On many occasions I've mocked my Yoga From Mars teacher. She's sooo out there and in her own world and I have really struggled with connecting. On many occasions I've bitched about that class, and rightfully so. Last night though, I was "pinged".
She came into class and told us all that it was her birthday, and that it was a bigger celebratory occasion than just her birthday. She told the class that she was going to tell us her "Infertility Story." This of course got my attention, given my recent medical diagnosis.
She had spread out around her, in frames, photos, all of which were of an Indian (as in Eastern, not Native American) boy - at various stages of his growth. She explained that this was her son, Elliott. She told the story about how she and her husband were number 26 on a waiting list to get a child from India.
On November 7, 1983 (her birthday) she received a call from a social worker, telling her that a premature boy had been born in India two days earlier, and offering him to her. She of course accepted, and began to make plans to bring her son home. She had to wait almost 2 months, because he was so premature, and then she went up to Seattle to get him.
There were 9 Indian babies on that flight, and there were two women escorting the babies. When her son was handed to her, the Indian woman told her "Of these nine, this one is special, you are blessed." She was so ecstatic that she was finally a mom that she didn't really pay too much attention. They had an instant and deep bond as mother and son.
When her son was three, he insisted on calling her "Little Mommy" and her husband "Little Daddy." When asked why he called them this, he stated matter of factly that he was older than they were on the inside. He also told her that he came from her. She explained to him, as best she could with his young age, that he didn't come from her body, he came from his India mommy's body, but she had wished for him and he came from her heart.
He told her, "No...no Mommy. I was in your body first, I just couldn't get out. So I had to go back up and come back down into my Indian mommy so that I could come and be with you." I JUST COULDN'T GET OUT. How does a three year old even think such things?
They say that children understand so much more than adults, and the "real world" beats it out of them.
After this discussion, we did some yoga poses and relaxation meditations, and she gathered us around again for birthday cake to celebrate her special day. She then told us, "All of these people in these photos, with the exception of my son and I, have one thing in common. This is my mother, this is my father, this is my husband, this is my brother, this is my grandmother..." she pointed them out in each photo.
"They are all dead."
She went down the row of photos, stating the ages of the people when they died - some were younger than others. When she got to the last photo, of her husband and her son, she said "And I lost my love, my husband, when he was 34."
She decribed how she very nearly went mad with grief, losing all of her family, except for her son, within 5 years. And she described that the one thing she learned through all of her pain was to live in the moment, and this is a big part of why she "doesn't hold back," which of course explains her loopy behavior in class.
Someone piped up in class and asked what happened to her husband (which I thought was intrusive, actually). She teared up a little, thanked her for her interest and refrained from answering. All she said was "my son and I never got the chance to say goodbye."
Then she asked us all, "What would you do if you discovered you only had 5 days to live? Because really, any of us could only have 5 days to live." My answer was to marry David, and go to Paris. She asked me "Why Paris?" I couldn't really specify WHY when asked, besides the fact that I've felt called there my whole life. She asked me what I wanted to do while I was there, I told her I wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, ride the Metro, go to the Wine Country, shop in the market, be in Paris.
She instantly guessed that my life was fully of many responsibilities towards others - and my Paris dream is the part inside of me that wants to do something just for me - a yearning to be relaxed and on vacation, to be able to be a tourist and not have to have responsibilities. She of course knows nothing about my lifestyle, my dad, Dave's kids, how maniacal my life can get. And I realize on one level it's just basic psychology, but I suddenly felt very emotionally touched that she could see that part of me - that part yearing to be out and immersed in another world and culture, and the wanderlust explorer in me. She told me that the traveler in me needs to get out, that I need to be more in culture and be stimulated in that way.
She then asked me what was stopping me. I laughed, and said "Well, just like you inferred, responsibilities. Mainly money and time." She asked me what money was. I stated it was a form of exchange used to obtain goods or services. She laughed and said, "Yes, but what money really is, is compensation for your TIME. If you had five days to live, would it be more important to have more money or more time?"
And if you really examine the concept as money being traded for time from your life, it makes it seem very foolish to want more and more money, and more and more material things, because they just aren't important. We all know this on some level, that material things aren't important, but what do material objects actually represent? Our time and energy. Our possessions tell the true story about what is important to us. Whether our house is immaculate all the time, or we spend time playing video games, or we go hiking, those all are reflections about what is truly important to us.
She then moved on to another student, and asked them what their dream was, and I was left there with my thoughts racing a million miles an hour. And really, WHY HAVEN'T I BEEN TO PARIS?
I promise this to myself - by my 32nd birthday, I will have been to Paris.
I believe that fate is a window that appears, something you notice as you are about to walk through the door - if you are paying attention. Opportunity presents itself, and its up to us as intelligent beings to make the correct choices when opportunities are presented to us. Thinking about the story of how she and her son came together, I don't believe that was coincidental. I guess it helps that I believe in reincarnation, and the ability for "old souls" to show up when people are still children, and I believe that some people, some souls, are together because they are supposed to be together.
My teacher and her son were supposed to be together, and supposed to be brought together in such a meaningful way, because later when it seemed like they lost everything they had that to hold onto. Something still made sense, in all that seemingly unfair pain and abandonment. They were not alone. They were still a family. And it probably saved them both.
And I began to think about my own love story. About how I had been emotionally creamed by an asshole, bounced right back into a pointless "fluff" relationship that crashed and burned in an alcohol and jealousy infused mess, and how I just very much wanted to be left alone, and truly meant that with every cell in my body. My heart just wanted to rest.
And then completely by accident I met David. David who hadn't even legally disentangled himself from his ex-wife, with two small children that had been abandoned by their mother, and was as emotionally creamed and guarded as myself. I think about how we became friends, denied to everyone that would listen that we WERE NOT DATING, and yet craved to talk to each other and be around each other every day. How we had a bizarre courtship, from deciding we were a couple before we had barely even had the courage to touch each other, from barfing from nerves before our first "real" date, from completely finding all the answers in each other when we just decided to chill out, breathe, and just let things be.
We are both 180 degrees different before we got involved. I bonded with and fell in love with his children, who desperately need a mother figure in their life. Within a year, I'm brave enough to accept David's proposal. I think about how things go from calm and mellow to complete and total chaos, how sometimes loving this family is the hardest thing I've ever had to do because I love them 100% - completely, the ugly, broken, wounded parts of them that I want to protect while they heal. When they hurt I hurt. We are all wounded inside, it just takes the right people to be able to reach it when you trust them and let them in completely.
This year I realized that I wanted to become a mother, and then the doctor explains to me that it will be very difficult to make happen. So in a sense, this is my own infertility story, which could be seen as another woman's coincidence... or it could be something more. It could be that I'm just paying attention.