How accepting of this past year’s hardships have you been? How much resistance to everything that has been going on have you encountered within yourself?
How welcoming of yourself, of your feelings, of your ambivalence have you been through all the upheaval that you’ve been navigating – personally and collectively?
When is it time to surrender to life’s messages?
Where should you give a good fight?
When is it a healthy choice to pull back?
How much effort do you need to put into what you’re doing?
How much should you give?
How much of yourself should you burn through?
Where is your softness needed?
What is the necessary amount of resistance that you must cultivate?
Who do you want to be for yourself when the going gets tough?
Somewhere between receiving the situation, the sensation, the circumstances, the experience, allowing it to move naturally through our system, and transforming, transmuting, reshaping, and reconstructing it, is where it’s at.
It’s just not easy to know where this at is.
It’s also where things get tricky.
It’s not easy to be with an intense feeling. We might try to do everything we can to avoid it. But it is through the ferocious flavors of life, that the palate can develop an inner sweetness. Bypassing pain, struggle, and suffering leads to dysfunction. The artificial sweetness of bypass will eat us up from the insides. Just like candy.
But man! The sticky stuff of suffering can eat us alive like one of those tropical flowers that feeds off of insects that come for the nectar, and get glued to the plant, and then swallowed and consumed. It’s so easy to get sucked into a spinning wheel of an activated wound.
There’s a softness, a gentle whisper of self trust that allows us to make room for the wholeness of our embodied experience. Isn’t it poetic that a part of what makes us whole is our brokenness?
We tend to want to discard our brokenness, but our shattered pieces are the seeds of new aspects of self, of new ideas that never would have emerged if not for the falling apart that has accrued, of new dreams and insights and powers to tap into.
As the broken parts cut through our skin, they will make us bleed, but they will also uncover hidden talents, gifts we’ve never opened before, fruit that has only now, for the first time in our lives, ripened – through the discomfort, the distress, the danger, the disillusionment.
To receive our wholeness is to walk the edge of a dangerous road, because the parts of life that hurt – the disappointments, the heartbreaks, the failures, the loss of identity – can easily become dominant, and take over the other colors. It can so easily make us forget that we are able to change.
It’s not simple to know when to ignite the fire beneath the cauldron of our open heart, to alchemize the sharpness, the mess, and the shit, so that we can shift the inner states and move in ways that are healing, creative, and evolutionary.
But this is the way of wisdom.
This is a path of an integrated self.
This journey is not without a pebble in our shoe.
And yet it is ok to call for ease, to generate calm, to get grounded and spacious, to ask ourselves for what we need, and to come home to ourselves with those needs met.
Life is a precious gem. It is also a fuckign pain in the ass sometimes. It is beautiful and it is a burden. It is a miracle and it is a shit storm. We don’t have to choose, we can let it be all. Life is complex, rich, and uncertain. We can certainly choose to stay in comfort zones and not grow. We can cling to simplicity and never make progress. We can dull it up to the end of time. OR we can roll up our sleeves and close our eyes and breathe, and then get to work. Till the soil. Plant good seeds. Water. Weed. And leave enough room for the wild.
Life is a cyclical, spiralic, recursive process that we can agonize and delight in for the rest of eternity.
Yoga is an invitation to receive ourselves, to say yes to life – the beauty and the beast of it all. It is a practice of engagement, of staying with ourselves, even when we want to leave ourselves. It is a process of becoming fluid and stable, able to anchor, but not get stuck. It is also an alchemical project, that cooks and churns and burns us, giving us the gift and responsibility of rising new, of making progress, of resisting the comfort and the peril of staying the same.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that yoga is not about putting your fancy mat down and doing downdog in your fancy Influencer yoga pants. It’s a way of being, of thinking, of living.
In a yogic, self aware life, it’s hard to know sometimes when to slow down, to let things go, to surrender to the situation, and when to push harder and get through the walls that we are facing.
So take a few deep breaths today – mindful, present, and slow breaths. Receive yourself – all the glory and gunk. Breathe yourself in. Breathe your life into your heart. And be with the sass and the mess and the loss. Feel into where you might be holding on too tightly, where your stability has turned into stuckness, where your certainty is causing you to be an immovable mountain of regret and disappointment. And allow your exhalations to soften those areas. Let your exhales help wash the stickiness. And invite the power of your inner fire to change conversations that serve no one, to break down patterns that have no business occupying the expensive real estate of your inner world.
I’ll be doing this over here with you.
All. Day. Long.
Have a beautiful day, dear one.