Today, toward the end of my meditation, I started to cry, tears upon tears of gratitude. Grateful for my breath, for my practices, and for all the twists, turns, miracles and heartbreaks I have been blessed to have throughout my life. Grateful for my family and for the work I am gifted to do. Grateful for all the extraordinary teachers this life has shared with me. I felt so overcome with a deep respect and gratitude for the gift of this life. It is so remarkable the powerful impact of perspective. These gifted moments of bliss are jewels of precious insight.

In them I am reminded that, in every moment, there is the invitation to consciously decide how I want to show up, how do I want to participate in what is unfolding? If I am triggered, what is the wound that is asking to be healed? If I am afraid, what is at the core of the fear? If I am running away, what am I avoiding? If I am angry, what am I guarding? If I am feeling disconnected, where can I nurture connection? How can I fill my well, reclaim my sense of self-love so that I can show up in my life in a state of balance and wholeness?

We cannot control everything that occurs in our life but always have the ability to decide how we respond, how we show up. Every event is an invitation to make conscious choices, very rarely does something require fear driven reaction, and when it does, you want your nervous system strong enough to handle it. What creates friction or discomfort for you, may not create it for someone else because we are given the rub where we need to grow. There is something there we need to look at, perhaps a blind spot in our growth.

Luckily, we are cocreators in life, not sole creators and there are infinite possibilities and solutions available to every perceived problem. We limit ourselves, our options, and close our eyes to miracles when we stay attached to the idea that we have all the answers. There is more than we can see. Stay open, like an open hand, say yes and learn rather than no and shutting down. Life will hurt and it will throw curve balls, it doesn’t mean we are failing, just that we have the chance to learn and see what’s around the corner. Feel your feelings but don’t make it your residence, because they are like changing weather. They are meant to provide insight to our internal landscape, but are not the complete answer. Allow emotions to breathe and move fluidly through you, without judgement or fear or attachment to the stories they create. As Haruki Murakami said, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

In yoga, there are flavors, called rasas and we need all of them for balance. It is the same in life, we need all the flavors, not only the sweet and the salty, but also the bitter and the sour. In exercise we tear the muscles to build them, this happens with our mental and emotional strength as well, sometimes there are tears to expand our awareness of just how strong we are and all that we are capable of when we flourish. We are able to experience the ecstatic bliss of joy quite often because we have felt the heaviness of loss.

Each breath is a gift, it reminds us we have one more moment to taste, to smell, to listen, to feel, to love, to play, to give. We can all collectively see this now more than ever before. With every breath we are gifted another moment to consciously participate in the messy, beautiful and exquisite dance of this life. I am attempting, sometimes successfully, and sometimes stumbling to embrace all that I don’t understand, everything that creates discomfort, all that makes my heart sing and all that illuminates my soul with the same grateful, and humble breath. Thank you for walking this path together. Thank you for breathing together, for being in the pulsation of expansion and contraction together.