For my birthday, my kid recorded The Velveteen Rabbit onto a CD. As I listened to it, first amazed at the pristine clarity, inflection and heart in her voice (this could be a new career for her), I started to remember that I’d forgotten the story. As the threads of the story’s tapestry unfolded and I met the characters one-by-one, the story took shape, the boy took ill with Scarlet Fever, and the Velveteen Rabbit was lying in a pile of discarded books and toys, at the back of the shed behind the house, waiting to be burned. And I was breathless to hear the ending.
A theme for my yoga classes leapt into my heart but my mind was struggling with it. What makes us Real? Where does our authentic voice live? From where is our Truth born?
The nursery horse answered the rabbits question that someone needs to love you to be real. “Boy’s uncle made me real,” he said. When Nana’s failure to tidy the nursery yielded Velveteen Rabbit a quick substitute for Boy’s bedtime toy of choice, love blossomed. Bunny was made real. I struggled here. There is a part of us that feels real (the boy) but that part isn’t the Heart of us. We can feel real by our choice of education, grades we make, places we work, people we knit into our heart. Vacation memories recorded in the books of our lives. They’re real but are they Real?
Luckily, Bunny grew very sad (just wait!) waiting in the pile of discarded toys to be burned. He cried. A real tear fell from his eye onto the ground and where it landed, an indescribably beautiful flower grew. This flower grew into the Nursery Fairy. Who made the Bunny Real. He later would visit the garden where he and Boy spent countless hours playing and frolicking. One day, Boy saw Bunny and gasped, “Why, that looks like my bunny!”
It dawned on me anew – and I love it when I get another invitation to peek into reality – that it’s through the practice of yoga asana, meditation, jnana (spiritual readings and teachings) or bhakti (service) that the discovery begins and in our quest for realness, we see we are really only looking at what’s external (the boy) versus what’s internal (the nursery fairy). The inner voice of our consciousness that gets through to us when our own voice is too quiet or too loud. That’s Real.
Why does what’s real really matter? I mean, really? Real is real. Yet, the Velveteen Rabbit before the nursery fairy was a well-loved friend. He was made real by the boy, so loved and so real, he grew shabby from the hugs and kisses. Yet, when he knew deep down he was real, he experienced freedom. He continued to find happiness and delight in visits to the garden.
Why we seek Realness is to rediscover, reveal, remember, recognize our own beauty and to bring more beauty into the world through that awakening. Shri.
Let’s take that question into our practical lives today – Tap into your inner consciousness here. Arrive in your heart. Feel the pulse of your being throbbing and aching to be seen, noticed, revealed to you.
How are you made Real? And with that Realness, how do you bring more beauty to your own world and that of others?