Mayday Mayday Mayday - Vessel in extreme distress - Please help - Mayday Mayday Mayday - This is a life threatening emergency - Please help - Extreme distress - Please help
What does Mayday mean exactly? Worldwide, Mayday is a distress code derived from the French word m`aider which translates to "help me." You see, way back in 1923, a senior radio officer, Frederick Stanley Mockford, was asked by Croydon Airport in London to come up with an actual word equivalent to the Morse code SOS. Because it is in fact faster to use radio communication, it became more common than Morse code. Frederick Mockford mostly dealt with air traffic between France and London so he took the french word “m`aider” and then gave it an English flair... “Mayday.” Then, in 1927, the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington declared that “Mayday” should be the official extreme distress radio voice call used for serious life threatening emergencies on ships, airplanes and other types of vessels. Officially the word should be repeated three times in a row - Mayday Mayday Mayday. Just be aware and beware if you make a phony Mayday distress call on the radio in the United States of America, you will be hunted down, they will find you, they will arrest you, they will charge you, they will trial you, and then prepare yourself for up to six years in prison and a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar fine. Just so that’s clear, six years of your life in prison and a quarter of a million dollars for that fake call for help...
Sometimes in life we need help for our human vessel to overcome some obstacle that haunts us. If you are a very independent person, asking for help may be your obstacle. It can make you feel insecure to have to ask for help until you realize that you are completely helpless. Sometimes you try to deny that you are quickly approaching or at rock bottom and then you wake up, open your eyes, and catch a glimpse of clarity. For one brief moment you understand that you can’t do it yourself and you sincerely open up and pray for help. Mayday Mayday Mayday... and then as your eyes close again, and you find yourself sleepwalking back through your life. Sometimes it is a physical impairment and you are forced to accept the help you need against your will. Perhaps it’s an internal struggle that is so personal it makes you embarrassed at just the thought of having to ask for help. In many situations it is a combination of both. When your prayer is finally answered and you find that help has arrived, it usually arrives in ways you did not expect or maybe even want. Well, if you want to go from helpless to liberated it requires change. Change is hard, and scary. The more drastic the change, the more frightening it is to change, and the easier it gets to put off that change. But when you are suffering and you pray for that change you should not “beware what you ask for because you might get it.” You should prepare and be aware of what you ask for, because you know deep down inside that you really truly need it. So hold on tight, take a deep breath, and remember that much of Yoga philosophy is about destruction and rebirth.
Remember throughout human history the greatest migrations, discoveries, and evolutions were brought on by forced innovations. Why leave home if you don’t have to? You need to want something different with one hundred percent commitment. (Even if that commitment is a byproduct of the ice age.) When food and water become scarce, we have to go where the sustenance is. You have to learn to embrace the change, because change is the only constant in life, so be the change you want to see in the world, learn that change comes from within, allow yourself to change for the better, and all of those other famous quotes... Well, it’s easier said than done, right? Guess what? No one said change would be easy. Change can be hard. No one said Yoga is easy, it’s a discipline. Yoga means union. Yoga is life and Yoga is change. These Yoga practices and philosophies work if you do them, but they do not work if you don’t. This requires effort on your part, and if it is too hard for you maybe you should find some help. Mayday Mayday Mayday...
The month of May is a time of change as well. Historically, May Day is May 1st, which started as a medieval holiday to celebrate the return of spring. These celebrations continue in Europe and some of the U.S. to this day. Dancing around a large tree or erected pole known as the Maypole, people hold long, colored ribbons and dance in circles decorating the pole on the way. This was thought to lead to good crops and a good harvest. As time went on, these practices became known as mere Roman and Greek pagan rituals, their popularity drifted and began to wane. Beltane is the name for the more Celtic May Day ritual which marks the beginning of the pastoral summer season. Livestock were sent to their summer dwellings and the Beltane rituals protected them as well as the crops. Beltane was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals. Many people around the world still observe this celebration. In the United States we have our own version of May Day, also on May 1st. Here May Day is also referred to as International Workers Day. This day is to commemorate the struggles made by workers and the labor movement. At the end of the nineteenth century, the working class was trying to gain an eight-hour work day. Working conditions back then were unsafe, and a typical work day was usually ten to sixteen hours a day. Average life span for the workers begin to drop to the early twenties. Anarchism became the method of rectification. The anarchists began to organize their anarchy, and out of the chaos came union (the definition of Yoga). In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions national convention in Chicago was held in order to proclaim that “eight hours of work shall constitute a legal days labor from and after May 1st, 1886.” These anarchist heroes used socialism to give us today better, safer conditions at a more reasonable daily and hourly schedule.
As for the rest of this month don’t forget Cinco De Mayo which celebrates the victory of the Mexican army who defeated the French army in 1862 at The Battle of Puebla...In India, on the day of the full moon (this year: 5-21-16), Vesak is a festival celebrated by Buddhists in order to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Siddhartha Gautama who after his enlightenment became known as the Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. May 18th to honor the passing of our teacher Guruji Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in 2009, and the birth of our Bodhi in 2013.
Finally, for you Yoga geeks out there, don’t forget to observe the sacred words of our favorite intergalactic outer space Yoga master Yoda, “May the Fourth be with you...”
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