It’s been several months since I’ve spent intentional time on my practice or with myself.
I roll out my mat, I stare at it, I fumble a little. But I don’t show up and I don’t do the work. I know this feeling very well.
Several years ago, during an intensive therapy session, my counselor at the time taught me one of my most valuable lessons to date.
In an effort to avoid the internal dialogue required to heal past a particular trauma, I triggered myself into an anxiety attack. I’m talking ugly face, tears and snot – attractive right?
She explained to me – something that I still apply to my physical practice when I encounter tension in my body – a simple spin on “what you resist, persists”. She explained that resistance is how you know what to heal next. That resistance felt towards healing something, is exactly why you need to heal it. And that the only cure to resistance, is vulnerability.
But vulnerability is hard.
The funny thing about resisting (instead of acknowledging) your own emotions and the need to work through them, is that you tend to project them on to others and make other people the source of your pain. That way you can demonize them, and convince yourself that your unease stems from them (and not your own self) so as to avoid doing the inner work. Or you invest in distractions.
The other funny thing about resisting is that no matter how far you run or how long you hide, you can never entirely get away from… You.
It doesn’t take away from the fact that healing is difficult, vulnerability is tough, there are several things that I don’t want to face and several more that I don’t want to feel.
The practice reminds us during asana that when discomfort arises in the body, to lean into it until an opening is created. When the tension eases, there’s clarity.
Leaning into resistance is similar. Allowing yourself to feel all the uncomfortable emotions, acknowledging them and giving them a voice.
It’s been several months that I’ve been searching for comfort in the people around me, distracting myself with accomplishments, burning myself out, frequently overwhelming myself with thoughts.
But today, I rolled out my mat to face a familiar demon.
Leaned in. Breathed. Felt.
I think healing is a forever process.