Healing, Humor, Patience, Self-compassion, yoga

Self-Compassion and All That

I was at a restorative yoga sound bath last night, and my teacher invited us to have an intention for our practice, as teachers often do. What came to me sounds normal and yogi-like, but for myself, I was caught off-guard: COMPASSION. I’ve been practicing yoga for years and the concept of compassion has always been like, “Duh, that’s why I’m here.”  But I suppose the truth is that I was never ACTUALLY experiencing the practice of compassion beyond an intellectual concept. I would always ask for patience, gentleness, or presence to be my intentions. So when I curled into child’s pose last night, I was like, “Ok lets see how this goes!”  And it went well! My body experienced discomfort and my mind was quite active, especially regarding the discomfort, but my mind also said, “Hey you are feeling things and there is a reason for it.” This doesn’t mean I knew why…and wanting to know the reason is a function of the ego. So I tried to let that go and just say it was ok to be whatever. 

So I woke up this morning with the same intention of compassion and lets just say I’m liking it. I mean, usually I operate in such a way that I hold nervous, rising energy in me when I do EVERYTHING, such as assembling my breakfast, walking into my bedroom to put on chapstick, making sure I push my pee out as fast as I can so I can get on with my life! But today! The constant reminder, “all of that stuff is ok,” has actually made for a smooth ride where my gut doesn’t feel like it is rising into my chest, and I can feel my feet on the ground. My back doesn’t hurt as much as usual. My creativity has been flowing and I have been grounded enough to write this blog! I even pooped three times before 10AM and if you know me, you know that this is monumental! And I’m talking ACTUAL BMs…not those fake-outs that leave you more annoyed than relieved. (Sidetone: the large intestine is emotionally linked to forgiveness, letting go….can anyone guess what I’m working on? Eh?) If you weren’t prepared to hear about bodily functions, pardon me.  I just thought I would offer some tangible examples of how this is going for me. 

All these years of trying to calm my anxious tendencies and be ok with where I am in my life has taught me a lot. Mainly, how much I need to work on patience. Having a lot of ideas and energy and not know how to direct them can cause problems. It can make you more anxious and feel like you are letting yourself down for not being where you want to be. I move fast, but my life moves slowly. (I’ve been told MANY times how quickly I pee but that I made decisions like molasses.) Patience is key to allowing yourself to develop organically and in alignment with what you are truly wanting. It isn’t the way of today’s world. To be patient is to be bold. But, I’m finding that practicing patience doesn’t necessarily make me grounded or at peace. It brings a lot of awareness to my tendencies, but having that awareness usually just makes me hit myself on the head with a stick and say, “BE MORE PATIENT. CALM THE F DOWN.” And then judgement and guilt arise, which even if it isn’t crippling guilt, still perpetuates shame and dissatisfaction with myself. “I’m still operating in a way that aggravates me and I haven’t reached my goal yet,” are the thoughts, even if I don’t know what my goal is.  Patience is important whether you know you goal or not. 

But, COMPASSION has reminded me that it is ok to be impatient. It is ok to be anxious. For me, anxiety is an every-present sense that “something is just not right.” I have a predisposition to feel (even if I don’t think it) something is off. And then that makes me feel like I am off. I’m the problem. So when I practice compassion, I am reminded that whatever is there, is ok for now. You see, GIULT brings shame and keeps you locked in discomfort. ACCEPTANCE makes you feel safe, which allows you to let your guard down and actually let yourself expand into something else. COMPASSION has been the practice that actually helps me find calm and peace. I sense this is because I am inviting myself to just be, in order to transform into something else. I’m not punishing myself for my habits and I’m not forcing myself to be something else.  How can you have patience for where you are without having compassion for where you are? And for the record, acceptance doesn’t mean you identify with what you accept. It means you acknowledge it as a valid experience for the time being. This is soothing and allows energy to shift and expand into something else…something you are wanting. Something that feels more you. Not immediately, let’s be real. It may take time and a lot of patience, but with compassion, you create a context for patience to exist. And to tie forgiveness back into all this, I wonder about the relationship between it and compassion. What I currently say is that forgiveness a post-experience state rather than an in-the-moment state. Forgiveness helps us let go of what has happened, while compassion helps us be with what is currently and continuously arising. Regardless of whether you attribute your tendencies to illness, trauma, your natal chart, your constitution, or your environment, I suggest compassion. No matter the origin, these are experiences you are having.  

