"Move! Move! Move! Keep moving! You stop moving you dead! You stop breathing you dead! Smile! No grumpy! Happy!"
The words streamed out of this enigma taking the form of a small, amazingly fit Balinese man, sporting a long grey beard, in a tank top and blue pants standing on the platform in the center of the room - the guru who was leading this Sunday morning yoga class.
The words flowed out over the full room, urging me on, as the sweat trickled down my spine, down my chest, down my face. My cotton yoga pants had gotten looser and started to sag as they had absorbed more and more moisture during the class, and now were also annoyingly sticking to my legs and binding my movements.
"Move! Move! Move!" The words kept coming and I kept moving. "Inhale! Exhale!" This class was a kundalini tantric yoga class. The entire premise was to keep the body moving and there was special emphasis and attention not only on breath and squeezing the belly to push out the breath, but also on moving the spine, to keep it, as well as all of the joints in the body, lubricated and healthy. Of course a bi-product of this is the strength, stamina, and flexibility inherently needed to move the body in such ways.
Rather than holding the yoga poses, this class was about MOVING. And moving we were. And moving the physical body moves the emotional body. As the two hour class went on, the more the emotional energy that had stagnated in my body was being moved, and the more my physical body wanted to move.
It was a strange feeling. There was the feeling of being tired, there were my aching thigh muscles, there was sweat pouring out of my body, there was a part of me that didn't feel like I was doing things right and just wanted to take a break. My gaze kept drifting out the open doors across the verdant green rice fields that stretched out below the 4th story yoga hall until the words came again, "Move! Breathe!" abruptly jerking my attention back to my mat. But there was another part of me that wanted to keep going forever. And I was working, and I was pushing, and I had adopted almost a trance-like state in order to keep going. I was at my edge. But I was loving it. I was smiling. My body wanted more. It wanted as much of this as it could get. My whole being was responding in a big way to this - in a huge way. My body felt like it was vibrating. I felt euphoria. I felt...alive.
Some people had dropped down onto their mats and were resting...some were struggling to keep going. I could tell because again I heard him say, "Keep moving! Smile! No grumpy!"
As we all struggled on our different levels, sometimes expressing our discomfort, if only with our facial expressions, I then heard him say, "The pain is where God lives." He said, "You find God in the pain. You find God in love, too." And that struck me. What a beautifully profound statement to encompass the experience of this life.
And while I was still contemplating that, moving and breathing and sweating, and sweating and breathing and moving, the next words that came from this ever-smiling energetic powerhouse of a guru were like a perfectly aimed arrow of wisdom and truth that effortlessly landed its mark.
It seemed like another lifetime that I had learned about the legend of Queen Suriyothai of Siam while in Ayutthaya, although it had actually only been a few weeks. Her story and the message I received as I was leaving her monument had made such an impression I had written a blog article about it then, entitled, "Voices of Ancient Queens: Fight for What You Value and Never Give Up".
Now this guru's words had sank into my heart, driving home a stark realization, just as the Viceroy of Burma's spear sinking into Queen Suriyothai's heart created a defining moment of history back in the sixteenth century.
He said simply, "Life is a fight."
Life is a fight. He did not say life is a struggle or that life is hard. He said life is a fight.
As I was leaving the monument built to honor Suriyothai in Ayutthaya that day a few weeks ago, I had received a message. (And by "received a message", I mean I literally heard the words in my head.) Those words were, "FIGHT. Hold your space, hold your ground, and FIGHT. You're opponent may be unseen, but you STAND and you FIGHT, just as if you were on the battlefield. YOU ARE on a battlefield, just not one that you or anyone else can see. But you still use tactics and strategy and you still are courageous and you still FIGHT with everything you have for what you value and to be who you are meant to be. Do not give up. Go down fighting with everything you have if necessary, but do not ever give up. FIGHT. It is what you are here to do."
And the "fight" isn't about struggle or hardship. It is about the fire inside. It's about being your most authentic self and fighting to keep shining your light brighter and brighter regardless of circumstance. It is about helping others to shine theirs. It is about the fight to get up every morning and the fight to be disciplined and do what is worth doing even when it is hard. It is about the fight to go your own way when it feels like the whole world is against you. It is about fighting for what you know you need to do deep down inside, even when no one understands or "gets it". It is about doing it even when we don't feel like it. It it about the fight to keep the faith, to keep moving, to keep smiling, to keep our integrity. It is about the fight to manifest our dreams. It is about knowing what we value and fighting to protect it.
Suriyothai rode out on her war elephant (disguised as a man no less) because she felt a duty to be there with her king. When his elephant stampeded during single elephant combat, she bravely charged her elephant forward, blocking the path of the Viceroy of Burma and keeping him from getting to the King of Siam, who was at that point in a vulnerable position, and ended up facing off with the viceroy herself and losing. She surrendered her life for what she believed in right there on the battle field. She fought to protect what she valued most - her husband, her king, her children, her way of life, and her culture.
We fight things that aren't as tangible, but are just as real, and they will take what we value just the same. Distractions, depression, fear, and limiting beliefs are some of those unseen opponents that will take down your kingdom. Like an enemy double agent who has been sent to infiltrate your realm from the inside, they will operate in the shadows and sabotage you.
Our power is in the present moment. Our power is in our ability to take action while we are breathing and alive. The guru said, "You no move you dead. You no breathe you dead. You angry you dead." When we experience anger and fear, we illicit the response of the nervous system that stops blood flowing to our organs and higher brain. This in turn keeps us reacting rather than acting, and running on instincts rather than looking for solutions. This keeps us stressed. This keeps us emotionally stuck. This slowly kills us.
We must use the time our spirits are embodied to take right action. Our actions in the present have power. Our actions in the present have the power to free us from fears and limiting beliefs that maybe have been handed down over generations. WE have that power. To access it we must move, we must breathe, we must FIGHT. We have the power to set ourselves free from these old prisons. We have the power to set ourselves free from karmic cycles and heal our ancestral lines both backwards and forwards, because there is nothing really but the present moment. But if you are not breathing, and you are not moving, and you are not fighting in this moment, and you are stuck in anger or hurt or fear and locked up, then what?
Breathe, move, take back your power. Make a decision to be present, to be strong, to have integrity and to FIGHT for what you value. Make a decision to be happy. Make a decision to find God in the pain but to always stay open to love because God dwells there as well.
Make a decision to FIGHT. It's what we are here to do.
As an ambassador for Consciously Creating Life, Kasey serves as an advocate of the magic that exists in this life and in each and every one of us. She is a champion of the journey to access our own powerful magic by returning home to ourselves and reclaiming the thrones of our hearts as sovereign rulers of our realms, through practicing the Art of Consciously Creating Life.
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