Friday, November 12, 2010

The cracks in everything

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

This quote has been making the rounds lately, and it hasn't gone unnoticed by me.  The ever-inspiring Marianne Elliott blogged about it here, and it has been sticking in my brain since then.

Here's the thing.  The only thing that never changes is that everything changes.  (My 10th grade English teacher would be so proud!)  But as with all transformation, life doesn't happen in clean, straight lines.  Things change rapidly for a while, and then plateau.  (Nothing on top but a bucket and a mop...)

On the plateau, the ground is firm beneath you.  The world solidifies, and everything goes along as normal.  Days, weeks, months, years.  And then suddenly, something changes, and the cracks start to appear.  Everything we thought we could hold on to subtly shifts, and we have to adapt, or fall through the cracks.

The practice of yoga can help us to learn, by observation, how we personally react to change or challenge.  As you strain to keep your breath steady in a Warrior sequence, or as you struggle to stay sane in Reclining Pigeon pose, you are learning about how your body and your mind react to tough situations.  Whether you lash out, or curl inwards.  Whether you view transformation as doors closing or doors opening.  Whether you steam forth without looking or creep cautiously into unknown waters.

Experience gives us hope, for in the end, when the Earth has settled down and you find yourself on a new plateau, the Universe re-balances itself.  You find equilibrium in new circumstances.  Where only cracks stood before, light shines through.

Readers, what have you learned about how you react to change or challenge?


  1. Change or challenge, huh? Used to rend my life from one end to the other. Not being able to cope with change is what shattered my world so badly - and in some ways, since that time it seems as if I've been getting regular doses of change and challenge to keep me from getting too attached to "what is".

    While that might seem like a bad thing, these days I actually think it's the opposite. Change is good. Change helps us remember that life is impermanent and doesn't last forever. Our fears are based on losing what we have, and then when those fears come true in some way... it can be hard to cope with.

    So now I feel like life is more fluid and sensible when the landscape is rolling around a little and when the earth underneath my feet isn't entirely flat. The less attachment we have to what we think we have... the easier it is to not just accept change, but welcome it with open arms when it comes. And come it will. :)

    Lovely photo by the way!

  2. Excellent post ... very true, as I've found these last several months. I've been getting back into yoga ... slowly ... and I'm finding out just how much my body needs it.


  3. @Svasti - Yes, it's good in many ways to keep the perspective that life is a process in motion. Nothing is ever 100% certain and we cannot take anything for granted. It's all about riding the wave, being in the moment, embodying the change.

    @Juliana - It's wonderful that you are getting back in touch with that need! I am the same. I can never stay away for long!

  4. Sometimes when you fall through the cracks, you land in a better place than before... freefall, I say.

  5. beautiful post! i try to breathe through change and challenge... really makes a difference!

  6. @ Anonymous - can I bring a parachute?!

    @Callah - yes, the breath does help SO much! That is one of the greatest gifts that yoga has to give.