So the past few weeks or so have been tough...I mean really hard. I feel like I have been riding that emotional rollercoaster of drops and turns and twists, but really just want to get off and take a seat to rest. I know I am not alone in these challenging times since friends and students have been sharing their troubles and concerns with me. And honestly, on some level it is comforting to know that I am not alone in this unfurling and unraveling that I feel at my seams. Maybe it is a collective phenomenon pushing us all to break free of those old habits and mindsets that we have outgrown. Let's hope so!!
But for now...whether it's a passing phase of the planetary mis-alignments, or a personal situation or circumstance that is bringing us down, we need powerful tools and real practices to get us through the lows and allow us to integrate the changes.
I have had my fair share of traumas and difficult situations in my life, and I believe that I was very fortunate to have been offered powerful tools and techniques from wise beings, teachers, and resources. The truth is that this stuff takes time...and ultimately we each have to figure out on our own what works best for our unique circumstance and personality. I think it's a lot of trial and error which will eventually, if we are able to really pay attention, lead us to our own inner knowing of what is best for us. We can take advice from our peers, read the wisdom of the masters and listen to our friends and family, but no one will ever truly understand what we are experiencing inside, and it behooves us to learn to trust our own intuition and guiding force.
Intuition exercise: grab some paper and something to write with
-Make 2 columns: Title one "Times I knew Something in My Gut but Ignored It"
Title the other "Times I knew Something in My Gut & Followed It"
Put in the first column those times you did or did not do something and found yourself thinking regretfully, "I knew it". The items in the second column might be defined by times you acted effortlessly and in a focused manner in spite of obstacles. Note how those experiences made you feel in your body. Notice what your thoughts were like during each memory. What list of body sensations or thought patterns can you identify in the comparison.?
I know from experience that when we 'feel' bad all we really want to do is 'feel' better. We will find so many different ways to get away from the uncomfortable sensations or emotions or thoughts that seem to be bringing us down. It is important to be able to identify the ways in which you personally try to distract yourself from what's just below the surface. It will take some patience and awareness of observation to be able to 'see' your escape patterns (everybody has different means to the same result). And some of us, this includes me for sure, use positive activities to avert ourselves from the underlying discomfort. I notice that when I am going through a change and begin to feel anxiety or unease that I find myself spending too much time at the gym working out to flush my system with some positive endorphins (not necessarily a bad thing, but needless to say it is still an escape mechanism). Maybe you prefer to turn to drinking or smoking, or drown-out the internal dialogue with Netflix marathons (I have been there for sure), or constant media distraction? We all have our ways and it is vital to identify how and when we are in escape-mode. If we want to ameliorate any issue at all, we must be able to first become aware of it, and this takes slowing down and paying attention.
Self-awareness of escape patterns exercise:
-spend some time thinking of recent hardships or times of stress and identify your personal escape mechanisms and activities that you might use for 'hiding' from the uncomfortable emotions or feelings. Notice if they are positive or negative distractions.
Meditation practices are one of the best tools for being able to become aware enough to really observe ourselves...because believe me we can be sneaky and clever when it comes to covering up the negative stuff that is just bubbling under the surface wanting to break-free from the bottom. Even just 5-10 minutes of seated meditation practices a day can help us to build the focus and capacity to quiet our thoughts enough to gain clarity.
I really began to notice myself trying to escape my reality whenever I was feeling sick and had to force myself to stay in bed and cancel my classes. I used to fight it so hard...going into self-pity and getting all worried about why I had gotten the flu or a cold. All I could think about was how I could get my body back to feeling good as fast as possible. All this energy resisting what was happening in the immediate moment made things even worse.
So I began to actually embrace the feeling of being unwell, not only fully accepting that I was momentarily unwell, but even diving deep into the bodily sensations and trying to 'enjoy' the slowness and heaviness that I was experiencing in my body. Whenever I do this I seem to get better and back to health even faster. I have even learned to almost 'enjoy' the rare times that I allow myself to hibernate in my room and stay in bed all day long.
The thing is...we all experience a myriad of emotions and feelings that are constantly in a state of flux and change. And although it is totally normal to want to feel the higher vibration, lighter emotions (thought to be more connected to our core essence nature), it is always important to allow ourselves the necessary time to move through the denser, heavier emotions as well.
Without going into too much detail, let me introduce you to Kali, the goddess of Revolution. She is the dark goddess archetype of transformation, dissolution of ego and spiritual liberation. Her energy can be potent in times of great change and upheaval.
Contemplation Meditation: Sensing Kali in Your Life
-Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Think back to a time with someone you loved or admired betrayed or broke up with you. Or consider the moment you lost a job, or something valuable was taken from you. Think of a time you were unjustly accused.
Sense & feel what comes up. How did the experience change you?
Looking back, ask yourself...Were there unexpected gifts that arose from those losses or changes? What were they?
As we become more calm and clear we may begin to observe the little hidden gifts and treasures that eventually surface through the chaos of our challenges, obstacles and changes. We may even feel gratitude and appreciation someday for our biggest losses and toughest hardships (but this comes with much healing, acceptance, and usually time). Please always remember that we are here to FEEL the whole entire spectrum of emotions and while we can't control what arises, we can definitely CHOOSE how to roll with it.
If you are ready to make some positive changes in your life...join me and Anke for our upcoming SHE SHINES YOGA RETREAT in Ibiza beginning May 4th -11th at the luxurious Prana-Ibiza Retreat Centre on the quiet side of the island. We will be happily sharing our life experiences and gained wisdom through our many hours of Yoga studies and practices. We will also be offering 2 workshops focused on Yoga & the emotional body, Divine Feminine wisdom and Tantric practices for everyday wellbeing and connection. I look forward to working more closely with you in the near future!!