Hold Me Sweetly

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Again, I am drinking my Yogi brand tea for Throat comfort, and again I am reminded that the best things come in small packages.

“Trust creates peace”

I have so many people mistrusting me lately for reasons based in their own fears. I realize now it was their own fears, but in the heat of the fire, I was panicked, unsure, anxious, doubting myself, which only played into their view (projection) of me. I alleviated the worst of it yesterday, and today was full of so many wonderful affirmations from professionals, friends, and strangers alike that I am the good person I thought, and not the monster these people made me out to be.

If trust creates peace, then mistrust creates hell, for everyone involved. Trust has to also include trust in yourself. Trust in yourself really requires trust in something larger than you. Call it what you want, but being able to trust that things are truly happening as they need to is not easy. It takes surrender.

I received a healing from my friend today, who used to train in Sufi healings, and it was interesting what came up. Not surprising, but interesting.  He told me to drop into my heart, and I honestly didn’t know what that meant. I still don’t, but I thought about opening, breathing into my heart, etc. At first, lights behind my eyes were billowing in and out, in the shape of a heart, and purple even. Then, I tried to envision my physical self, with the area of my heart expanding with each breath, and in my mind’s eye, that area was caved in. It just wouldn’t budge and expand.

From there, my body felt very large and heavy, like I was inside a giant rock, but it didn’t bother me, and I didn’t feel stifled. I transitioned out of that into something else…so much I forget it all. At one point, my friend told me to ‘feel completely supported’, and I was instantly brought back to one of the darkest, most challenging times in my life. It was one of the nights shortly before I gave up my dream of dance.

I had a full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School, but I didn’t have any way to support myself. My body was shutting down. My hips were so tight and painful that I sat out of many classes. I never went to anyone for help. I called up my pilates instructor one night in desperation to alleviate some of the tightness and pain so I could take class.

She had me lie down on the floor of my little basement room and put my legs up the wall. ‘Now, let the floor completely support you. You don’t have to hold yourself. Feel completely supported.’  And as the floor came to meet my body and hold me, I broke down. Like a little girl running to her mom’s embrace, I sobbed. I had been holding my pride, holding my life together, holding in my hurt and pain, and my body reflected it. I wasn’t even able to trust that the ground beneath me would support me.

Today was a reminder to trust that the world around me will hold me. I need not resist or hold or brace against anything. That is lack of trust in everything in the world, which is really all one breathing soul with limitless manifestations. How can I not trust that which is of me? When I start hurting and feeling like things aren’t going well, that somehow I am not a part of this amazing world of peace and light, I will PAUSE, FEEL the earth and the space around me, SURRENDER to the moment, and be THANKFUL for this universe that holds me so sweetly.

Breath melt

Breath, Time, Space and Self

Breath, and the control of it, helps you unite, but not just with yourself.

Yoga means “union”, and it is often referred to as the union with yourself, but it is much more than that. It is union with all that is life.

Quickened, focused breath,  creates heat and energy. As in kundalini yoga, this is how I unite with the energy in my body and with the energy all around me.

It also creates personal space. It is unlikely that focused pranayama breathing will bring two people physically closer together, although when people get close, it can increase breathing. This increased breathing does not always a union create. You tune in to the energy and tune out the body and mind.

Now, slowed conscious breathing is different. It allows us to slow down our mind and body. It allows us to melt into ourselves and melt into others, to feel our bodies fully. Full breathing creates a space for one to melt into, whether that be yourself or someone else. It not only nourishes our body, but it allows for union. It is a receptive act to slow down and be conscious to all within you.

I think for proper union to take place with self, whether yourself or another, things must be slowed down and given the time and space to evolve organically. Like the ocean, when the waves are small, it is easy to see through the water to the bottom. When the waves are rough, you can feel the energy of the waves, but you can not see clearly for all the sand.

Amyism

Confusion.

I am at one of those odd points in life where so many things are going wrong, yet so many things are going right as well. It’s all about concentrating on the right things right now and going with the flow. It’s about being patient with life and the people close to me and trusting that some things will just take more time to get better.

When something is going “wrong”, I try and see it is an opening to something better. That’s the mindset I choose to have, and I trust it will work.

No matter what life throws at me, I have faith I will come out okay. That faith alone has gotten me through some very rocky times. In fact, I can honestly say it has saved my life more than once. Back in 6th grade, I called it Amyism. I believed that my strength came from within, that organized religion was a crutch and that we all are people with the power of choice. We CHOOSE to live a certain way, to see the world a certain way, and to REACT accordingly. Noone can GIVE us  the strength we need to survive the worst of the worst. It is within us all, but some require more to bring it out. Some never have the self assuredness to tap into that strength. They derive their strength from outside of themselves, hence they are ultimately weak.

…..I really don’t want to go into this too much. Someone is bound to challenge my beliefs with their faith, their religion. Who are they to challenge what I believe for MYSELF to be true? I follow no religion but my own. I condemn no one. I recruit no one.

BUT, if someone would like to have a lively discussion about religion, faith, the root of it all, etc, then I am game.

Unite With Your Sexy Self!

“What you resist, persists”

This phrase spoke to me in yoga class, as did the following statement…which for the life of me, I can’t remember right now. And that’s OK.

Many movements in yoga we feel resistance, or pain, but for some reason we keep doing the same thing, or we stop altogether. Sometimes, if you let yourself feel the pain without resisting, you tune into the problem and can (hopefully) adjust. While some postures look forced in yoga, when done correctly, nothing is forced, and even the most twisted, contorted positions are quite liberating.

What You Resist, Persists.

That happens in life when people think that by ignoring a problem, it will go away. Well, that certainly doesn’t work, and it makes it worse most of the time.

Another concept brought up was about duality and non-duality in yoga. Some forms of yoga separate the body, the mind and the spirit. My teacher today comes from Tantra Yoga, and she believes (as do I), that the body, mind and soul are intricately intertwined. The style we studied today was Anusara yoga, which starts with a beautiful, melodic chant, enveloped on either end by the infamous OM. The vibrational energy you feel in a room full of people OM’ing is amazing!

The opposite of resistance is holding on, and what you hold on to, disintegrates, vanishes. As a dancer, my body and mind tend to hold on to the sensations I am used to feeling, and by trying for that sensation rather than being in the moment, I am unable to reach that point. The most amazing sensations I have had in dance and yoga were when I was open to the NOW, and as soon as I realized how amazing the experience was, as soon as I tried to hold onto it, the feeling was gone.

Luckily, when we let go of one thing, we leave room for more. The more we let go, the more we get back.

Today was a wonderful experience of letting go of preconceived ideas about my body and being gifted with new sensations, new freedoms and strengths within my body. Days like this I wonder why I don’t make yoga my living.

In fact, on days like this, I wondered, while lying in savasana, how anyone could try and escape their body. Making the connection between body, mind and spirit is the most uplifting, empowering experience I have ever had. It is truly sacred, and I feel that is one of our biggest problems in society. We cut ourselves off from our body. We negate the relationship between emotion and the body, between the mind and the body.  It made me so happy to have this opportunity, but at the same time so sad that more people don’t have this experience.

Yoga is union. It is a choice that must be made by the individual. It is a personal journey and cannot be forced. My hope for the future is that more people choose to take the path of self-knowledge and growth, which would make the world a more peaceful place.