It’s been a long time since I wrote about my practice but today while I was teaching my thursday evening class, I realized deeply the impact my practice has on my being.
Yoga makes me feel at home with whatever I’m feeling. I’ve been feeling exposed, vulnerable and re-wounded in the past month. I’m re-reading since yesterday a book that I had bought when I first moved back to Karachi at the advice of my then therapist – Journey from Abandonment to Healing.
SWIRL – is the author’s acronym for the acute grief that abandonment triggers in us. Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalization, Rage, and Lifting. And she reminds us that there is no clear cut linear process to this journey. That we move from one stage to the next and return over and over again. 3 years ago I experienced a deep shattering and withdrawal. I fought through internalization and diluted my anger with love and forgiveness. Finally I reached the place of lifting myself into a new life, a new skin, and a new everything.
But I forgot. I forgot that there is still a lot I haven’t allowed myself to confront. And now that new experiences are becoming old, and the new me, is starting to get comfortable with its fresh identity I realize the traps are all still there. My fears are here with me. And I’m still swirling.
Today I didn’t wake up to get to my morning practice. I felt listless since last night. I felt discontent creeping up. I felt frustration and black and white thinking dominate. And I wanted to resist it. I wanted to contain it. I wanted to sleep through it.
Thankfully I teach yoga so I have to do it even when I am avoiding it. And today while I meditated I gave in. I gave into the feelings of inadequacy. I gave into my obsessive thinking. And I told myself. I’m ok. I’m here and I can take care of me. I felt my breath expand my belly. I felt my life force in my pulse. I felt the coolness of my breath when I inhaled. I felt the warmth of my exhale. And I was home. I was home with whatever I am right now.
I’ve got a list of labels to characterize my behavior. I’ve got an armor of rationalization and reflection to let my fears come first. I’ve got a whole lot of mind activity that is always poking holes obsessed with perfection. But.
I’ve also got a place of peace and love, that I’ve nurtured. I’ve got an armor of vulnerability and truthfulness. I’ve got a simple awareness resting on my body that I can always access to become present and centered when I’m caught up. And most importantly I’ve got space, freedom and joy in my heart.
It’s an uphill battle to SWIRL, especially when I feel like i’m back to the broken-ness of my shattered self. But every-time I climb this mountain, my baggage is distinctly and definitely lighter. Thank you. You that brought all this stillness to be at home inside of me.