May 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
Still in and out of this space – feeling a need to get it out, though I’m not really sure what “it” is. Putting fingers to keys/pen to paper hoping for some insight, lightness, some way to move forward.
Ups & downs of the past two weeks have me feeling like I’m back to square one. Rounded shoulders. I saw this in a picture of myself last week and thought I had left that behind with my strong yoga shoulders and back. What am I protecting? I’m surprised by myself in pictures – I don’t look in the mirror much any more and am happier for it in general. I did this morning and was alarmed by deep creases between my eyebrows which are probably as much from bright light & no sunglasses as they are from frowning. Although I’ve been doing a good bit of that too. Minefields at work, my practice off kilter, YTT exam and graduation, T out of town. I just want to sleep the day away (a downward spiral I recognize, caught before it starts to tumble). I’ve always wanted more laugh lines than frown… I have those too and will never regret them. I have a sudden desire to tattoo lotus flowers on my palms for a visual reminder, forgetting that I already have one, much good it’s doing – a compass on the inside of my arm. Change, Strength, Light, Love. My wayfinder.
My practice has taught me my breath is always here, my quiet space is always accessible if I can just remember it. My daily practice is a refuge, and getting off track from it has been an excellent reinforcement of WHY I do it. But I am not immune to losing it (the practice, the calm center). It’s easy to think, when in a good period, that Yes! I finally have it together! And for that moment, maybe I do. That moment BEFORE I find myself thinking this, when I am still concsiously, clearly present. That moment BEFORE I’m congratulating myself for a job well done. I should know by this point – this job is NEVER done. Some people have their bells or timers, and yogi’s have, whatever they have. I claim to be one and I’m not even sure. The breath, yes, the breath. But when one forgets…. What does one use as a trigger?
In meditation, I tend to notice my facial muscles more than anything else. When I’ve become INVOLVED in my stories, the first thing that I notice is a clenching around my eyes or my mouth. And then I let it go. Again and again. I come back to my practice, again and again. I come back to the highest, again and again.
And still sometimes find myself struggling to apply this internally. Still find myself slowly methodically constructing walls or slamming the door, protecting myself. If you know me, are friends with me I mean, it is most probably because YOU have had the courage to reach out to me. I am forever grateful. I am working on mirroring that courage with myself and you and others. I have resisted identifying myself as a yoga blogger or a mindfulness blogger or minimalist, sustainability, growth or therapy blogger or whatever. All these communities scare me – which mirrors life offline, of course. I am scared to death of community, even as I recognize it’s necessity.
Ah, and there it is. The heart of it.
I am on the verge of diving deeply into communities of my choosing. Of offering more honestly and openly, of baring myself in a way I’m neither accustomed to, nor have I ever been capable of sustaining… Judith Hanson Lasater wrote something I read months ago and it points to my issue here. “One of my goals in life is to learn how to be in conflict and still stay connected to the other person.” We are humans, and we are going to argue, make mistakes, have clouded judgement, hurt others, even as we are built to work together, to encourage, inspire and love. And I am maybe as afraid of hurting you as I am of being hurt. My tendency is to run away when I make the inevitable mistep, even with the people that I call my family. My practice until this point has been so internal, and now it is shifting as I focus more and more on what it means for my interactions, as I dip my toe into teaching, as I skirt the edges of community…. And I have every bit as much fear here as I have had in attempting to befriend myself.
I claim in my head that this blog is an offering, even as I still hesitate to really put it out there (Raise your hand if you are reading and know me in real life. I can think of only a couple of you, and that is clearly by design). Which means it’s still more about working through my own stuff. But it IS an offering of sorts. An honest account of my practice, my contradictions and fears, failures and lessons learned. May I find the courage to contribute, to encourage, to discuss with compassion in light of my fears.
May it be of use. “Forget your perfect offering…”** and focus on filling those tiny cracks with bits of light.
What are your tools or reminders? When you want so badly to contribute, but you’re scared to death, how do you manage?