Everyday Namaste

“What is that word you just said?”
The yoga teacher said, “Namaste.”
“How do you spell that?” he asked.
She spelled it for him.
“What does it mean?
“It means the light in me sees and recognizes, the light in you.”
“That one word means all that?”

“Yep,” she said.

I would have given the same answer. I HAVE given that same answer. Hundreds of times.

It’s funny when you hear your own words coming from someone else, it’s as if you are hearing them for the first time.

I decided I don’t like that explanation of “Namaste” anymore.

Here’s my revision:

“Namaste” means this:
You know how somedays you are happy and other days not so much?
You know how some days you are pissy and disappointed in the world and other people?
You know how you feel when people fink out on you? Or die on you and abandon you? You know how you feel when you get sick? You know how you feel when you wake up in the night in a cold sweat thinking that you are going to die someday?
You know those other days when the sky is blue and everything is just perfect?

When I say “Namaste” to you, I bow to all that because guess what?

It’s the same for me.

“Namaste” means, “I see your life, and I get it, and you,  because you are basically the same as me.”

You? Me? Underneath it all, we are dealing with the same shit. Everyday.


The Unlived Dream

Everyone has an unlived dream inside them.  Everyone. 

I have never met a single person who did not have an unlived dream. 

Most people spend the majority of their time trying to distract themselves from their unlived dream because they believe that they can’t live it, and that thought gives them a lot of pain so why do that to themselves?  Why not settle for the livable dream. 

There are lots of dreams, after all.  We live some of them and other ones, well, they’re just not practical or realistic, or possible.  So we go through life distracting ourselves from them.

But what would happen if we didn’t?  What if we gave ourselves a few minutes every day to look at our unlived dream? 

We don’t have to DO anything about this dream. At least not right now. But what if we could just muster up the courage to look it in the face. Stare it down. Get to know it. Let it know us.

What if we gave ourselves permission to fantasize about teaching yoga in Costa Rica every winter, or owning our own business, or writing that book, or sailing to Fiji, or building a big addition onto our house, or having a kid, or acting like a kid, or owning a beach house, or reaching our ideal weight and staying there for the rest of our lives?

What if we made it a habit to think about this stuff every day?

What if we devoted 10 minutes a day to this stare-down and called it “meditation”?

What if we faced down these unlived dreams and did not flinch under their accusations of “impractical” or “unrealistic”?

What if instead of dismissing them we bowed to them? What if we acknowledged them? Lit a candle to them and built a little shrine to them inside our hearts?

Can we afford this risk? Can we even entertain the possibility that this small, seemingly inconsequential act might enliven us?

And worse. Can we risk the fallout of igniting these unlived dreams? How could we possibly endure the inevitable fallout of failure and disappointment and exhaustion?

Your unlived dream is the light in you. It gives you your glow, your luster, your sparkle. It’s the light I see and bow to when I say, “Namaste” to you.

It’s my scary, impractical, impossible unlived dream you bow to when you say it back.

Namaste.Mardi Gras Buddha Dog