Rumi said “Stop acting so small; you are the universe in ecstatic motion!”. I love this quote because it just makes me feel my inner strength and resilience, my true self, my divinity, even. I think that a breast cancer experience (or any other difficult life experience, for that matter) can sometimes make us feel helpless, weak, small, and defeated. We can feel like we have no power to weather the storm, to turn the sails, and to come out the other side healthy and not damaged. And of course it is ok to have flashes of that mindset. It is only natural. But we must recognize that sort of thought pattern when it begins to arise, and change that inner discourse to something healthier and more empowering. Because in reality, we truly do have that power.
In the quiet moments of our yoga practice, when we can truly turn our awareness inward and allow the outer world to melt away, we can get in touch with that place inside of ourselves, where we have this power. And by power, I don’t mean like brute force power, or power we might use to control others. I mean that quiet, peaceful, imperturbable power and fortitude to withstand anything our life throws at us. I mean that dynamic flexibility and deep faith that allow us to gracefully roll with the punches, and not get disheartened when things get tough. Because they do get tough. That is just real life. We, as cancer survivors, have had to dig deep and find this inner strength and resilience over and over again, from the first diagnosis, through telling our loved ones, through different types of trying treatments, and through long follow ups and recurrence scares. But the truth is that we have infinite ability inside of us to handle life’s difficulties, if we can just learn to see it and to tap into it.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (the original written text on yoga), he says “Study thyself. Discover the divine”. Whatever our spiritual beliefs are, yoga can help us look deeply inside of ourselves and find that place of true power, that place of divinity, of the universe in ecstatic motion. Don’t let yourself walk around being anything less.