being human,  embodiment

Both And, Not Either Or

This is a primary thought I’ve been thinking a lot lately – can seemingly unrelatable ideas and philosophies exist as truth simultaneously? I’ve come to the conclusion that they can. Both and, not either or. Specifically I’m reconciling a great many philosophies I’ve learned on my twenty+ year yoga journey with my renewed faith in Christianity.

For the longest time, I’ve compartmentalized life. Things had to be either this way or that way. Opposing thoughts, ideas and systems couldn’t exist together. It had to be one way or the other – very black and white thinking, for sure. A product of my upbringing, I suppose.

I have been a seeker my whole life. I’ve been in and out of every type of church imaginable, have tried to find myself through my yoga practice, meditation, writing, art, nature …. And the one thing that’s clear is that all beauty that exists in this world and all of the practices that lead me more deeply into myself and my true nature also bring me closer to God, closer to my spirit, closer to my divine nature, the nature that exists outside of time. It’s always been this way; I’ve just been too busy putting philosophies and practices into distinct buckets, not allowing them to coexist within me.

We recognize truth when it lands in our bodies because our bodies ARE truth. It’s only the mind that lies. As I grow older I’m able to hold all of these truths, from the east and the west, in one container. I’m able to reconcile them as one larger truth instead of several conflicting philosophies. I’m able to embrace a ‘both and’ mentality instead of either or.

Dogma is ‘either or.’ Truth is ‘both and.’

For a long time I’ve been drawn to the Gandhi quote, “Truth is one, paths are many.” It didn’t always make sense to me though. Until now. It makes sense in the context of my body, of fully embodying myself; a felt-sense that quietly says “yes.”