Meditation and yoga therapy continues to be one of the most rewarding and difficult internal explorations I have endeavored. The rewarding part is noticing how much I have grown in kindness, mindfulness, and wisdom. The difficult part is noticing and being present with myself when I get caught up with my uncomfortable emotions - such as anger, fear, and irritation - or with sensing pain and fatigue.
One of the many topics on the last retreat I attended included practices on being okay with not being okay. An easy concept and a hard one to live by. Being present and kind towards myself, when experiencing uncomfortable emotions and sensations, is a tough one for me. Then taking ownership of them in a loving way. You got to be kidding? It was not how I was raised. And undoing this old habit and retooling it has been a real struggle for me. My old grooves were super deep.
With my new understanding from the retreat, I realized that I had misunderstood what Pema Chödrön was talking about in her loving-kindness book. It is not about changing my old grooves or faking that I am fine with my emotions or sensations when I am not. It is first about just noticing them. Then allowing another layer of compassion or okayness around them. Basically, learning how not to add more gas to the fire. Do you catch my drift?
Today, I had plans to enjoy the sunny outdoors. Then to do some errands. I wanted to enjoy the crazy sunny weather in San Francisco and to be productive. My body wasn’t up for it. I was feeling too tired, so I decided to rest indoors and to do some yoga for deep relaxation. At first, I judged myself for not going through with what I had planned to do. Noticing my judgmental self, I turned to my yoga practice and included a loving-kindness meditation. Now, I feel rejuvenated - enough to write and share my loving-kindness insight with you!
Allowing myself to find peace with the unpleasant parts of life has definitely helped my wellbeing. May you find wellness in finding peace with the uncomfortable things in life too.