A while back, I was having a rough time. It seemed like my entire life and purpose were skewed and couldn’t be reconciled. I had dealt with a personal tragedy for several months with optimism and hope, until one day my shoulders collapsed and weren’t capable of the weight anymore. In the course of one day, and with no particular reason, I was mentally crushed to a pulp. I could not stop crying, literally could not stop. It wasn’t that I wanted to give up, it was that I felt I had nothing left to even give up, I was broken.
During this time a dear friend who loves to dissect words asked me how I was feeling. Sad. I told him I was more sad than I knew possible. He responded to me by saying that SAD is short for Serendipity After Disaster. At the time I was a bit offended, maybe he doesn’t really get how huge this weight that crushes me is. He has obviously never felt like this or had a tragedy like mine. What a motivational poster wad of crap. I went to bed with my eyes swollen shut from crying and no hope.
The next morning, I awoke restored, balanced. I had renewed vigor and intention. Life is what you make it, and I was determined to never feel like that again and force myself into a more centered space. I was not instantly happy, but I was picking myself up and forcing life down my throat. I knew that when I was ready to be happy, I needed to have my life in order. I couldn’t just lie there and wait for things to get better, I had to make them better every single day. Time has afforded me much distance from this period of my life, and I reflect upon it now. Why couldn’t I have avoided that rough time and just kept on with my original intent and efforts? Why was it necessary to be crushed? Here’s what I’ve come up with. When things get rough, it is easy enough to think that we are dealing with
them in the best way we can and just sort of plateau. Good enough. The top is within reach, so we can focus on a multitude of other tasks and not worry, it’s there when we want it.
But, when a disaster strikes, it shakes our trees to their very roots until the branches have no more leaves, our grasp on the earth has been loosened, and we are left bare to the storm. We ride it out, sure that we cannot make it one second longer, through a violent and dark night. Then, just as we have uttered our most desperate prayer, clinging to life, the sun rises. The sun rises, the storm has gone, and we are still standing. That storm is embedded in our cellular memory, and we grow stronger. Our roots seek stable depth where before they were content to be shallow. The shaking of our leaves has created room for new growth of fresh beautiful buds. The lightning struck and severed our weakest branches, casting them to the ground. All that is left is our strength, our courage, and our gratitude for life. This is why we must face storms.
Because I wallowed in despair, I have dedicated myself to a mind pure and free. Because I felt my life slipping away, I cling to it all the more fiercely now, protecting it with everything I am. Because I faced down such a violent winds which shattered my body and soul, I have no fear or worry from a little rain. Even a lot of rain. On the grand scale of things, nothing worries me now. I’ve seen the worst, and made it through stronger, successful, and with an infinite reserve of love to give. I know I will be alright.
I am grateful not only that I made it through the storm, but most grateful for the storm itself. I am better for having confronted it. It has lead me to serendipity. Yes, Muhrani, Serendipity After Disaster. I am also grateful for the friends and family who were there for me, without whom I never would have made it. They anchored me to the earth when I was sure I would be blown away. They fertilized the soil of my heart when it had been robbed of it’s life and nutrients. Their love was the sun to me, the warmth and light I needed to grow. Thankyou, to the storm. Thankyou, to the winds and the rains which were my trial. Thankyou, to my tribe. This little willow has become an oak.
Jesse Grant is a leading nomadic yogini, sharing Vinyasa and Vipassana wherever she goes.
Her initial introduction to yoga began at the age of thirteen, while studying Eastern philosophy. It was that first strong stillness in Warrior I that fueled a lifelong shift into the path of yoga. Since then she has taught students worldwide to honor the heart inside, connect the body to the mind, and connect to each other with unbridled love. Her yogic style is inspired by a resonance with the ocean and water, embodying fluidity and rhythm.
When not guiding herself and others to center, Jesse enjoys surfing, running barefoot, and playing.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
-Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi