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Yoga and the Puzzle of life.....

Does it ever feel like your life is beautiful puzzle filled with fantastical colors, textures, and depth....with a piece missing?

This question popped into my mind as I was working on a puzzle borrowed from a friend of mine. As I was leaving with puzzle in hand, she said "there may be one piece missing, the cat pulled it off the table, and now it seems a piece is missing...".

What do I do with this information? Do I leave the puzzle and decide its not worth my time if I can't finish it? Do I take it and attempt to finish it anyway, missing piece and all? Do I take it and then choose not to attempt for the potential frustration of seeing a gaping whole where that final piece should reside?

I decided to take the puzzle and am now in the throes of putting it together. I love the puzzles my friend buys because not only are they wooden, but contain pieces that look like cats, owls, hearts and other fun shapes. It is a puzzle that though I know I will never be complete; it still holds enough intrigue, color, fun, and inspiration to work it.

As I was sifting and sorting the pieces, looking for the edges (which are never truly easy to find) and beginning to assemble, it dawned on me that this puzzle felt a lot like my life as of late. My days feel full, colorful, and filled with interesting people and events, but it still feels like there is a piece missing. Every day I wake with gratitude and contentment in my heart, but underneath, in the shadows there lurks a hole of unknown shape that longs to be filled. The sense of it isn't as glaring as the misshapen gap that will be left once I "complete" this physical puzzle, but it is still there.

Yoga reminds us that in life as in our practice, each day, each moment, each movement contains within it opportunity to be touched by a full spectrum of feelings, emotions, and physical challenges and triumphs. It is what we choose to do with all those things that begins to reflect the effects of yoga on our perceptions.

If we choose to always long for completion, satisfaction, physical advancement, and mental clarity, we may find that more often than not what we find is sadness, confusion and even anger, because yoga, or life NEVER consistently meets our expectations. It is within these longings that we can choose to let go. To release our grip on perfection, on completion, on always knowing the answer or what's next, and just flow. Connecting to the universal energy that is in us, around us, and flows through us, we can start to see the humor, opportunity, and missing pieces of this life and just enjoy the ride.

I may never find this lurking missing piece that sometimes feels like a gaping hole and others like a faint memory of something I left behind; but I know in my heart that the yoga I practice on and off my mat will allow me to see and feel that missing piece, smile and continue to settle into the flow that pervades my world.

Stay warm, stay safe, and embrace your missing piece(s); they are here to help teach us the beauty of presence and flow.

Don't forget to look up, inhale and revel in the beauty of Mama Luna as she gifts us with her first full, micro-moon this Friday, January 6!

"The sunset embers smolder low,

The Moon climbs o’er the hill,

The peaks have caught the alpenglow,

The robin’s song is still."

–John L. Stoddard (1850–1931)

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