So there we go…a little Sunday-morning musing. I wish you all a beautiful week, and that you allow yourself the patience, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion to take a BIG cosmic dump, making space for new life enter you. My guess is that everything gets a lot more funny when you can laugh at al the stupid shit you do. Have fun. 

Creativity, Humor, New Blog, Transitions

I hate technology. So naturally I created a blog.

If I had it my way I would be running around the world without having to abide by intentions or boundaries. As beautiful as my mind is, it has created dis-ease for me most of my life without me realizing it. Now, I am trying on the understanding that my mind and all its creativity is here to work with me for the purpose of my soul’s greatest desire for expression. I’m writing this blog because I don’t know what else to do right now, because every time I have and idea and am ready to get jamming my body is like HAHA PSYCH! (Chronic illness is really fun.) I wanna scream at my Mr. Miyagi soul, telling my inner grasshopper to be patient so I don’t keep jumping around the field until I get chopped up by a weed wacker. This almost happened on several occasions before I learned how to be careful. So I suppose this gestation period is all for my highest good however frustrating it is. 

We all have a limited amount of energy to spend on things, and I am so done with the days of haphazardly giving my energy to things that give me nothing in return, so I am very conscious and particular with what I chose to involve myself with, be it jobs, projects, daily activities, people, things I read, what I listen to. Even the intellectual decision process of what is worth your while take more energy than I wish to give sometimes. 

Being that I am still too afraid to do what makes me feel most alive, like dance (big surprise to anyone who knows me) I use writing as my outlet. I have too many excuses to dance, including chronic illness, chronic back injuries, questions of identity, fear of past identity, ideas of self-worth, self-doubt, longing and belonging. using my body to share my artistry and wisdom still feels to vulnerable and raw. I figure I want to share, at least I could write. It may be a more mind-centric form of expression, but at least it is in service to my artistic creativity, rather than my intellectual ego that has had far too much airtime over the past 28 years I’ve been on this earth. I am a mover, so what am I doing sitting here in front of a screen? Not just for this blog, but I’m also writing a book. Don’t get excited just yet….I’m suddenly aware of just how SLOOOOOWLY I am to manifest my dreams, projects, passions. I mean, I’ve been unemployed five months….it took me three months to realize I wanted to write a blog, a month to convince myself that I should, and another month to actually set up my site and publish this. Why do we struggle so much with validating our desires? What makes them “valid?”

Part of my aversion to many things is that I have practically zero patience for technology. I do not understand it. I do not wish to understand it. Ok, I have a math degree but I can’t even use a Texas Instruments calculator for even close to what it’s worth. Humans have made it so hard for me to understand what it means to be a modern human. I don’t know what a plug-in is, I barely know how to perform a software update on my laptop, and I can’t perform it even when I try because I have no disk space. My browser is so outdated that I can even send emails from safari. Again, I cringe at the thought of having to back up my files on an external drive (which also require installed software) so that I can again have a functioning laptop with both space and up to date software. Social media freaks me out, I don’t want to be a virtual person, I want to be a living-in-the-flesh person, and orienting myself to screens makes my heart start to race and my mind unable to focus. I often have a hard time writing because my thoughts come and go faster than my brain can organize and my hands can write. But I payed for a year-long WordPress subscription, so here we go. I’m locked in. I signed up. Now I just have to learn how to promote myself. Setting up this blog was basically me clicking a lot of buttons impatiently and ignorantly between eating chocolate bars.

Learning how to operate machines and wireless connections are not my calling, but apparently they are a necessary skill for setting up any sort of business. Why does wanting to write mean that I have to know how to create a webpage? I’ve never even downloaded a song from iTunes….I don’t even know my Apple ID. Is it the same passcode I use for the iCloud (aka IF I use the cloud…cuz lord knows I don’t).  All I’m saying is that I am technologically handicapped and a failure of my generation, so developing a web presence is a natural way for me to promote myself…

I’ve recognized that every “rut” I’ve been in has really been a need to create that has not been met or able to express itself. If my body isn’t brave enough yet, let me use another part of my creativity as the vehicle, but remember that it my body has been the instigator and a huge guide leading me in this process.