Yoga philosophy espouses high virtue on becoming detached from that which may cause suffering, not an easy accomplishment in our Western culture. Yet I've attempted to be a good student, reminding myself oh so ever gently, that material possessions are chains that drag us down into the pit of despair (without the 6-fingered man). Vairagya (renunciation) is also one of the ethical precepts yogis are meant to follow. We are supposed to be grateful for each day that we are given on this blue planet yet not be terrified of death. To accept when our time is up and become one with God.
It is this last part I may have taken too far. Who knew that not caring if you live or die might actually be dangerous?? When our 15 year old 4-legged child died last January, Brian and I were beyond devastated. We adjusted eventually...to the deafening silence at home (doggies do like to be heard), the missing soul, and most notably, not needing to care for that living creature any longer. As I plainly told Brian "we are no longer a family, just a couple." NOT being a family was sinkingly depressing for me. I am nurturing and loving by nature, unless you piss me off, and not having Shea to care for, worry and fret about turned out to be more detrimental to my emotional and physical health than I ever envisioned.
The sands of time slowly sifted down, and the changes within me became more visible. I was no longer concerned about being alive, didn't care if my life ended that day or not, felt completely untethered to this world in a way I never experienced prior. Mildly amused by this new sense of freedom from breathing, I thought I was progressing towards a state of enlightenment. How cool I mused, I think I understand this whole non-attachment and clinging to life deal! I felt like a Squarebob Spongepants helium balloon that slipped away from a tiny little hand at the state fair, floating aimlessly higher and higher into infinity. Giggling like a little schoolgirl, either from lack of oxygen or that new found sense of weightlessness, I failed to notice my precarious ascent. That is, until the close call with a Boeing 747.
My featherlight brushstroke with death perked my senses, yet did not sound a warning bell. Not until others expressed serious concern about my laissez faire attitude towards living. Delving deeper into the inky blackness of my ignorance, I blindly grasped onto the anchor of faith. I forced myself to root down and ground my feet firmly into the here and now. As a practicing yogi and teacher, I focused on foundation and centering from within, until I believed it.
"Take the hit as a gift" a teacher once said. I did. My soaring experience taught me that my reason for being is supposed to be selfless, providing seva (service) to others whether through my teaching or caring for those I love (including our new puppy, even when she is willful and contrary). Namaste.