I moved back to Texas (from North Carolina) 12 days ago. I lived in North Carolina for 4.5 years, but before that, I was a resident of the Lone Star State for almost 10 years. Even though I grew up in California (Los Angeles), I somehow feel that I’m more of a Texan than a Californian. I was so excited to make the move back to where my heart is, but the move was not without challenges. In my blog last week, I talked about the Dos and Don’ts of moving in the midst of COVID-19 (it’s so important to plan ahead because there are moving-related services that may not necessarily readily available due to business closures). Today, I want to address the emotional aspect of moving, using the symbolism of a lotus flower.
“Be like a lotus. Let the beauty of your heart speak. Be grateful to the mud, water, air and the light.”
A lotus is a very unique plant: While most plants in the northern hemisphere became extinct during the Ice Age, lotus plants survived, earning the distinction as a living fossil. It also grows in muddy waters into a beautiful flower: This fact alone can be pondered over for many hours — and I promise to dedicate an entire blog in the near future — but today, I will talk about the following characteristics of a Lotus: Purity, Enlightenment, Self-regeneration and Rebirth.
The dictionary defines purity as “freedom from contamination.” When I think of the word contamination, I think of something being dirty, dangerous to one’s well-being, and no longer being good for its purpose. It seems kind of odd to think about the connection between purity and moving; but the way I connect it is by asking myself, “Am I dragging my personal baggage from state to state, or am I starting anew with a blank slate, with no pre-conceived notion of what this new chapter in my life will be like?” Being that I’m a dreamer, I like to envision the way I think certain situations will be like. It’s hard not to go into a new experience and environment with no expectation; however, if I want to approach this with purity, I must go into my life in Texas free from contamination of bad habits that I have previously created in my life.
We use this term (or some form of it) a lot in Yoga. Some words that are in this category are understanding, insight, awareness and awakening. I’ve been missing my friends in Charlotte a lot the past couple of days. I found myself wondering if we made a mistake by leaving Charlotte. When I expressed this to my friend in Dallas, she seemed concerned for me. But I assured her that I was glad I was feeling sad and having doubts because if I didn’t feel this way, how can I say that I gave my heart fully to my life in Charlotte? It would also indicate that I was totally out of touch with my feelings if I didn’t feel this way. I think part of being enlightened in one’s journey in life is to be able to have self-awareness and to be able to recognize the discomforts without avoiding or ignoring them.
When I think self-regeneration, I think of lizards. I remember when I was at a summer camp as a teenager, one of my friends caught a lizard and was trying to hold onto it. When it squirmed out of his hand, he grabbed the tail (you know what’s coming next), and the tail detached from the lizard… and it was moving by itself! This was the first time I had ever seen a lizard do that in person, so it freaked me out! We know that lizards have the ability to regenerate their tails. I found myself asking the question, “Are there any areas in my life where my heart has been hurt or injured? If so, am I actively taking the necessary steps to heal and regenerate those parts of my heart?
Rebirth. To be born again. This makes me think about being like a newborn, where everything is new and fascinating. Even though I have previously lived in Dallas for almost 10 years, I want to embrace this city with a new set of eyes and new perspective. I don’t want to go back to who I was when I lived here before; I want to allow myself to approach this new chapter of life with freshness and excitement.
Moving is tough. It is never without discomforts and bitter-sweetness. If you are (or will be) in the situation of moving, know that I can relate to the myriad of emotions that you are (or will be) going though… and that transition feelings are completely normal and necessary.