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I rang one of my bestest friends – S – last night… she’s my spiritual (if not blood) sister. There in the mail box was a surprise present from her with a little orange Ganesha stamp on the front and instructions not to open it just yet

Rambling on about myself… I asked and how’s things with you?

In response she starts telling me how just the other week, she almost broke up with her man – they’ve been together for years now. Like, almost as long as I’ve known her. A while. Longer than any of my relationships have ever lasted (there I go, embarrassing myself again).

This is on top of a very shitful year for her. In which her man had knee replacement surgery (on both knees)… she went from full-time employment to living-on-a-prayer-freelancing. And then she was in Thailand with the rest of us (not earning any money), then went back home (to the other side of the world) for four months… again not earning much money – to look after her mum/mom… who currently has cancer and its all touch and go.

So, she wasn’t feeling that great. And yet she still remembered to send me a present. I love her to bits!! And not just coz of the present.

When she was telling me all this stuff, all I could think of was this half-baked metaphor that’d occurred to me a few weeks back, when, falling to pieces and on the way to see my therapist, I felt very much adrift…

I started relating this goofy little story to her:

So yeah, feeling adrift and just… blowing in the wind (but not like the song). Wait, make that a storm. A really gnarly storm. One with lightning and rain, and then… actually, it was this epic storm of the ages. So there’s all these currents pulling and pushing and… now I wasn’t just adrift but being buffeted from side to side. Every movement could unbalance me… in my little boat…

Then that voice, that might not be my voice (sure doesn’t sound like mine and it always says much wiser things than I can ever think of) and yet, it’s a voice only I can hear (I think)… clearly pronounces a few punchy, pithy words:

You’re not just the boat. You’re the ocean too. The storm as well.

How very… non-dual of you… oh, disembodied voice!

The boat’s just on the surface. But it couldn’t be on the surface if it wasn’t for the ocean being there too. Think about that for a second…

Surface conditions are only one set of circumstances. And they don’t affect the depths of the ocean, not really. You’re on the ocean… you’re part of the ocean…

And the storm is, well… not always a storm. Its air and… life.

Expect life to be uneven (as a wise someone I know will say), and you’ll never be taken by surprise if the boat upends for a while.

This wind and storm are the same as that filling the boat’s sails and propelling it forward. Without the wind, the storms… the boat would lie there stagnantly.

Ha! Now, I just gotta figure out how to integrate this pretty little story into the day to day…

And my friend? Well, we talked about a bunch of other stuff too. Of course. There was a little conversation about the steps they’re taking, couples counselling etc… Then, remembering the gorgeous words used in a Hindu/Vedic wedding ceremony we attended a couple of years back.

On a very quick trip to Sydney, I’d suddenly found myself invited to our mutual friend’s wedding along with S. Held at the glorious abode of our favourite Brahmin priest in way out western Sydney.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s fairly standard to a Vedic wedding – invoking Ganesha, the garlanding of bride and groom, the bride wearing red, seven steps taken together as a newly married couple… but I’m yet to find the words he used anywhere else online.

There was all this glorious stuff about… revering the god/goddess within each other, promising adoration, fealty and many other beautiful things for ‘a thousand summers’…

We both left that ceremony in a gooey state of bliss. So I gently reminded her of that time and… listened to her voice perk up.

It’s a practice after all… to remember each day the things we love about our significant other… just as important as yogasana. Well, its yoga too isn’t it? Given the word yoga actually means ‘union’?

~Svasti

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