By Jamie Lugo, May, 2017
Kinetic molecular theory (also known as particle theory) states that all matter is made up of particles and these particles are always in motion. Guess what? WE are made of particles, and so WE are always in motion.
If you’ve been to my class you have probably heard me reference Pema Chödrön. In my mind, she accurately describes this phenomenon as “groundlessness”. Groundlessness is the idea that long term security, a permanent solution to a problem, or even predictability just don’t exist. The more we attempt to hold on to things and ideas in this world (that just so happens to also be in constant motion) the more we get dragged around. The struggles we encounter are not because we don’t have a solution, but rather because we are always looking for one.
I have been teaching this idea in class for many years. After all, what is more groundless than balancing on one foot or standing on your head?! I’m comfortable with the idea of groundlessness in yoga, or in small parts of my everyday life. But I’ve recently been presented with an opportunity that will really test my ability to follow this teaching and practice. My husband and I are taking a LONG sabbatical. On May 31, we will pack up all our belongings, put everything in storage, and start traveling. We plan to come back sometime in March of 2018.
Those of you who know me know that I love to travel so naturally I’m excited. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, right?! But now as I’m being faced with the reality that I am not going to have a “home” for almost a year I am freaking out…
It started with realizing I won’t have a home base. Then I recognized I won’t have my regular routine. I have to give up my teaching schedule. I realized how much I am GOING TO MISS MY STUDENTS! I won’t have my cozy bed to crawl into every night. I won’t have my pups to cuddle with on the couch. My plants will not get to hear me singing nonsensical songs to them every day (maybe they’ll be better off…). Additionally, I’ve recently (well, sort of recently…) developed a pretty bad shopping habit. The more I think about giving up all my stuff the more I’m clinging on to more and more stuff. Then I realized – this is just me trying to find ground.
Now I am taking the opportunity to catalog my belongings and purge what is unnecessary. Doing this is making me feel lighter by the minute. Maybe this is what groundlessness really means? That the more we let go of the less we have that weighs us down. Feeling groundless means feeling untethered. Finding freedom in the weightlessness and learning to fly.
So am I saying everyone should to quit their job, move out of their apartment and sell all of their belongings to practice groundlessness? YES. HA! Just kidding. Not necessarily. But if you’re ever in a situation that feels life changing, ground shaking, or unsteady remember that we’re already in constant motion and the tighter the grip- the bumpier the ride.