There’s a transformation happening over here. It was in the works long before this moment (as transformations always are), and I know the pandemic has hastened its arrival. I’m thankful for this. This strange year gave me time. To sit, to feel, to wait, to think; to let go, hold on, cry, decide.
That long pause in the writing was reasonable; the tentative and shaky entrance into Advent, appropriate. Signing my recent posts with “The Universal Yogi,” necessary.
A few months ago I asked a friend and fellow seeker if she’d consider taking over The Catholic Yogi. It was the only way forward I could see, and I could not think of a better person to steward the mission of this online space. She said Yes. With enthusiasm! A few weeks later I texted another friend to share this life-changing news, the only person outside of my immediate family to know, and her response totally surprised me. She said she thought it was amazing that I was taking this “step towards healing.” This was crazy to me – I had no idea I was in need of healing until she said it.
There will be much more to come regarding the transition, which won’t be complete until July or August, 2021. In the meantime, Incarnation!
Being in a Body
The Christian feast of Christmas is a celebration of the birth of divinity in a human body. I love this. What a sweet joy to know our sacredness in this way. I am divine because Jesus Christ is, and so are you. And so is every last one of us. The problem is that I forget this a lot. This is why even though it is always Christmas (God is always coming to us in a body) it’s helpful to celebrate it with intention.
December 25th doesn’t matter, of course. We can intentionally celebrate our embodiment any time we want. Every time we dance, bow, run, cook, build, carve, paint, sweep. Every time we perform surgery or a piano solo. Every time we collect the trash, address an envelop, hit send on an email, fill out a form. Every time we bring our attention to the sacredness of our being here, now, as part of the whole environment that surrounds us, it’s a chance to celebrate Christmas.
The next time you decide to celebrate the sacredness of your humanity, try any of these suggestions for practicing embodiment:
- Stand close to someone side by side and notice the energy of your own body. Then notice the energy of their body. If you like, hover your open hands close to each other without touching. If no energetic sensation is noticeable, each person can rub their own hands together vigorously creating some heat and then experiment again. My kids love this.
- Do something that will truly help someone else (cook dinner and drop it off, spend and share time connecting on the phone, through text, zoom, or in person?). Notice how it feels in your body to do all that is involved.
- Teach someone else how to do something for themselves (knit, bake, start the laundry, write a poem, practice yoga?). Notice how your body feels when teaching, listening, and learning.
- Rest quietly and feel your breath coming in and going out. Let your hands rest on your body where the movement of your breath is the most obvious.
- Think of something you do and then do it as a celebration of embodiment(!)
Practicing embodiment can feel like a transformation, like an “Oh! This is what it feels like to be alive. But transformation is a tricky word. Sometimes I think I actually mean an uncovering of what was always there, of what was becoming, what was waiting to be born, waiting to crack through the shell or to split open the chrysalis.
Wishing you many moments, happy or something else, of noticing that you are alive, being in a body. And not just today, but all the days. There’s a way of thinking of God as the Eternal Now, or, one of my absolute favorites, The Everlasting Instant. Implicit in these names is the concept of always. They scoop up every moment that ever was and every moment that ever will be and places them here, now.
The Universal Yogi
For further reading, visit the Center for Christogenesis and the article by Diarmuid O’Murchu, Incarnation as Embodiment of Spirit.