Friday, December 11, 2009

on challenges

So you know how much I come back and rave about my yoga times in Tulum? I speak of sunrises, walks on the beach, tree poses in the yoga hut, delicious meals with fabulous gals, birds chirping, soft breezes, skin caressed by water and sand....

Yes. Magical. All of it. Well...most all of it. In looking at the topic for the 2009 blog challenge, I can't help know that my biggest challenge of the year started taking place just as I was departing for Tulum this July. And while I was in Tulum a new challenge was added to the challenge that I took to Tulum.

Out of no where, hurt, chaos, and confusion descended. Most mornings began with me sitting on the middle of the floor in cabana 19, trying to meditate, but mostly crying for those in my life that were hurting.

Because I only choose to share my own challenges and struggles, I will not reveal the specifics. I don't think it matters at all. We all hurt. Only in different ways. At different times.

It was the toughest time of the whole year for me. I was able to be in Tulum and lead the retreat without letting my challenges interfere with was I was doing for the week. I'm actually quite good at this. Thankfully so.

I'm amazed at how suffering can feel. From the subtle aching of a lonely heart. To the gut wrenching pain one can feel deep in their belly.

I still don't know what to make about the challenges of life. On the best of days, I know that it all happens for a reason. On the worst of days I wonder how in the hell people can hurt so be on the giving and receiving end.

I do believe, really believe that our struggles and pains offer the most potential for growth and learning. I believe, really believe that it's the challenges and the pains that have the most potential to make us wise in our own ways.

To be able to stay in the light even while cursing and shaking our fists at the heavens and knowing that somehow, someway we will make it through offers great hope to me.

This was a really hard topic for me to write about. I'd love to learn from you...what do you think about challenges? How do you deal?


Jeanne said...

Thank you for sharing. I think the hardest part of meeting challenges is to be able to judge them honestly, and not let every little bump in the road become a major challenge.

I used to get thrown out of balance by every little change to my daily routine. Everything seemed to be painful. Then I realized I was only making matters worse. I was feeding my pain and suffering and they were sucking everything else out of my soul.

Now I work to turn the pain into joy, learning and exploring each situation to find the good part -- the lesson, the humor (albeit dark or ironic), the strength gained. It is hard work, and I'm not always successful

What do I do?? Breathe more, meditate, smile more. Force myself to look deeply at the people and situations that are challenging me, and peel away anything that I have imposed on that pain so that I can recognize the true nature of the challenge more clearly.

I now see my Mom doing the same things I did -- and I wonder where I got my tendencies toward masochism! It is hard for me not to feel frustrated with her lack of insight -- I want her to be able to climb out of her wallowing pit, as I did.

This is my challenge right now -- feeling compassion for my Mom, overcoming my frustration, not lecturing her, but learning to work in more subtle ways to help her find a different approach to living.

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