magic of Blessing Force from even being available to me much less felt.
I was really good at penance- like most good Catholic girls, I was taught from a young age that penance- suffering and living in purgatory was real— and I believed it whole heartedly— I could suffer and pay the price. I would suffer when it wasn’t my fault, suffer when it was , suffer when there was no reason to and then I could pray— and my prayers were about forgiveness of myself because as a Christian I sought this holy grail of forgiveness and knowing that I was the reason Christ died for MY sins— that at 8 years old is a very heavy load to bear and I did bear it— I created suffering when there wasn’t any— held it like a badge of honor— created penance for myself that was unparalleled by any of my friends -( I lived years as a closeted anorexic— I could control my food consumption which controlled every aspect of my life) — who seems to not really give two shits about heaven, hell or purgatory.
I thought for a long time that I was stuck in purgatory and from ages 8-12 I lived there- in the unknown- hoping for forgiveness. This is where I no longer allowed the word hope into my life— I hoped my mother would return, I hoped my father would sober up, I hoped someone saw how broken I was— and yet purgatory is where I lived and I prayed. To this day, I don’t know what prayers are really and I don’t know where they go, but I do know that I have a relationship with myself that has created a stillness in me that my teacher Lee and my Guru Yogi Ramsuratkumar have created a space for me to not feel less than or separate from but received by and whole. That to me is the Magic of Blessing Force— to understand at 49 that holding in my anger or exploding my anger won’t work— holding the relationship damage that comes from being an abandoned child will not make me unabandoned. What has helped me heal is my ability to be kind, welcoming and genuine. What has helped me is my ability to be generous when my heart has been empty and longing. What has helped me is my strong compassion which has given me boundaries for myself.
I remember a yoga class I was taking and my teacher read this:
You do not have to be good
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on......
In that one class, where I was an obscure student the Magic of Blessing Force took hold, in the simple words- you do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles though the desert repenting........ and I went to my car after class and sobbed uncontrollably releasing myself from trying to fix, repair, and maintain this purgatory that I created and for the first time I took a breath of recognition— that of all the things the Universe Created, she created me.............