A rock tumbler is a very simple device. It’s a small machine that turns a barrel round and round non-stop for weeks at a time. Inside the barrel are your rocks, water, and grit. The grit is what makes your rocks smooth and acts as the sand that nature uses to smooth and polish your rocks.

I like in this description how it talks about the rock tumbler being a very simple device. It turns the barrel non-stop for weeks to polish rocks. To smooth stones. To make them shine. It got me thinking about our own times of life where we feel we are continually turned round and round for weeks and weeks. Tumbled over and over as “nature” polishes our rock with the idea that we must have done something to deserve this. We must be being punished. Or thinking this is just how life is supposed to be. With the constant wondering when will it ever stop?

I can especially remember when I felt if the “rock tumbler” of life didn’t stop, there was no way I would survive. Do you know what I am talking about?

  • the constant chaos in the mind
  • the never ending wringing in the mid-section
  • the pounding beating drum of the heart
  • the whole body trembling
  • the fighting, explaining, defending seemingly upon deaf ears
The “lotioning, oiling, oiling, lotioning” until you can’t take it anymore.

In yoga philosophy we practice the Yamas and the Niyamas (you can think of them like the 10 commandments). The five Yamas are known as restraints and the five Niyamas are known as observances. One of the Niyamas is called Tapas. Tapas, to me, is our refining center. We look at what we do when we are in the Rock Tumbler of life. When you are thrown chaos, confusion, when you feel so beaten… what do you do?

This is the place of refining.
Do you continually let the rocks tumble you? Or can you tumble the rocks? What if instead of the agony of being tumbled by life, we observe it as a place of refining and step into the opportunity to shine. When you are thrown chaos, confusion, when you feel so beaten… what do you do?

Here are some of the things I try to observe in myself when I try to get out of the “being beaten” mindset:

When we can begin to see that the rocks in our tumbler aren’t there to beat us down, but to let help us shine. We do. We hop in and tumble along, breathing, moving, refining all along the way. The rock tumbler is a very simple device. It is life. What are you going to do with your rocks?

I love you!
Love, Sariah

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