At first I was afraid, I was petrified… Kept thinking I could never live without what I’ve acquired by my side… But then I spent so many nights reeling on what went so wrong… And I grew strong… And I learned how to get along… I will survive, hey, hey!!

 

This has been the mission of the world lately – to just survive – the struggle has been very real.  

 

But being a pilgrim of love and knowing love is the key to staying “alive” during these times I took to struggle in a different way… I welcomed this gift, this wise teacher, this well-wisher. Struggle brought light to the places where life was stale; struggle showed me the cracks and creases where I did not know ruts existed; struggle revealed where I would workhorse through existence. Struggle took the fear inside and turned it into courageous actions.

 

Struggle transformed my ordinary life into a householder’s attainment of Moksha (spiritual liberation). How did I come to this?  

 

How could I befriend the struggle – something that has destroyed so many before me?  

 

I turned to my trusted path of yoga and the wise teachings from Swami Kripalu. He said,

 

Instead of denial, objection, or bitterness reach deep inside yourselves and find the inner strength to respond to life’s challenges honestly and directly.

 

So, there I sat in meditation, several meditations, and I visited these visceral places of fear, denial, objection and bitterness in hopes of inner, direct honesty. I observed the formative role struggle played physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

 

At last, amid a sweet meditation, I saw my fruits of pleasure grow from the tree of pain. 

 

I concluded that I am not alone and the truth is struggle is part of life. More importantly I have choices – I can crumble and wallow in the negative energy of struggle, I can push with my rational, human-mind or I can peacefully transcend. All the yogic teachings say the key to abolishing all suffering is to rise above and I rise above by trusting the universe to just surrender.

 

That is now the practice of this householder’s life because…

 

“In the entire world, there is not one human being who is free from pain. Even in favorable conditions, a person encounters struggle. The external form of struggle appears to be cruel.  Some describe it as a horrible demon, but its nature is not malicious. In fact, it is proper to welcome struggle, for its arrival is always auspicious.  Struggle keeps us from growing sluggish. It changes an animal into an ideal person.  It transforms an ordinary human into a spiritually-awake person respected by the world. Struggle is a subtle sculptor who shapes the life of every great spiritual master into a unique and unparalleled work of art.”

 

– Swami Kripalu

 

So I say, go…. go be free….

 

Free from your pain to experience your pleasure….

 

Free from your churning heart to feel the grace of love within….

 

Free from your ego to become the unity we once were…

 

May we all be healthy, may we all be happy and may we all be whole.

 

Thank you now, Yoganand, more than any other time, and to all the teachers before you, as life would be a completely different perspective if I did not stumble into your studio and become a devote Pranakriya yogi all those years ago.

 

With love to all,

 

Krissy Dopson Simon

 

Click here for more info on Pranakriya Program Director, Krissy!