Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence and Interdependence

Today is the day when we celebrate our Freedom and our independence -- nationally our independence from tyranny, but individually we celebrate the many freedoms we enjoy in this country and the national pride in the independent spirit of our citizens.
What I'm struck by when pondering independence is how in reality it is interdependence, relying on others, that makes independence possible. When I am faced with a task, or I have a responsibility -- say going to teach a yoga class -- I can't just go it alone. I rely on other people to make my job a reality. I rely on a babysitter or my husband to watch my child, I rely on my studio to be standing and open, I rely on students to show up and learn, I rely on my teachers who have imparted their wisdom to me, and I rely heavily on my connection to Grace all to make a 90 minute yoga practice happen. That says nothing about relying on the people who made the building, the clothes, the mats, the music, the candles, the window shades .. lights .. fans.. etc. My independent action of going to work requires participation by many many people, and that's just a simple practice.
In the full scale of my life, my independence is 100% reliant on my connections to others. I imagine my life, especially now that I am a mother, as a web. I build harmonious relationships with my friends, family, employers, teachers, students, and the other providers in my life. This actually affords me more freedom and then I am better able to serve them right back. To paraphrase the words of Anodea Judith in Waking the Global Heart, in this day and age as humans are waking up to the big problems on this Earth and to the beauty of Life, it is time to take steps forward towards greater interdependence. I realize fear holds us back, but what I've found and hope others will too, is the more I allow myself to connect, to rely on, and to harmonize with others the greater my personal light shines. It is not a diminishment of myself to join with someone else in this way, instead we both grow into the true freedom that is not outside of us, but is inherent within. So today I celebrate Freedom and Interdependence.

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