Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Yoga Inspirations: A Breathe-Through

I'm so excited.

For one thing, I slept through the night last night, after weeks of insomnia. It's just amazing how bright and beautiful the world is on a full night's sleep.

For another thing, I've had some kind of breakthrough.

You know how I've been struggling lately? Well, maybe you didn't know that. But I have--on just about every front: creatively, physically, in my relationships, as a parent, as a citizen of this world. I felt like I was coming down with a mid-life crisis. Whatever it is I was supposed to be learning, I wasn't getting it.

Then a few things happened. I found yoga. I found Brené Brown. I started to realize that I can't just play possum and expect things to change or get better.

A week or so ago, I went to yoga and I had the absolute worst class. I could NOT find my center, I kept toppling over and I had to do a pitch adjustment during the "ohm." (Seriously, I sounded like I was yodeling.) I was getting more and more frustrated and tighter and tighter which just meant I was struggling more and getting more frustrated. My yoga instructor reassured me by telling me that usually when that happens, it means I'm about to have a break-through. I made him repeat it just to be sure he hadn't said "breakDOWN." He kept saying, "Focus on your breath. Follow your breath."

Which, well, okay, made me kind of want to hit him. (I'm all mature like that.)

The next class I went to was entirely different. Best yoga class yet. I did some balance things I haven't been able to do before and even did some of these kicks that I didn't think I was capable of. My yoga instructor was right. He told me I would have a break-though and I did! It's like he gave me a present --a present to give myself.

Hm.

So, that started me thinking. In my life, I have tended to move between two extremes--Bulldozer and Door Mat. What if there was another way entirely??  What if there was a way to NOT try to force things to happen (which, by the way, has never worked for me --not once) but to still be proactive?  What if I just stayed open but completely present, and just... breathed?

Y'all, seriously, I had a breakthrough. (And, maybe DOWN, we'll see. Maybe you have to break completely down to build yourself back up in a different way.) I am surrendering control, but still trying to remain positive and proactive.  I am trying to stay authentic--trying to not be the pathological people pleaser everyone has come to know--and honest about who I am. Owning my own desires and staying as open and giving as I can, while still respecting my own boundaries. I'm giving voice to the things that shame me and driving shame into the open and out of the house.

It's hard, though. It takes a lot of discipline to not just run around in a panic, reacting to things and making myself small to keep everyone around me comfortable.  I have to really consciously make myself take a breath and assess what I am feeling in my core --not what I think other people want me to feel, but what I am actually feeling.

After years of doing the same thing the same way over and over and over again and getting the same results, I've discovered that it really is possible to try something completely new. It's like I've been in protective, reactionary mode for so long on so many fronts--and I just now realized there's a different way. 

So, the thing is...it's having the most enormous impact on my life.  It's totally counter-intuitive for me. I mean, I'm standing here, naked and flawed and vulnerable --and, paradoxically, stronger and more at peace than I've ever been.

Have y'all known all along about this?  Is THIS what normal, whole-hearted people do? Because... well... wow.  This is good stuff.

6 comments:

Becca said...

yay for you!

One Crafty Mother said...

I loved this post! And this paragraph in particular:

"So, the thing is...it's having the most enormous impact on my life. It's totally counter-intuitive for me. I mean, I'm standing here, naked and flawed and vulnerable --and, paradoxically, stronger and happier than I've ever been."

You describe something that is very, very hard to describe. And it's AMAZING, isn't it?

Thank you for this.

-Ellie

Miriam said...

This is my "be still and know" a-ha moment(s) of these past months. So very glad for yours.

Sherry Sea from Austin said...

Good stuff, Barb. And may this be your best Christmas ever.

Anonymous said...

my way of saying-----to be is enough. Feeling that in you bones is the best. Andrea in TN

Susan said...

So happy that you have found your way through this tough time. I agree that we do have to get down to a certain level in order to grow beyond where we have been stuck. What a great way to start a new year!