I’m making an effort. Perhaps blogging is my newest discipline. I have felt ‘called’ to share my experience and understanding with others but typing on a tiny phone feels like confined limitation in my expression. I can’t type fast enough to express thoughts as they form. Please bear with me.
So, discipline. What is it? Do we need it? Is it aggressive and unkind to discipline yourself? Maybe it’s unkind not to. I reflect on this with you today because yoga, meditation, and properly caring for my self are all disciplines. I have to stay on top of myself to make sure i do these things daily. During my recently failed six and a half month relationship, i mostly dropped them all to support and encourage his/our shared dreams. What an unkind thing to do to him and myself. I thought i could handle this incredibly strong attraction with pointed clarity and i believed he was supporting me by doing yoga and meditation with me. Believed i was capable of loving him through anything. And truth: of course I still love the man. He’s a sweetheart. Its easy to love everyone for me. What’s difficult is living with them.
So, i crashed and burned in my ability to communicate with him as we started to see how our differences could tear us apart. I became so overstrained in trying to manage the winds of change that we were surrounded by. My girlfriends have pointed to the description “co-dependent” to describe the experience. I was advised to look into the topic and once i get settled again, i will. But i want to describe the experience a little more clearly, as i see it. I was holding on to the couplehood. Gripping tightly. The winds of change got stronger than i could handle. The gusts were so strong that when i let go, i flung myself right out of Arizona. Here I am five miles from Shambhala Mountain Center! And I’m returning fully to my disciplines now that I’ve landed again.
I sat on my meditation cushion for a long time last night. Sitting there with my own thoughts and pain. No tv. No input. Just me and my coo-coo thoughts. So any stress was clearly going to be from me and my thoughts. I sat through a lot of thoughts. Got caught in them. The discipline is recognizing i am caught in a thought and then letting go of the thought. Once i see it, i acknowledge it. Say “thinking” and then bring my attention back to my breath. Doesn’t matter if the thought is about politics, social injustice, or how to feel ok coming out of my cocoon into a world full of people who would just as soon shoot me as help me. I am not my thoughts. They do not define me. I am just the observer of my thoughts and as i let them go, bring my attention back to my breath, and start thinking again, i see the repetitive nature of my thoughts. But here’s the gem. I saw it for the first time so clearly last night. When you hang onto a thought, you physiologically respond to it. Allow your mind to pitterpatter in circles about your worries? Notice how something in your body is either tensing, pulsing, or … Last night it was my heart. Each time i had a fearful thought, my heart beat more intensely. I had a few moments wondering if heart attack was imminent. Even gratitude made my heart thump harder. We block out our body signals so often; i propose that by doing so, we create unhealthy habits and patterns. We ignore, thinking we will deal with it later. I’ve done it my whole life and now, i am feeling it. Extreme physiologic responses to mental activity. And i wonder, how do we stay peaceful when the physiology is freaking out?
So, today, I’m watching my thoughts all day. I challenge you, too. If you notice your physiology shifting with your thoughts, please share your experience and insights with me here. Sorry, this blog feels a little rough around the edges to me. And it’s tough to edit. Please excuse typos and grammar.
I’m newly committed to my discipline, to my health, and to doing it for the sake of humanity rather than for just my man or my self. We are all in this together and i need to give a special shout out to the beautiful souls i met at Outlaw Yoga. The hugs and sharing there were such helpful medicine. Much love! Much gratitude, and lots of heart thumps!