I felt compelled to learn more after the emotional release of Ingrid Betancourt, a former Columbian presidential candidate who was taken by the FARC rebels while traveling to the heart of guerilla territory in Bogotá six years ago. She was a woman consumed by her quest to fight corruption in politics and to help bring liberty and justice to the poor. Since her capture, after meeting in person with the President of FARC, her family had maintained a vigilant outcry for her freedom with the grandness of a presidential campaign.
To add evidence to the idea of faith, her husband and her had agreed if something should happen to her that they would each pray every Saturday at noon for her safe return. It seems after six years their faith, efforts, will and determination paid off! She and the three other hostages with her were released.
I saw the CNN interview with the three men that hadn’t seen their friends or family in six years. They had some very touching memories of captivity and the epitome of yin and yang was provided when the one man said he was eating out of the same black pot he had eaten out of for the last four years and then suddenly he was on a Presidential jet flying across the country meeting with diplomats.
They said shortly after being in captivity they were consoling each other and in an emotional moment they looked up to find a rainbow. One man said he had so much time to reflect on his life and relationships that his “new” life would be completely redefined this time.
I happen to live in Philadelphia; the city where the Constitution, or “We the People’s…” most sacred document, was conceived and put into effect. My family from Texas just paid me a visit. Them being new tourists, we ventured to Independence Hall to see how history has shaped our land. The Independence and freedom that most of us find so easy and convenient has not been so easily conceived in the past.
Fortunately, people have choices and that is what defines us as individuals and the fact that we are mostly free to make them as we please gives us our freedom in this country.
In spiritual practice, reflection is a key to growth; still, after nine years of practicing yoga I have to admit I can still get caught up and affected by the aggravating things that happen to me, the stupid things I do, uncontrollable events, people, demands and extraneous information that I wish did not alter my mood. How I long to be free from my judgment!
Several times a week and sometimes a day I react to these external stimulus and my mood and energy is affected. Immediately I sense it, I can usually identify the source and then begin the self-talk that allows me to transition back to center. Few things in life seem as easy or gratifying as breathing light into my being. It has turned into my salvation. I practice the breath so my life doesn’t always practice me.
We live such an easy and privileged life in America. Sometimes I forget to appreciate each day, as I should, because I am blessed! A newer ritual I have is daily prayer for that very reason. I still wonder if my mind will ever be free.