Every now in then in yoga or meditation or in specific incidents in life, we experience a breakthrough. We reach a new conscious understanding of ourselves, life, the universe, some of the above, all of the above or much more.
Today, I had one of those moments. I instantly connected with the fictional character of Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump. (Not the Lt. Dan of the book of the same name which is a far superior and funnier story…)
Connecting with fictional Forest Gump movie characters is not something that normally happens in yoga.
In the movie, Lt. Dan is a soldier that comes from a long line of soldiers who fought and died for their country in battle. Lt. Dan goes to fight in Vietnam and lead his troops into battle with the expectation that he will fight and win or die trying.
His expectations are not met and he survives, while losing both of his legs. He is beaten, temporarily. As he fights off the depression of surviving and not living up to his family legacy, he tells the character Forest Gump that if Forests’ crazy idea of becoming a shrimp boat captain ever works out, that Lt. Dan will come be his first mate. He does not think Forest has a chance in hell of doing this, but some time later, it happens.
Lt. Dan shows up and helps Forest on the boat.
Lt. Dan’s moment comes one night in a storm. He climbs up in the rigging of the shrimp boat in the eye of the storm and does battle with god over his predicament, challenging god to kill him once and for all.
He survives and finally finds peace and success as the storm wipes out the competition.
I had one of those moments today in yoga.
I’ve had a difficult week and a difficult month and frankly a difficult spring, financially. Many other things in my life are working well, but I’m slowly saying good bye to the remaining monetary symbols of my soon to be former career, (running out of $$$). I’m working to turn this around with something new, working with everything I’ve got, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Yesterday, started very well with lots of good things and new opportunities developing. I even took extra time to focus on those and build up some positive energy and momentum in the morning.
It was good that I did that as I needed every bit of that to see me through the day.
Among other things, I came home to a sick stray cat. A friend had been cat sitting and in the last few hours the cat got sick and made a mess. She helped with the initial cleaning, which was above and beyond and I am truly grateful.
Another friend loaned me her steam cleaner and I got to work with the deep clean. But the cat got sick again last night and I awoke to more cleaning needs.
I’m going broke and do not have the money to take this cat to a vet. It is not my cat. I do not have the resources to take it on.
This morning waking up to this, I was anxious over going the absence of monetary symbols followed by numbers in my bank accounts, plus anxious when confronted with the energy needed to do more cleaning and the energy that might be needed to do something with the sick cat that is rapidly moving beyond my capabilities in time or money or effort and focus.
Doing Good Things for Myself to Make Things Better – Yoga
I made it to yoga with a minute or two to spare and the empower session was just what I needed. I was sweating out all kinds of stress and toxins and my muscles were screaming at times. They were still a bit sore from other things I’ve done this week as well.
Finally, Shavasanna arrived and I relaxed. I had been able to let go of all of my thoughts about my anxiety through the yoga class, which is one of the reasons why yoga helps me so much. It allowed my computer to reboot in my head.
Going into Shavasanna I felt a Lt. Dan like anger wash over me in a good way. I am not religious so I was not raging at a god for my predicament. But I was determined not to give up my fight. I was angry, I was pissed. I was not giving up.
You might notice a whole lot of “I’s” there?
At some point I realized that Lt. Dan was sort of a Job, biblical character who is the target of a bet between god and the devil. The devil essentially bets god that he can shake Job’s faith. god accepts the challenge and lets the devil up end Job’s life doing terrible things to him. Job does not relent and his faith does not waiver. He keeps fighting and allows his ego to maintain its belief in god fighting against the devil’s attacks.
Or at least that was my take on the story today. I particularly like a scifi version of the Job story called J.O.B. By Heinlein. I started to see Job like characteristics in Lt. Dan, who had a faith in his destiny to fight and die. He allowed his ego to build and maintain this expectation and when it didn’t happen he fought against god for taking the opportunity away from him and for continuing to persecute him by taking his legs and trapping him on a boat with a man he deemed to be good, but also an idiot further proof to Lt. Dan that he was being tormented by god.
He fought god one last time and when god still didn’t kill him, Lt. Dan finally let go of his ego.
I went through all of this in my head with my eyes closed as my pores started to slow down the rivers of sweat and my breathing relaxed.
I do not have faith in a god. I realized that no matter what, I was not going to stop loving. It’s a similar thing, but not the same thing.
Despite all the things the universe has taken from me (my ego’s perception) I still love everyone I have ever loved and I love more people as well, new or newer to my life. My love has not been shaken. It has grown.
My ego is still getting in the way as there are still times when I feel persecuted, but the breakthrough at this stage was more about me recognizing its existence in this situation and my strength in love.
I’ve been through a great deal. I’m still me. I’m still here after the storms. Things can go in many different directions, but I’m not changing the essence that enables me to love.
I am letting go of my ego and changing almost everything else. There’s nothing easy about that, not yet. I am getting there. I will get there. I will not be the old me when I do get there.
I’ll shed my old ego like an old suit of clothes and move on as I am in the future moment.
It was a powerful experience this morning. Its been about a year since I had a breakthrough of this magnitude. The last time I experienced something at this level, I suddenly realized and felt a magnificent level of gratitude and love towards the woman that is now my ex-wife for her part in ending our relationship and enabling me to go down this new path of change.
That was a much more peaceful break through. Shedding a relationship and shedding the ego’s perception and definition of itself in a relationship is very very painful, but no where near as painful as shedding the ego’s perception of ourselves at a core level.
That seems to be what I am about these days. I started shifting out of one world over a year ago and into another. At the time, it felt like the shift was instant. One moment I was alive and walking down the street with my daughter and our dogs. The next a drunk driver came along and knocked us out of that life, that universe and straight into another life and universe where we were still alive, yet everything was different there.
My ex-wife, wife at the time, no longer loved me and had not loved me for years and had months earlier started ending our relationship together. Everything else that I thought I knew about my past in that relationship was different as if a writer had rewritten it. What’s more my path into the future shifted significantly.
Now a year after that major shift, I’m seeing and feeling that there are many additional shifts taking place.
Just like in the book J.O.B. By Heinlien, the earth quakes continue and the shifts continue and the universe I occupy, keeps shifting a little at a time. I’m learning more about myself and shedding everything but the essentials, my love for others.
Today, I fought with this shifting process for fear of losing my core identity, but in doing so realized that my identity is not linked to stuff nor even my career or business or success. The only thing that I am connected with is love.
And as I reached that realization the peace settled in and the anger dissipated, but not the will, the free will and choice to continue forward and thrive regardless of the consequences.
So I’m about to leave the small apartment pool with my daughter and take both of my daughter’s to Finding Dory at the theater. I can’t afford it, but they can.
I’m going with the flow and not fighting it.
I trust you will let go of the fight as well and simply thrive and allow your great day to unfold easily as will I.