Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

After being in Jamaica for a few glorious days so far, I am learning that I am able to ‘tolerate’ a great deal of pleasure. I use that particular word, because for such a long time, I have been in ‘go-mode,’ not even recognizing the speed at which I think and act. Just the thought of easing back and ramping down as I have been doing for the past few days, would have had me clenching my stomach and wondering how I would ever be able to get through my daily list of things that I was certain needed to be accomplished. Even though I have slowed my pace dramatically in the past year or so, my friends still tell me that they get vicariously tired hearing the litany of my tasks. I assure them that if I could maintain the galloping pace back then, I can certainly manage the cantering speed of my current routine.

My Jamaica routine has looked like sleeping as late as I want, taking luxuriating afternoon naps, enjoying the bounty of the fresh and sometimes organic fruits, veggies and grains, walking the lush grounds, breathing in the steamy air and swimming in the ocean and pool. They have included intense and universally exploratory conversations with my friend Ambika and more casual, but no less entertaining chats with new friends  (both staff and guests) I have met here. My senses have been stimulated listening to the  bird song in the day and frog song at dusk. My body has been stretched working out in the open air gym, practicing yoga, walking on the beach, dancing and singing along to reggae rhythms. I have been journaling and otherwise writing very little. I wondered how that would feel, since my schedule at home sometimes involved write three or four articles a day and doing research for others. Easier than I thought.

Yesterday brought beach yoga, using the soft sand for support as we let our bodies melt into it as they wanted to, rather than a regimented practice. The ocean waves beckoned after a bit and embraced us as we did some of the standard asanas of cat/cow, downward dog, child’s pose and handstand. So much easier doing an inversion with the water for support. Foot massage, lacing our fingers between our toes; the better to stretch them and using nature’s exfoliant (the sand) on our skin. I swear it feels smoother now.

My favorite was sivasana which is the pose used to close the practice. I used to rebel against it when I began learning yoga in 2004, since I still couldn’t slow down enough to allow for surrender. This time, I was able to lie back and let the water gently carry me. Two thoughts flowed through my deeply relaxed mind “I allow the Universe to support me totally,” and “I welcome a partner in my life who I allow to be of support as well.” My pattern had been to be the support person for them, as I held at bay, much in the way of mutuality. Call it control or fear. Either way, it didn’t serve the relationship. The more I practice internal surrender, the more gracefully I will allow for external trust that will bring into my life that type of sustenance.

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