Purification through Heat

Tapas – one of the Niyamas, which is one of the 8 Limbs of Ashtanga yoga, is very relevant to my life right now.

“Tapasya implies a self-discipline or austerity willingly expended both in restraining physical urges and in actively pursuing a higher purpose in life. Through tapas, a yogi or spiritual seeker can “burn off” or prevent accumulation of negative energies, clearing a path toward spiritual evolution.”

Spiritual evolution…I guess. Some kind of evolution, revolution in the sense of moving round. It always happens at the end of August, and I’m just starting to embrace it, rather than fly away like I usually do. I always wondered why I was missing Thanksgivings (my favorite holiday) and having birthdays in far away places (makes for good stories, anyway.) When the nights first become cool, there’s something that just switches inside my body, perhaps the fear of death of the summer, I desire to elongate the lightness of the season, fearing the darkness to come. Something is truly snuffed out inside all of us as the summer ends, I think we can all relate to that feeling.

A Tapasvin (thank you Wikipedia) is a person who is undertaking tapas, this practice and process which will purge one from sins or bad karma through practice. It can also mean that one is striving for perfection or mastery of a field of knowledge or work. Today, I quit my job.

I am scared, and it’s a weird feeling because it’s a decision I have made based on a desire I have had since January. My failure to act was creating a rift in conversation between Jamie and I. I have applied for quite a few jobs this summer, but really was not ready to receive any of them. I knew I’d have to give tripwolf a long time for transition. They wanted three months, and that really trapped me – so I acted maybe rashly and quickly, but it will be over on October 15th.

I’m feeling the burn. Questions arise, like, what am I doing, in this time where so many people are unvoluntarily unemployed? I was pretty content, thanking the universe daily for my luck, being safe and happy and healthy. But I was also bored I suppose, and feeling the three years I put into this job with low pay, and little desire to move up. I think I only saw it as a means to an end, and I guess this is the unglamorous end.

So what’s next? (It’s not quite over, but will be quickly.) I am turning 27 in November. Late 20’s. I need to give my dream a chance before it becomes to late for me to do crazy things like this, like when I have a baby, or family, or…well I already have a lot of bills. But I guess it will only get harder to take a not-so-safe leap. I learn this from memoirs and every other book I read.

I am going to focus on my writing. This blog counts. But I am also going to focus on telling a story, a story I have been wanting to work on even before it began. India. Tapas. Purification through the heat of my keyboard. I’m feeling it in the base of my palms right now. Tapas is the act of practice. I have enough information, now it’s time to manifest.

This will be the spiritual evolution I have been desiring. I have been practicing yoga regularly for a few years now, and I have learned a lot about what it means to practice. And I will continue to practice yoga as well. I put in hours almost everyday to that practice, so I need to learn to do the same with writing. I tend to be a thinker, a planner,but yoga has taught me the fruits of doing – and for well, at least I have taken action.

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