Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Get out your #2 pencils

"I have test anxiety" declares my daughter. "I know the material until it's time to take the test". I know how she feels. I feel exactly the same way right now. I know the yoga lessons I've been studying but when the test comes I feel like I fail.

It seems that the universe is giving me one big test after another with no time for me to catch my breath in between.

The test has been handed out and I'm sitting there staring at the questions....

How do you stay grounded when you're standing in quick sand?
How do you trust when you have been deceived?
How do you keep forgiving over and over without feeling like a fool?
How do you practice contentment when things around you are falling apart?
How do you keep your heart open when every ounce of your being wants to shut down?

The tests keep coming; only the answers escape me. Anxiety reaches an all time high.
The advice I give my daughter "Ask for help. Don't wait till it's too late." Does that advice
apply to me too?

I take my own advice. I bow at the foot of the Divine Mother and ask for guidance. I once again experience the power of sadhana (spiritual practice). The only thing I need to remember for the test is that the answers can only be found within and the study guide is sadhana.

Sadhana is what grounds me.
The Divine is where I place my trust.
I forgive even if it means I'm a fool and then I forgive myself.
Contentment comes from trusting in the bigger picture even when I may not be able to see it from this vantage point. When things fall apart the universe is making room for something else.
An open heart is the channel in which the Grace of the Divine flows.

The answers are only found within and sadhana is the way to find the answers. We continue moving forward, even when we can't see the road in front of us, trusting in the support of the Divine. It's only when we stop moving forward that we truly fail.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Feeling uncomfortable

When emotions come up during meditation we're told to recognize them, feel them and then let them go. The search to learn the method for letting them go has
been my primary focus. Today I realized that my eagerness to find the way to let go is driven by my desire to bypass the 'feel them' step.

I'm not comfortable with emotions. Which is ironic considering the fact that I am extremely emotional.

The question is always, what do I do with the emotions? Only today did it occur to me that maybe the answer is to feel them. Mostly I prefer avoidance. Especially when it comes to emotions that I have labeled 'unyogic'.

I've tried ignoring emotions. Staying so busy all the time. Doing everything for everyone. Always with a smile. All the while hoping that if I ignored what I was feeling long enough that the emotions would simply disappear.

I've tried numbing the emotions with cupcakes and cosmos. Only that lead to a vicious cycle that only caused more negative emotions.

I haven't figured out how to let go of them because letting go cannot happen until I have acknowledged the emotions, AND experienced the feeling of the emotion.

I'd like to believe that maybe the letting go will happen organically when I learn to be comfortable with whatever emotion comes up. Good or bad, regardless of how uncomfortable it is.

Sitting with peace and joy in our heart when the emotions are pleasant is the easy part. The challenge is experiencing peace and joy while sitting with some uncomfortable emotions. That seems to be the practice to focus on.

It is uncomfortable to sit with the emotions of grief, sadness, disappointment, or anger. These are normal human emotions yet we don't want to experience them. When someone is sad we want to make them happy. When someone is grieving we don't know what to do. Maybe there are important lessons for us in those emotions that we so desperately want to move past. Maybe sitting and feeling whatever it is that we're feeling is exactly what we're suppose to be doing. Maybe it's in the learning to be comfortable with ourselves in the mist of un-comfortable emotions is the practice.

Even more uncomfortable than sitting with our own emotions is having to sit with someone else's emotions. We tend to internalize other people's emotions.
Sometimes feeling responsible, somehow, for other people's emotional well being. When someone we love is upset with us we want to DO something to change how they are feeling. As if we have some control over the emotions of others.

I'm finally seeing that until I have some mastery over my own internal process there's no point in me expending energy in trying to figure out or change someone else's.

Feel what you feel even when it hurts and give thanks to God for the lessons those feelings are teaching you even when you don't know what the lesson is.