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Posted on 06-06-2016
I would say the ability to be still, quiet the mind is a challenge for almost every single one of us today. Definitely tougher in more challenging, stressful times. It’s in those moments though most often when we need to slow down the most. However, instead of sitting to strengthen our resilience we often find ways of distracting ourselves by busying our minds with our problems, projects, goals, and the everyday, mundane responsibilities of life. I know lately I’ve been doing anything to avoid sitting with the restless feeling inside in me. Adding anger on top of the frustration welling inside me because I know better. I’ve been in the place before and know what works but for some reason I’ve only been giving it half the attention it deserves. I pray, mediate, and sit at about 50% of what my body is screaming it needs. The other day I finally hit a wall, my body was telling me what do while my mind was trying to do the exact opposite. I was dressed and ready to hit the gym, work on my handstand goals, and tackle my day, but instead I sat frozen unable to move. I felt completely depleted mentally and physically. I closed my eyes and within seconds wanted to open them, run and distract with my list but readjusted and tried again. I resisted the urge, sat, and faced what was behind the restless feeling I was avoiding. It reminded me how important self care is in order to be the best versions of ourselves. Sometimes that might mean pushing ourselves to accomplish those small or big lists, and other times it might mean getting still. Examining those quieter times as an opportunity to figure out what is beneath the surface. Maybe a little willingness to have some patience with yourself to wait and listen.
After I was done I picked up the book I’m currently reading, Yoga for Life, by a woman I’ve become to admire. As I began reading I stumbled upon a passage regarding a certain mediation she uses. It was exactly what I was finally allowing myself to do again. The passage was so beautiful I wanted to share it for others to possibly use. She states that, “Pema Chödrön teaches the importance of not running away from difficult emotions, that if we can sit quietly with them, eventually the expanse of blue sky will appear.”
Perhaps after you read it you can find it to be a useful tool for yourself as Colleen Saidman Yee has over the years and I currently am:
“It goes a little something like this. Sit down and notice where you hold fear in your body. Notice where it feels hard, and sit with it. In the middle of hardness is anger; sit with the anger. Go to the center of anger and you’ll usually come to sadness. Stay with the sadness until it turns to vulnerability. Keep sitting with what comes up, the deeper you dig, the more tender you become. Raw fear can open into wide expanse of genuineness, compassion, gratitude, and acceptance in the present moment. A tender heart appears naturally when you are able to stay present. From your heart, you can see the true pigment of the sky. You can see the vibrant yellow of a sunflower and the deep blue of your daughter’s eyes. A tender heart doesn’t block out rain clouds, or tears, or dying sunflowers. Allow beauty and sadness to touch you. This is LOVE, not fear.”
Now we all know stress in our lives is inevitable but equally as inevitable is love, gratefulness, and an open heart that comes if you’ll stop long enough to be still, and be with all parts of yourself. Give it a try.
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