This morning I unintentionally stepped into this week’s task. Living in a condominium is nothing short of oppressive – in my particular situation. A set of neighbours enjoy policing every inch of the “common area” and taking it upon themselves to determine who can do what when where. This behaviour has evolved into serial, petty, passive-aggressive acts that seem to be undertaken for the express purpose of inconveniencing and annoying others.
When we moved in 3 years ago it was immediately clear that our rights were being mercilessly trampled on. I retreated for months feeling bullied and threatened. My throat clenched and stomach roiled every time I bumped over the little hill heading toward my front door. I owned my unit, but not my liberty!
We are situated in the south end of a small Ontario town surrounded by trees, a river and a pond teeming with life. We fall asleep to the burbles of bull frogs and awaken to a symphony of song birds. After finishing my coffee on the back deck this morning, I grabbed my yoga mat, a camera and a corn broom. I swept off one of the wooden landings on the stairway down to the pond, aimed the camera at the droopy heads of a scattering of red trilliums and headed back to my mat.
During my practice, my drishti fell upon the gnarly bark of a tree, a fallen branch half buried in last year’s leaves, the sun glimmering on the pond. Afterward, I sat in silence in the dappled sunshine and soaked it all in. It felt like vacation, it smelt like vacation and I was home!
Gratitude flowed through me. I do not own the trees or the birds or the ducks but they are at my doorstep to be enjoyed whenever my heart allows. I can express my liberty in ways that cannot be stolen. I can choose to be free or I can choose to give my power away. Living as a visitor brought home the joy and abundance all around me and the flimsy shadows of trifling annoyances can be easily overlooked as they merely flutter past in the sunshine.
asteya, yamas, yoga philosophy