In my morning yoga practice, I saw a peice of my skin on the floor that fell off of me during my practice the day before. Lying next to my yoga mat, my old skin told me “You are not the same as you were.” Even after this realization, in the moment that followed I felt different. As I hinged deeper into my forward bend, I recalled the words of my professor Diane L. Moore at Harvard Divinity School. She advised an anxiety ridden version of me during my writing process: “As soon as your paper is done, it is obsolete.”
What? Even before I turn it in?
I felt myself teetering on the precipice of an existential downward spiral – one that would question every reason for thought and creativity all the way down. I was unexpectedly greeted by the soft comfort of reason:
At the cellular level old life is dying off and new life is beginning more times than a person blinks in a minute. It is hard to notice as we humans have become so accustomed to living on auto-pilot. Not even having to think about breathing, the acts of rebirth and renewal have become commonplace. When I think about losing something, I equate the feeling with pain, sorrow or challenge. To lose something is to be robbed; change is to pain as oxygen is to water. I know I am not the only one that feels this way, especially when I observe the world as it is in its natural, visceral form. We live on a warrior planet. This is a place to stage battles to the death – winner take all: renew power, reuse authority, recycle trends.
Some people are prayer warriors, some people are yoga warriors. Some people Jihad, while some fight over the sovereignty of land. Even still, some just want to fight, but if the fight leaves nothing less than a more beautiful world than before the throat had been gripped, let the fight die. Give up the angry, hungry ghost.
While discarding dead cells may be an act of nature, it is not a natural act for many of us, and the calluses get buried in more excess; excess begets excess like wearing a winter coat at high noon in July. And in all my years of trying to save the world from itself, I didn’t even notice my own excess until this fateful morning.