Last Thursday I managed to drag my butt out of bed to meet my friend and fellow Weebly, Jess, for a sunrise yoga class. I set the alarm, quickly changed from pj's to stretchy pants (the best kind of wardrobe transition, amirite?) and hopped on the bus with the sun still sleeping. As the bus doors began to close, a disheveled woman in her mid to late forties rapped on the window.
To put it lightly--She was a bit of a spectacle to watch. For imagination sake, I'll try to be descriptive, despite the visually uncomfortable nature of my brief time with her. She sat up front, right behind the driver who kindly let her ride without paying fare (as she had immediately slurred/yelped that she had no money and people "keep stealing my wallet!"). She proclaimed that she needed to get to the Greyhound station, though never included a reason why. The driver gently explained where his route would take her and she seemed satisfied that was close enough. She did not sit still for a moment, squirming while spraying her whole body, flip-flop clad feet included, with cheap perfume. She squirmed while brushing her half bleached blonde hair, cleaning the bristles beforehand but placing the clump of lost hairs pulled out of the brush into one of her 2 small bags. She sat shaky handed-ly reapplying deep, dark, crooked, unflattering eye makeup and lipstick. She sat and twitched, tongue wagging awkwardly outside her mouth a number of times.
I tell you all of this because when, in a candle lit, cozy yoga studio, our instructor encouraged us to set our intention for class, immediately this potentially homeless addict (but certainly un-well, either way) woman came to my mind. I didn't know her name or any real truth about her, but for some reason I deeply wished to send any positive energy my practice created directly to her. So I called her Blondie, which was a term of endearment used to refer to my wonderful little (and naturally blonde haired) sister many moons ago. I thought, this woman had a grandfather somewhere, maybe once upon a time. She has or had a mom. She may even have a wonderful little sister, just like me. She feels sadness, just like me. She experiences joy and laughter, fear and pain, just like me. Someone, at sometime, had loved her (and hopefully, still does).
And this, for whatever reason, simultaneously broke my heart for the apparent, jarring differences between how our lives are playing out and also opened it up to how we are still, somehow, equals.
So I flowed for Blondie. I held plank more strongly, for Blondie. I tightened my core and focused my mind to balance in bird of paradise (as best I could!) for Blondie. I dedicated my practice to her because if we cannot learn to at least send love and light to one another--to friends, to family, to struggling strangers on buses--then we are not holding up a big part of the human bargain. The part that says we get to be here, together, no matter how vast our differences may seem.
Let's try not to forget the together, you know?