Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lost and Found

Something's lost but something's gained in living every day.
Joni Mitchell

It is easy to lose something - anything: a thought, an object, confidence, our way, our health, motivation. If it is important, we seek to find that which is lost. But often we have to balance our desire to find something with the acceptance of its loss.

The other day I went to my hiking spot in the woods and as I was pulling my keys out of my pocket I heard something drop on the pavement. I saw the carabiner I used for my keys had opened but I did not see anything on the ground so I went for my hike thinking that the sound was from my dog's collar and leash I had also pulled from my pocket. When I got to my next destination I realized I had lost my house key. So I went back to the spot where I knew I had lost it. I looked all around the area I had parked my car before, but could not find the key. Finally I accepted it was lost and decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and go for another unplanned hike since I was there anyway. I moved the car to get it off the road more and took off into the woods. As I was coming back to my car, I started thinking about the key again and there it was, right under my car door. Somehow I had parked my car in the very spot where the key had bounced to.

Why did I move my car to the exact spot where my key was lost? I don't know. If I had stubbornly kept searching for my key, I might have found it but missed another chance to be immersed in the peace and quiet of the woods. If I was not thinking about my key as I walked back to my car, I might not have seen it. Patient awareness with the acceptance of an unknown outcome has its own rewards.

Yoga is the union of opposites. In losing something, we find something else. When we engage our muscles to create a strong foundation, we have to let go of some muscular energy to find a softness and expansiveness in the pose. We lose our breath on every exhalation, but that creates room for a new breath full of fresh oxygen to come into our bodies. If we release the busyness of our minds, we can find a deeper inner awareness and contentment.

Lost and founds are everywhere. Sometimes we need help to find what we lost. Other times we just need to take a break from our search and whatever was lost magically reappears. Life always comes back to balance, at least temporarily. Some kind of divine providence eventually provides us with what we need to ease the feeling of being lost and find peace within ourselves.

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