Stuck in the middle

‘I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible’ – Morrisey

When you’re in the middle of something, it’s never the right time to try and get wise about it. After it’s over and you’ve had some time to process and reflect, absolutely absorb the lessons but when you’re in the paintball game and you’ve just been smacked in the face, it’s more useful to stay in the moment.

When I first started learning yoga, it was a revelation to me that I could feel relaxed, and that I could have some positive feelings about my body afterward. It was a heady yoga honeymoon period and I couldn’t get enough of it. But as I continued to practice and my awareness became more refined, I found I still craved the stretch and release but I was starting to resist the awareness. It wasn’t fun observing some of the things that came up and being in a place where I couldn’t escape my emotions or physical limitations. The yoga wasn’t letting me wriggle out of what was going on for me that day and frankly, yoga, sometimes I just wanted to eat cupcakes and watch shitty TV. But I digress.

I know now that emotions are our own personal life messengers, nothing more and nothing less. So while we shouldn’t indulge them, we also shouldn’t ignore them. They always have something useful for us. When we are ignoring them we usually have the feeling that something is off, but we can’t quite put our finger on what it is.

But honestly, I do still have a lot of resistance. Usually it’s easier if I’ve used some movement to coax myself into stillness so my body and mind scream at me less when I do. Now I think of this process like surfing – we have to paddle out through the break before we get to the awesome waves behind and that’s when we can ride them. And yes, sometimes we get wiped out, sometimes we don’t catch anything but sometimes it’s an incredible ride.  We practice this stuff every time we get on the yoga mat or meditation cushion. It’s training for coping with life.

This week it's the new moon the mood is more contemplative than active. So I have for you three ponderances (which is possibly not a word). Try free writing about each of these for 5 - 10 minutes per question.

What are you in the middle of?

·      What is the single biggest cause of stress in my life right now?

·      What other aspects of my life are being overshadowed by this?

·      What am I resisting admitting to myself, because I am afraid of the implications?

We’ll be exploring a veritable buffet of these tricks at the winter mini retreat in Brisbane in 2 days.