So, last week was a bit of wobbly, weird week for me.
It started off great. I graduated from my two-year Dru Meditation Teacher training. I felt refreshed after a week off. I was looking forward to getting back to my yoga teaching – with that exciting “new term” feel. I’ve got new classes and workplace yoga and mindfulness initiatives coming up.
But then I found myself not sleeping very well. My mind wouldn’t shut up. A Facebook post irritated me and I let it get under my skin.
I felt the “not good enough” button well and truly pressed.
I got the fear that I won’t “make it” as a yoga teacher. That people want to feel like they’ve worked out from a yoga session (which I’m not interested in teaching). That all the nice rooms and halls in this area are already taken. It’s not fair. Why aren’t my classes full? Why aren’t my forthcoming workshops fully booked?
Hello self-pity and self-doubt and self-judgement.
Hello tight throat, tight chest. Tension. Disconnection from the ground. Feeling lost in a whirlwind of what ifs and shouldn’ts.
Being human, mindfully
Why am I telling you this? It would be very easy for me to waft around pretending I’ve got it all sorted. Writing this is exposing my vulnerabilities to the world.
Well, I’m sharing this for three reasons.
1) To show you I experience mind-created dramas too – we all do because we’re human and complicated;
2) To share it isn’t weak or stupid or wrong to feel off-balance and vulnerable sometimes; and
3) To show you how I used my mindfulness and meditation practice to help me through it – and to learn and grow from the experience.
So, in the midst of the turmoil my mind was creating, and, as difficult as it was, I decided to sit on my meditation cushion and feel it all.
I sat, and gripped onto my soothing rose quartz thumb stone crystal for dear life and sat with it all.
The waves of feeling and thought. The anger the frustration. The self-pity. The envy. The instinct to jump up and pace around. The fretting. Feeling like giving up because I’ll never be as successful or prolific as other teachers.
But most of all, I sat with the fear.
Because this is what my mini melt-down was all about. A deep, deep fear of not being good enough. Of being a failure. And of not being seen.
Oh god(dess), I don’t want to feel this way! But I am. Don’t push that away.
Attachment/aversion, grasping/pushing away: the root of much human suffering.
And then came a wave of inner strength and resolve. Just feel it. Name it. Let it be.
Fear. Frustration. Fear again. Anger. Worrying. Catastrophising. Comparing myself and finding myself wanting.
It is as it is
And then a glimmer of equanimity.
It as it is.
It is as it is. (I let this be my mantra for a few minutes) and the turmoil began to lessen its grip and fade.
The next day I took myself off to Mottisfont Abbey and sat under my favourite old tree and meditated.
And I sat with it all again.
And I sat and felt the breeze on my skin and listened to the rustle of the wind in the leaves.
And I realized again that all just is as it is. All things fluctuate and change.
I am on the right path. The path may change in the future, but for now, I’m on the right path.
I am the guardian angel for people who need ME as I am now. I am here in this body, in this place, in this time, for a reason.
Let me be me. And be a beacon of inspiration and help and light to others, like me, who struggle with sensitivity, anxiety and self-doubt to let myself and them know that sensitive people like us have beautiful gifts to share in this world of comparison, competition and stress. And we are perfect just as we are.
Letting it be
And just letting it be, I found a peace with it all.
I am thankful. Because I have a meditation and mindfulness practice. Instead of sitting and ruminating on worries (real or imagined) and raising my stress levels or pushing it down, ashamed of the way I feel, I know to take myself to a quiet space and shake and shout it out, stretch and move, or to lie on the ground and breathe out my cares into mother earth.
It isn’t easy. It never is being human.
But I feel empowered and strong for having let myself feel everything.
That’s why I’m sharing this experience with you. It’s not weak or stupid or wrong to have strong emotions. It’s human.
And it’s human to have a choice with how we deal with these strong emotions.
We can continue on automatic pilot and be pushed and pulled around or we can invite our higher self to hold the reins and observe and watch with kindness.
The quiet voice within
Through all the rage and fear I ever feel sitting on my meditation cushion there is always another voice within me. Sometimes very quiet – sometimes shouted down by my hurt ego. But it’s still there.
Have you heard it within you?
A voice that is loving and patient and kind. Ready and waiting to be heard, saying it’s OK. Feel it. There’s nothing wrong with you. This is life. This is living. It’s OK.
Nothing lasts, everything changes.
Fear and hurt will subside. Joy will return. And that will ebb and flow too.
It all changes. Let it flow. Let it be.
It is as it is. This too shall pass.
Breathe. Smile. And let life flow like a river.
Be kind to yourself. You’re OK. In fact you’re more than OK!
And here in this moment all is well.