“If an egg is broken by outside force, Life ends. If broken by inside force, Life begins. Great things always begin from inside.”
That was a message in my inbox this morning after telling a dear friend about how I felt this morning. All day and last night I’ve had a sense of deep relief, release and openness.
It started when a quartz singing bowl cracked me open.
My energy yesterday afternoon was fidgety, distracted. I felt the pull of at least six of my friends and acquaintances, if only digitally through text or e-mail. I left work and went to the Sports Barn to a slow vinyasa class I had never taken. Margaret, the instructor, introduced herself. In class, we moved slowly, mindfully and with intention—it helped me slow down emotionally and physically, and open myself to a different style of practice.
After light backbending, we came into savasana. I felt myself sinking into the floor, uncurling from the day, prepared yet unaware of what was coming next.
The waves and vibrations and tones coming from Margaret’s quartz singing bowl moved through the room, slowly at first, then becoming deeper and louder, soon taking over the room and my body. I tensed my gut; I felt like I could laugh or smile, my face and eyelids twitching. My breathing became more rapid and hurried. I felt my eyes continue to flutter, my body filling with an energy I’d never felt as the tone increased, ringing and reverberating around the room. I felt like my head was going to explode, in the best possible way, but it was shocking. The tears came, my breath stayed heavy. I felt my chest tighten and the sensation that I’d start sobbing. Hot tears rolled down my face as I regained some control and the sound began to fade.
We slowly brought movement back to our bodies, and I came to rest on my right side, my tears falling off the side of my face where they had collected. The tension was fading, and class ended.
This morning, it only took one other tone, fueled by an iPhone app, to immediately bring me back to the same emotion and energy in the last few minutes of my meditation. Alone in my room, the hum of the gas logs in the fireplace the only other sound, I let the tears come, more loudly and openly. What did I release? What is being released? What tension am I still holding?
What am I afraid of seeing or feeling?
Those words came up again and again this morning. After class yesterday, Margaret and I spoke about resources to learn more about the pain and tension I’ve experience in my hips and legs. I told her about the energy release from the singing bowl, and I mentioned teacher training and the weekend that had just passed.
She smiled sweetly at me, and said she had watched me coming undone by the sound of the bowl.
“You’re so open to this right now,” she said, eyes smiling. Her words were comforting and reassuring. She told me this particular bowl and tone was associated with the head and space between the eyebrows, the seat of intuition. No wonder—my face twitching, tears flowing.
After we talked, I slowly gathered my belongings and rode across the river. Something about the unseasonably warm weather makes me relaxed and happy while pedaling, not having to brace or bundle myself against the cold but instead moving through the early dark nights smoothly and quickly.
Whatever I’m holding, the tension, the source of these tears, the tightening—feels like it’s coming from my hips. The source of my power, and consequently, my pain that I’ve experienced on and off for years as a runner, cyclist, gym rat with kettlebells and weights. The locked emotion, a vulnerability and softness there when I open.
A singing bowl made me come undone in savasana yesterday, and it happened again today in my lunchtime practice.
The sense of calm and clarity I’m experiencing, though, is profound. I’m on the journey of my lifetime, rife with connectivity and meaning. Without cracking open, the seeds within me could not sprout. There would be no light, no nourishment for the beautiful growth I’m experiencing.