Beauty and the Mud: A week to foster strength and resilience; A week to promote beauty and grace
This week I suggest making a dedication to the insights we can gain from observing how a lotus flower grows.
A lotus unlike many other flowers grows under water, in harsh, dirty and obstacle ridden conditions, however it grows strong and eventually emerges from the water, clean, displaying petal by petal its beauty for the world to see. This story is shared throughout the east to highlight how beauty emerges even from the most unlikely of circumstances.
It is also understood to be symbolic of humans ‘awakening’ or reaching enlightenment according to Buddhist philosophy. The bud symbolizes the potential and the flower, spiritual growth. The lotus flower is considered a symbol of purity. We can use this imagery at any moment in our lives when times are tough and it feels we are being tested to our limits, we can remember how we, like the lotus, can remain strong and resilient and choose to emerge with beauty, dignity and grace, no matter the circumstance. Pain and hardships are a part of life, (struggle is not) the way we handle them not only contributes, but IS our story. It contributes to our growth development and our enlightenment.
Our beauty can be as a direct result of these challenges. Our beauty can emerge in the way we manage; we can be inspirational and these challenges can leave us with such empathy and compassion that we are able to help others as a result of experiencing and living with our own pain. We are strong because of our hardships, because of our pain, because of our challenges, not in spite of them.
In making your dedication for the week perhaps consider how incorporating ‘your pains, your hardships, your challenges’ may positively influence yourself or others, either on or off the yoga mat. Please take a few moments now….
And again either at the end of your yoga practice, end of the day or even just the end of the week, I would recommend taking a little space to consider any insights, thoughts or feelings you observe as a result of contemplating how this dedication, and using this symbolic story can frame the way in which you understand and honour your challenges and emerge with a sense of beauty, grace and perhaps an even greater compassion for yourself and others. Taking this time enables you to connect your mind and body, your thoughts and actions, and hopefully to take these positive qualities forward in ways which are congruent with your true nature.