Bram Levinson

I paid a long overdue visit yesterday to my first yoga teacher, Joan Ruvinsky, who spoke to us about an expression that comes from Maine that goes something like, “You can’t get there from here.” I’ve already mentioned in past posts how the occasional expression or saying will resonate with me due to its succinctness, to its relevance to my experience so far…this is one of those sayings.

Sometimes our paths bring us to a place where we feel stagnant, where it seems like the only way forward is to rethink and retrace the steps that have brought us to where we stand (and, in some cases, take a couple of steps back.) My experience over the last couple of years has been exactly that, and I can confidently say that I needed to close the door on my past career in order to make room for the blessings that yoga continues to bring me. I remember speaking to the people in my life around the time that I felt the major shift starting to happen, trying to figure out how to allow for that shift with the least amount of chaos…I asked them every single question possible except the most obvious and direct one – “How do I get to a place where my professional life can be as satisfying as my personal one?” If I had just come out with the proper verbalization, I strongly suspect that the answer would have been the subject of this post.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about and asked my students in class about any goals they were actively (or not-so-actively) working towards achieving, and I will once again present you all with a similar query: how and where do you envision yourselves in the not-so-distant future? Where do you dream your ideal selves existing and in what capacities? If you could live any reality, what would it be? Now, if it’s something that you really want to incorporate into your lives, something that you can honestly say would make your lives better, then ask yourselves this: can I get there from here? Will the path you currently find yourself following lead you to where you’d like to be with little or no active interference from you? Do you feel a change is necessary to end up on that desired path?

Taking the expression literally is a necessary step towards living the life we feel we were destined to live, but the expression also applies to the teachings of Yoga. The yoga sciences tell us that the path to reconnecting to the source of all that is consists of asana, meditation, restriction and manipulation of the breath and senses, and other elements of the eight-limbed Ashtanga yoga system. Those of us applying ourselves to these elements often find ourselves immersed in the beauty that we seek and that which is. For those who are lost in distraction, who have not yet removed the blindfolds of ignorance that keep us from realizing that the source of everything we seek is already in us, then the expression, “You can’t get there from here” lies in wait. Sometimes all we need to make that subtle shift in consciousness is the most nondescript of word groupings to create a cliché, a saying, something that can and often is repeated ad nauseum…and when we’re finally ready to receive the truth of those words, life begins to unfold in a way it seldom does…steeped in light and truth, organically leading us back to where we wanted to be the whole time…plugged into our Self, and thereby into each other and all that exists around us.

Can you get there from here?

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