Ask Parvati 17: Standing Your Ground, Part 1: Fathers Lead Us Into The World

BY Parvati

Dear Parvati,
Lately the term “standing your ground” has been sounding in my ears a lot. I am trying to make sense of this, as I feel that it can connote a sort of defiance, which does not resonate with what I am discovering for myself in my yoga practice. What do you think when you hear the term “standing your ground”?

Happy Father’s Day! Today I celebrate the inner male within all, whether you are a man or a woman, whether you have children or not.
Our fathers teach us how to go out in the world, equipped with the sense of capability to make the lives we want. Their strength and confidence in us inspires us to believe that we can achieve what we put our minds to accomplish. If mothers teach us about our inner world, showing us how to feel safe and loved as we are, fathers lead us into the outer world, with the confidence and ability to flourish within society. Whether or not we had the parents we wanted, as we evolve, we learn to internalize the positive attributes of both the male and female energies so that we may live in fulfilled balance.
Commonly we see our ability to act in the world as a reflection of a strong sense of personal identity. We are encouraged to believe that we are capable, so that we can accomplish what we set out to do. We are told that if we are fixed strongly enough in our sense of self, like a mini Fort Knox, we are able to stay intact in the face of all external adversity. The notion of capability is essential for living a healthy, fulfilled life. But happiness rests on more than the sense that we can do what we want to do.
We stand on solid earth. The ground beneath us feels thick, deep and strong. We speak of standing our ground when we feel shaken by adversity or attack. We stand our ground to defend what feels like our own, to lay claim to territory and our sense of propriety.
Most of us take millions of steps every day. One foot goes automatically in front of the other as we go from point A to point B. Yet we tend to take each step for granted. Each step is a relationship between our body and our planet. If we paused for a moment and asked ourselves, we might describe that relationship as a force we apply into the ground so that we can stand.
When we go deeper and explore the relationship between our feet and the Earth, we see that there is a co-creative relationship at play. Go ahead. Give it a try. Leave your computer now and go for a slow walk around your room. See what you notice between your body, your feet and the ground. How do your feet contact the floor? What dynamic is at play? What is the relationship between your feet and the ground?
Did you do it? If yes, we likely could all agree that as you place your feet on the ground, there is a force that presses from the weight of your body into the ground.
Now give the exercise another go. This time, go deeper. What else is going on?
If you become quiet, you will see that there is also a force that arises from the ground to perfectly meet the weight you apply. It is like the force of the planet knows with calculated anticipation where you will step and what you need for each step to feel solid and complete. It is like there is a safety net under each step, rebounding your weight right back up through your legs, through your spine and up and out the crown of your head.
See if you can sense that perfection in each step. Go ahead. Give it another try. Slow down your walking and see what you feel. Do you feel the unconditional, loving embrace of the world in each step, offering perfect support? Breathe it in and know you are perfectly loved. You are love.
(Continues tomorrow: Standing Sacred Ground)