Have you ever felt flooded? That feeling when your face reddens, palms tingle, throat closes, jaw clamps down and you aren’t sure whether to run, scream, cry or sit quiet. Well, I have good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad as I’ve begun to understand it…
No matter what we do, how good we are, who we become, we’ll never be able to fully avoid those hair-blowing experiences.
The good news is, no matter what side of the isle you’re on, mind-fullness and practicing yoga asana may help maintain a sense of curiosity and prescience no matter what.
To me, this sounds much better than the opposite, complete mental shutdown and loss of control.
Feeling safe is SO important. If I don’t feel safe in my body or mind I don’t feel safe as someone approaches me with something I don’t agree with. Staying open to a perception that challenges fundamental beliefs I may hold about my inherent goodness or place in the world is cringeworthy and uncomfortable at best. The difference between handling these emotions as discomforts or something that is challenging my safety, in my opinion, may be the line between surface relationships and true intimacy.
You might be saying “Malissa, this sounds great but, how do we get to that place of calm?”
To begin, I’ve always found the sexy parts of yoga to be an easy sell. If you have a daily practice you gain / regain health, clarity, loose excess, smile more, think twice before acting, win every horse race (Just kidding 🙂 )
BUT sadly, as it turns out, these parts are the easier and less potent pieces of powerful practice.
Sorry again 🙁
Showing up and to be seen in the less than sexy moments, this is the part where folks usually hit the pavement OR the mat. This level of show up is where the true punishment…opps, I mean evolution begins 🙂
Kidding, but it is uncomfortable. For this, it’s really important to have a teacher, community and a practice buddy to help you through the hard times. Also, I’ve begun to think a really good therapist is a non-negotiable. Never underestimate the power of a good, “Ugh, that sucks. I’m here to listen.”
Sometimes, in the yoga practice, we choose to sit with an awareness that brings up discomfort intentionally. Practice is a controlled space where one can be with those moments and practice their breathing using awareness v.s reactivity. meditation is good for this too. The controls are a teacher, method, the community and the faith that commitment to showing up and seeing it through will deliver what it promises. Yoga of the mind, when practiced in earnest with non-violence, will help one restrain thoughts that prevent them from deep intimacy with others and the world around them, amongst other things.
Over time it may help us feel compassion for something or someone we believe to be causing harm, harm that feels beyond repair. Yoga may help us sit with a person/group/it in discomfort, remain open, listen, stay present and love.
Your perception is your teacher, and always your choice.
It’s always about you. We are our work and “It’s a lifelong practice” Chase Bossart.
It’s my belief that without trust, nothing can be forged. I believe trust is built in those little moments of show up, where we sit fully with another, even when we think someone is wrong, and listen deeply and with an open heart.
My belief stems from the faith that, while this is not an excuse for inaction, true change starts within the individual. When we look within, see the beauty, and appreciate the dark, we’re one step closer to the kind of intimacy that makes life as a human truly magical.
Ok, that is all for now. Thank you again for everything Jimmy!