Awhile back I was searching for story books and poems to theme a kids yoga class with and came across a classic poem. Over in the Meadow. This poem blew my mind! Just like that I completely understood the concept of dharma. In the moment that I came to the last verse of the poem, it made complete sense to me what just being me really meant. Thank goodness for beavers.
For anyone unfamiliar with the nursery rhyme, it’s a counting poem with ten verses each verse featuring an animal and the mother telling the baby animal how to just be themselves using an appropriate verb. Mother fish tells the little fish to swim. Mother duck tells little duck to quack. Mother frog tell little frog to jump. And so on and so on. All very obvious instructions, just swim and you will be a fish. Just jump and you will be a frog. So simple, well too simple really. If I swim, I will not be a fish, if I jump I will not actually be a frog. But then we get to the last verse, the mind blowing verse, (I realize I just said twice that this nursery rhyme is mind blowing, but stay with me here).
The Beavers. Old mother beaver and her little beavers ten. Picture it now. Mom beaver and ten tiny beavers staring up at mom with unblinking wide eyes asking her, “Mom? How do we be beavers?” Seriously, I’m excited just thinking about this! She doesn’t say, “Just gnaw down trees and make dams, oh and slap your tail when you feel danger.” No. Being a beaver is sooo much more than that. So what does she say? “Just Beave.” Wha?? BEAVE? Is that even a word? (Looking it up now...)
beave - no dictionary results
So no, it’s not actually a word. But it is a very important illustration of a concept. What the dictionary should say is, beave - the action or state of being a beaver. It’s the all encompassing verb of what being a beaver means. It’s the beavers’ dharma! The beavers’ dharma is to BEAVE! So now apply this to Amy. Picture little Amy sitting in front of Old mother Ramler. “Mom? How do I be Amy?” And she says, “Just Ame!” The Amy’s dharma is to Ame! My dharma is not to teach, not to paint, not to write, not to play, not to do yoga, not to be funny, not to floss my teeth (or not). It’s so much more than that. It’s to just be, and me just being me is so much more than being a teacher, than being a good friend, than being an artist. And there really is no way to describe it but to just be. And even in those moments where life feels uncomfortable, like I don't know who I am or what my purpose is, even in those moments, that's just part of being Amy! And I'll rest in that :)
Yoga sparks me being. What does just being look like for you? What is your personal all encompassing verb?
ame - the action or state of being Amy
Over in the meadow in the grass in the sun,
Lived an old mother Ramler and her
Little Amy one.
“Ame,” said the mother,
“I Ame,” said the one, and she
Amed all day in the grass in the sun.