I teach a group of elders at the Native Center in Portland. I am always amazed at their openness, and willingness to learn from me, a white women. Many of these elders have endured hard lives, mostly caused by the white mans running of this country and the horrible treatment of their people... and still they are open to me and what I have to share. I keep waiting for the day I freak them out or weird them out with Kundalini Yoga, mantras and breath work… but each time I pull a new tool out of my tool kit they receive it with gratitude. One day a man in his 80’s who was just spectating and not participating came up after class and said how wonderful he felt from just watching, he said he planed to come back next time to participate. Sometimes we have to stand on the sidelines until the time is right for us to feel safe enough to be open, and this should be respected. I do believe we all have our own pace and timing, but we each set our own pace and if we would like to speed up our growing process then staying open is key.
When we become too rigid in anything we start to become old. There is a difference between an elder and an old person. An elder is a person whose age has developed wisdom. An elder is someone we look to for guidance. An old person is someone who stops growing and expanding. They think they have all the answers, or even worse they know they do not have the answers but are not willing to be open to new ideas or possibilities. You can be old at any age and you can also change at any age. I pray that I always remain open and grow into an elder.
Rigidity is not limited, it can develop in any lifestyle. Spiritually can be as rigid and sometimes even more so than other paths in life. There is nothing worse then a spiritual “know it all”. We can become religiously rigid or lazily rigid, any form of rigidity will become a barricade in our life and stop our evolution. We want to be able to bend and flow with life; staying flued enough to see the wave coming and modify our response so we can surf them and not drown.
The universe works in mysterious ways, and sometimes (often times) our biggest moments of growth come from our darkest times in life. I am constantly humbled by the elders and reminded to stay open to receive the blessings and lessons of this human life.
We never know when a healer, teacher, partner, friend or opportunity might walk through the door or show up in our lives. If we stay open to receive, anything is possible. Keep your chin up, your heart open and let the flow of life, flow through you.