The meeting place of peace and chaos


Column Post by Lakin Easterling

Occasionally I practice yoga. It’s proper to call it a practice, and there’s beauty in calling it such instead of a profession, or a workout, or a perfected art.

The word “practice” allows for grace, mistakes, movement, and the individual journey of progressing from one movement to the next. It’s extremely inviting, especially in our hard-line, greedy world.

There’s a lot of what is not practicing going on—a lot of doing something once and calling it good enough.

There is a specific term my yoga instructor {she’s in my phone, on a handy little app called “Yoga with Janet Stone”—incredibly calming, and it feels like she’s in the room with you} uses, and it’s called the drishti. In yoga-speak, the drishti is the point of focus utilized when moving in your poses, balancing, or learning new poses.

It’s the focal point of yoga; the movements keep your body healthy and limber, sure, but the real point of practicing is to learn to be steady in the middle of chaos. 

Focusing on the drishti enhances the inner strength and core of your being, because you’re never thrown off track. You’re always moving in the line of sight; everything you do, even if you topple over, is allowed and forgiven, because you have that constant focus.

Yoga is a very spiritual concept for me. When I’m seeing with my drishti, it’s like praying. I see me, and I see the breath moving in my body, and I see how my muscles move, and my focal point is all gratitude, because I am well and alive and moving. Yoga is an offering of thankfulness to my Maker, for giving me the life and the ability and wherewithal to be thankful for it.

Yoga is also a double-edged sword, because I can be thankful in my half-hour or forty-five minute practice, and as soon as I’m done, be cleaning or folding laundry or catching up on schoolwork or a billion other things that I enjoy doing or do for the heck of it (writing a book in a month, for starters). I’m back to shuffling and doing and passing my first attempt off as finished, no refining, no trying, no practice, no thanksgiving.

Life is not a completed product. Life is not easily acknowledged as the gift it is; instead, we grumble about food and clothes and having to put this away or the baby wouldn’t let me do what I wanted, and we are far, far away from gratefulness.

We need to practice. Practice patience, love, peace. Practice living in the middle of the chaos and the people who tell us to just do it once and keep moving. We need to practice focus, and breathe.

We need to practice grace, especially for ourselves.

Here I am, with you, practicing peace in the midst of chaos. We can focus, together.

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We would LOVE to know your thoughts. Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Max Lucado’s new Grace Happens Here.

Lakin Easterling is a wife, mother, writer, and avid reader. She spends her days chasing her toddler, Belle, and conversing with the elderly who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. She loves surprise coffee dates with her husband Luke, texting novels to her best friend, Laura Hyers, and being a college student. She dreams about being brave enough to get a tattoo, and believes in the healing power of a good cup of coffee. Her favorite nail polish is Sail Away by Milani. She blogs at http://threadingsymphonies.wordpress.com.

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One thought on “The meeting place of peace and chaos

  1. Hi Lakin,

    I know there is controversy about practicing yoga poses. When I posted that I got injured and would like prayer, there was one who wanted to pray for me to have my eyes opened about this pagan practice. I understood her concern, and didn’t take offense, but it is nice to see your post here. I think of many of our “Christian” holidays, and some of the things we use to celebrate them. What started as pagan celebrations, Christians co-opted and took for themselves, turning them into something that celebrates Christ. I think of what Paul said about eating meat offered to idols. We are free to do this as long as it does not offend. You would have had plenty of opportunity to think of this meat as having some sort of unholy spiritual “thing” attached to it, yet Paul said we are free to partake. I think we can do the same thing with yoga poses. The stretches and deep breathing are good for the body and for the soul. The spirit follows suit when we focus on Christ.

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