Nora and I are driving down Interstate 40, cars whizzing by left and right. The world in motion. We somehow sit in stillness inside of this 4,000 pound box of metal (I looked that up. Yipes!).
Her voice comes out of the quiet,
“Mama, what is ‘weak’?”
Simple questions can stall my brain. This one does for sure.
You see, to me weak isn’t just “not strong.” Weak isn’t the opposite of something.
Weak is relative to something.
I feel some twists and turns in my chest and belly as I struggle with how to communicate this to a 4 ½ year old. I feel a thickness in my throat as it is clogged for words. I rest into the sensations and allow myself to wonder wander. “What does ‘weak’ mean to Nora?”
“Nu, you know how you have the bucket in the backyard that you like to loop the rope through? And then you pull the rope to get the bucket up to the top of the playset.”
“Oh, yeah!!” she exclaims with joy. I can tell she actually feels the exuberance of the bucket game as we sit here and talk in a van moving at 70 miles per hour. For the moment, her entire being is IN the bucket game.
“Well, if nothing is in the bucket, can the rope pull it up okay?”
“Yes! It’s easy for the rope to do that.” She is clearly back in the car with me as she squeezes her eyes, scrunches her nose and noodles on this one.
“Okay. What if you filled the bucket all the way up with sand? What would that be like for your rope?”
“uh…” she pauses. I can tell she is traveling through time and space to see the bucket. To pull on that rope. To feel its resistance.
“If it had sand, it would be really heavy. My rope might break.”
That’s right, girl.
Heavier load – that rope might break.
Lighter load – that rope is good to go.
Weak is relative to the load at hand. Whether it be physical, emotional or mental, weak is not absolute. Weak is relative to a situation or a demand.
Heavier load means we need some additional tools and skills. Maybe a new rope. Maybe a buddy helping us to pull. Maybe someone below lifting while we pull from above.
Lighter load and we’re good with what we’ve got. The rope is good. Our body, mind and heart have got it.
Either way, it’s all relative. All the time.
You are not weak.
I am not weak.
We are not weak.
We have infinite potential to grow and to expand. To carry more. To lift heavier. To breathe easier.
But we are not weak.
“But mom…” interrupts Nora to my meandering meaning making.
“I know some ropes might break if that bucket gets too heavy. But the purple rope… the purple rope can do ANYTHING!”
I smile. The inside of my chest sparkles outward with happy for this little girl.
She is the purple rope. You are the purple rope. We are the purple rope.
So there is that. Both and.
Come play with me at YogaFest on Saturday, March 28th in Raleigh for my class “Getting Curious: Asana for Explorers”. The group will pick the poses to explore at the beginning of class and I will guide you in breaking them down and rebuilding them. It’s kind of like playing Legos with your body. And no, we won’t be doing Nora and Ruthie’s handstands from the picture above. Registration is now open here and you’ll receive a $5 discount as a student of mine when you register with the code, RMFIVE.
I know that seeing you there would help me remember the purple rope inside of me.
Come along if our path’s align.
Take good care,