Wednesday, February 03, 2010

sitting with discomfort

This was in the newsletter I emailed out. Since not everyone gets this, thought it was worth putting here also.

Awakeness is found in our pleasure and in pain, our confusion and our wisdom. It's available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives. ~Pema Chodron

I'm feeling both intrigued and inspired by this quote by Pema Chodron. Recently I've been working with the idea of being present with discomfort both on and off the yoga mat.

With all the recent hurt and devastation associated with Haiti I learned something very valuable. I have a tendency to turn away from pain and hurt. It's hard for me to watch. It's even harder for me to experience.

As my husband watches the news I ask, "Haven't we seen enough of this? It's depressing." As I sat and watched Hope for Haiti, the concert to raise money for Haiti, I only lasted three songs before my eyes filled with tears. Rather than sitting with the pain, I chose to go upstairs and look at something more uplifting. Researching future trainings and plane tickets to Mexico all of a sudden seemed like a better way to spend my time. This made me feel better, but only momentarily.

As a student and teacher of yoga I experience and witness how we avoid discomfort on the yoga mat. In practicing at home, we choose only the poses that we love and feel like we excel at. In holding pigeon pose, we have unsettling thoughts or we can't get physically comfortable, so we shift around. We come out of the pose. Most anything feels better than sitting with discomfort.

Please know that I am not referring to physical pain we experience in yoga poses. This is never a good thing and we want to avoid this. I've told many students before that "Discomfort in a pose is not necessarily a bad thing. Quite often this is the place where we can learn the most." I'm now ready and willing to investigate this even more away from the yoga mat. In my relationships, my business, and my life in general.

It is my hope that I can be more open to embracing the the full spectrum of life. I imagine that if I can turn towards (and not away) both the beauty and messiness of life keeping both my eyes and my heart open, then that is truly a wonderful thing.

In Gratitude.....

ps - more about actually sitting with discomfort tomorrow.

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