I used to despise the way my muscles trembled in strong yoga poses. I felt the shame of weakness and hoped no one else had noticed that the pose didn't come easily to me. I saw strong bodies holding, breathing, extending and opening up all around me. It took me a long time to accept that my own natural energy is not muscular. Its just not how I'm built.
I'm overflowing with organic energy. I love the fluidity of yoga - the way it pulses and flows with the rhythm of a room full of lungs breathing in unison. I love the way my body warms and opens to a long stretch, flooding my brain with serotonin and my soul with courage. I love the way my own body's heat builds slowly, nudging open tight muscles and changing the course of my focus.
I remember shaking and cursing under my breath in the longest chair pose known to man, and then hearing a whisper that dove into the abyss of my heart's sickness. Straight to the core of comparison I heard Him speak, "When you're trembling it means you're in it. You haven't given up. You haven't let go. You're fully engaged..."
That terrible shaking is not a sign of my weakness, rather it is the certainty of my strength. I haven't plopped to the mat, heaving with frustration. I'm shaking because I'm IN IT. That whisper was for more than my practice. How many years have I stood trembling in uncertain, exhausting, and heartbreaking seasons? How many times have I been grossly aware of my utter weakness, certain that the rest of the world was shaming my shaking soul? BUT I HELD ON. I didn't let go. I didn't run away.
I've learned to not despise the shaking. Maybe I've even learned that I'm called to the trembling spaces. I'm called to hold steady, breathe deep, and wait for Their voice to call me into the next posture. Divine Love doesn't leave us in chair pose forever, thighs shaking and chest heaving. They leaves us there just long enough to bring us past the edge we thought was THE edge. They bring us further, call us deeper - because there is MORE. Love sustains us, heals us, and makes us brave not by veering away from the hard things, but by taking us through them.
If we ever stop seeing God as Hosea calling us away from our comfortable sadness and into transforming deserts then we've lost our way. The journey is always deeper, always challenging, always stripping away and rebuilding.
Don't despise your trembling, friends. When you're on your mat, lean in. Go one more breath, one more quiet moment of surrender. When you're off your mat, lean in. Embrace one more moment of being IN IT. Release the shame of feeling weak. The fact that you're struggling means you are a person of faith, and of living, and of YES.