It’s been said “life is a journey, not a destination”. I am living that reality these days. I am recognizing how focusing on the destination (end result), without appreciating the process, leads to heartache. When I live in the moment with a spirit of gratitude, I experience peace amongst chaos.
I have been thinking about this blog post for several days and debated about how much to share. I have a few special followers who sometimes believe I am talking about them even when I’m not. Understanding the ripple effect of my words and actions, I have been taking care to be particularly mindful of what I write. I would like my readers to take what they like and leave the rest. If it hurts or offends, I promise that was not my intention.
I write to grow myself and, in so doing, believe I give others permission to show up, be vulnerable, take chances and grow too! If my words inspire anything other than growth, please let them be. At the same time, for what it’s worth, I have learned the most from the things that were the most uncomfortable.
Talk about discomfort! I process and integrate personal growth work quickly but I have been on some kind of uber-superhighway growth cycle the past couple of months. It’s been quick and intense, even for me! I have experienced both the highest elation of my life and the greatest heartache, sometimes within 24 hours!
It has come to my attention I have spent most of my life to this point either working to recreate good feelings or running away from uncomfortable ones (mostly running away). Early on in my yoga practice, I recognized how much I avoid discomfort and have been practicing sitting with myself wherever that may be. My practice has taught me all discomfort is temporary and sometimes the best thing to do is lean into it. If I just keep showing up and practicing, focusing my energy on each breath and my physical center, everything else falls into place.
I remember when I couldn’t reach my hands straight above my head or touch my toes. I can now put my chest on my knees at the end of my routine. I didn’t get there by focusing on being able to put my chest on my knees (In fact, I didn’t think my body would ever do that!)… I got there by showing up, doing my best and letting go a little bit more every time. I have learned that if I always avoid what’s uncomfortable, I plateau. If go just a little past what I am used to, I improve a little bit at a time. Almost every new pose has scared me and my first step is believing the pose is possible for me.
My yoga teacher says that ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’. I believe he’s right. I have certainly seen the correlation between my practice and my life. Most recently, it’s given me insight into the difference between integrity and control.
Integrity is a tenant of Adamantine, control is not. Integrity brings stability. Control brings tension. I have confused the two in the past… Abounding in my illusion of ‘control’ but lacking integrity (oops).
Recently, I have taken a good, hard look at what I did to get my marriage to the place it’s in today. I played a role… Lacking integrity, I lost touch with who I am and got caught up in the status of having a “good marriage”. There were flags that all was not what I wanted it to be but I ignored them. I held back my opinion on some little things when I could have just mentioned my preference in the beginning. My husband did the same and here we are…
I consider myself a very loving person and I am for the most part. However, I also have a shadow side when someone is ‘in the way’ of what I want. By not getting what I want, I am learning how to be more compassionate and love unconditionally. It’s not a challenge to love people who are how I like them… it is challenging to love fully when things aren’t going my way. It’s uncomfortable… But I am learning how.
I have learned I can either be angry and hurt that good times had to end or I can rejoice and be grateful they happened. The latter is much more joyful. Gratitude always takes the edge off my suffering and puts my attitude in a better place. I believe occasional pain is a mandatory part of human living but suffering is truly optional. I choose my thoughts and my thoughts create my reality.
I am learning just because something feels good and I CAN do it, doesn’t mean it’s good for me. That’s a BIG ONE! Every since my father preached having “a quiet and mild spirit” is a virtue and pleaded with me to ‘get control of my emotions’, I have rebelled against anyone or anything I perceived as trying to control me. By doing so, I made a lot of choices that were not in my best interest. I lived life as if there were only two modes, being in control or being controlled.
I now see there is an ideal space in between I call ‘allowing with intention’. It’s a place where I get clear on what I want and believe I deserve it. If I can imagine it, I believe the universe can provide it and lots of things better! It’s a place where I live in accordance with my highest truth (integrity) without trying to control anything outside of myself. It’s a place where I decide what is important to me and don’t settle for anything less. It’s a place where I embrace the unknown for the adventure of living!
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading