I remember years ago, at the end of a 10 day yoga nidra training, hearing Yogi Amrit Desai say that yoga nidra meditation teaches us to "get married to ourselves first."
How? Because during yoga nidra you drop into the deepest integrated self, and it's here you touch stillness, and the God Within You. When you have harmony in your inner world, there will be harmony in your outer world.
Yoga Desai said, "You have the final word about accepting yourself."
This reminds me of when I met my husband at the age of 22, and I hadn't married myself yet. I had no dialogue with my inner world. I had a family legacy of choosing unhappiness and broken relationships. And something inside of me knew I had to go inward, even though I had most definitely met the ONE. At the time, I told him, "I'm too young to commit to one person," but really it was more than this. I wasn't married to myself yet.
So we broke up. I broke it off. I went inward. I spent, at age 26, a year on a mountain top in a cabin, by myself, with a wood burning stove, shoveling five feet of snow every Wednesday.
My grandmother told me I was crazy, wasting my precious twenties.
But by the end of the year, my city-girl hands hardened from chopping wood and defrosting my pipes with a blow dryer most weeks, I had married myself.
Sill, even after that, the road to being with the love of my life was quite a ride.
Several years ago I wrote piece "Happiness: Or How I Married My Husband in Less Than 500 Words." Here's that story.
I choose happiness. I had been repeating this mantra all morning in the shower, as a warm up; to give me the confidence to call him.
When I picked up the phone to call Tim I had just returned from picking strawberries in the summer sun. It was seven in the evening for him in Nairobi. I knew he’d be home.
“Hi,” I began. How else does one begin the rest of their life?
“Karen?” he said, his British accent making the distance feel even greater.
“Yep, it’s me.”
Ready or not here I am, I wanted to say.
“I’m ready,” I repeated, nervous he’d forgotten our code word.
“Ready?” he said like an amnesia victim.
“Yes, I’m ready for us,” I said.
“You and me?” he said in a tone I didn’t like.
Ignoring the obvious I said, “You said when I was ready to call you and you’d be ready too.”
Well, he lied. After a year apart and another year living in a cabin on my own deep in the woods, chopping wood on Mondays and shoveling five feet of snow every Wednesday for an entire winter, I had fallen in love with myself. Planted a garden. Noticed the moon. Read Alice Walker books beside a creek. The unhappiness bondage of my lineage had lifted.
I choose happiness.
But it was too late. He wasn’t ready.
“I’m dating a French woman,” he told me. “She’s living with me.”
And that was that.
Two months later, my bags packed for Santa Monica, he calls.
“I dumped the French woman. I only want to be with you,” he says as if confetti had exploded all around him, the band playing, a stadium of supporters cheering.
“I’m dating a guy from Santa Monica,” I tell him holding my bags in either hand, the phone dangling between my left ear and shoulder, my flight leaving that afternoon.
So we drop it – move on - until two months later when it was clear Mr Santa Monica was not happiness. I returned to the cabin with my two bags. Pride made me pause for five minutes before picking up the phone. It was 2am in Nairobi.
“I’m ready,” I say.
“But what happen with – “ he says through a crackling line.
“I am ready,” I say, my lips savoring each word.
“Me too,” heresponds, in rhythm.
I proposed a year later walking out of the shower one evening in my bath towel while he was fixing a lampshade. “Well, it’s about bloody time,” he says.
The chase was over.