let Peace follow pain
I suck at balance. I used to think I was really great at it. Multi tasking, taking on tons of projects, making lists 10 miles long daily, cooking dinner for my fam, reading my kids stories and flying them in the air like acro yoga while they laugh hysterically, and literally cramming all of it into one day...thinking that was balance.
There are a few things I am great at that I never realized, because I thought I was bad at them. I’m incredibly flexible, strong, consistent, and I operate really well when everything is flipped upside down.
All of these things came to me through an unlikely source: my Ashtanga yoga practice.
“What often happens to those who practice Ashtanga for the first time is that, after a month or so of regular practice, they begin to feel bodily pains they had never previously felt. Often, they believe they have hurt themselves through yoga and will either quit or practice less frequently...often the practitioner has simply begun to awaken hurts or weaknesses that have always been present, but not aware of.” -Larry Shultz, It’s Yoga
As we start to reflect deeper into ourselves, beyond the persona, which is the image we create to present ourselves to the world...we discover things that we never could have imagined. Many of which are incredibly painful, and easier to bury and ignore. When they start to appear and you are in tune, it does more harm than good to irresponsibly deny the fact that sometimes you have face the truth and make some moves.
Forgiveness...To yourself and others, regardless of the situation.
Acceptance...That you are perfect.
Surrender…To what is.
...Just a few moves to make...
Everytime I get to the standing sequence of my practice and I have to balance on one leg with the other leg extended in front of me or out to the side...it all turns to hell. I focus on my breathing, center, try to let go. The mind, she is a bitch, and always sneaks in. I have flashes of anger, frustration, and hopelessness that I will never achieve this posture. (See how that reflects into life...no balance=suffering..anger..etc. unless you are aware of this, and have the will to laugh instead...)
My teacher steps in to offer support so I don’t wobble all over the place, and for a moment, I can let go. Sometimes you just need a crutch in life until you are ready to stand confidently on your own :)
The more I practice and the more I understand this practice (which is most definitely NOT just a physical one) is that it is an exact reflection of my life.
The reason I don’t have balance in my practice, is because I don’t have balance in my life. Call it FOMO, call it ambition, or we can just blame it on my Capricorn nature… I always take on too much, spread myself too thin, and lose the harmony and balance of true bliss. What does this mean? TIme to start cleaning out life just like your closet! Detach yourself from things, bench ideas, and minimize. I’m working on it, and you know what, it’s ok, because we all have “our thing”
What I am...
I am flexible. In my physical life I can mold, morph, and go with the flow in most environments. I am a chameleon. I like seeing perspectives. I enjoy the thrill of discovery- the thrill of seeing something I’ve always seen in a completely new light.
I thrive upside down. Inversions release your ego. You get a new perspective, and things become more clear. It also helps to practice non-attachment, it keeps you in the moment and not worried about the past or the future. This is probably why I am such an unpredictable person, I love adventure, and truly live in the moment...and I am obsessed with being in an inversion!
Now, Ashtanga might not be for you, and that’s totally cool. But if there is anything I have learned from immersing myself and committing to something completely non-work related, is that it gives us time to be alone with ourselves. Find something that you enjoy that does not involve serving anyone other than yourself. See how you feel, be aware of what your body and your mind start telling you. Follow the trails of your thoughts, and discover yourself on a new level. This could simply just be a walk everyday alone...no phone...no friends...no distractions.
Let go of the past, forgive yourself and others, accept that you are truly amazing, and surrender to the flow. Pain makes you stronger, and peace will follow if you allow.