I am currently taking the Level 2 training of the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program. Besides having my mind blown everyday by the approach, the skills, and the people, I am amazed at what I am learning about myself in the process too.
The last 7 months of living in NYC have been a wavering, chaotic, highly emotional, and an intense ride. Fun too. Cannot forget how much fun I have had, too!
During a facilitated yoga therapy session that I received today, I explored a topic in my life that has been neglected for quite a while. I am forever grateful for the space that was held for me as I got to experience this breakthrough, realization, and insight on my own.
In a yoga therapy session, the client's eyes are closed (much like a meditative state) and they are led through a series of simple yoga postures or a guided meditation that puts all the emphasis on the clients words, stream of consciousness, feelings, emotions, etc. These words, after being heard by the practitioner or therapist, are then fed back to the client close to verbatim, or at least using the same words.
Hearing my own words has been POWERFUL!
During my session today where my body was in pidgeon pose (see picture below), I had an image of a tree branch breaking. The exact words "tree branch break" were words that came directly from a poem I had written many years ago.
As I explored that memory, I took myself back to when I wrote that poem. I remember the day so clearly. I was in my sophomore year of college, had skipped class that day to stay in bed with my lover, and had blown off all of my worldly responsibilites. Inspired to write, I sat on my bed all day with my computer, a journal, and a few books for inspiration. I gave myself completely, whole heartedly, whole bodily to this poem that I needed to birth. I remember the room turning dark, no longer lit from the sun. I let the day pass as I devoted my entire day, all of my plans, to this creative process. This burgeoning.
Never once feeling guilty.
It is the poem I remember, not which classes I skipped, or how tidy my apartment felt.
My poem, my exploration, and my self expression was the most self-serving, important, and meaningful way I could have possibly spent my day. I felt a tangible feeling of my soul embodied. I also felt a tangible feeling of my soul fleeing my body as I wrote my poetry on paper.
Checking back in with that feeling today opened up a huge field of insight.
Just a few months ago, I remember asking a friend in New York, "Hey, so...you know that feeling when you are doing something SO incredibly and completely YOU that you know exactly who you are and you love the moment, yourself, and the flow you are in completely and entirely?"
"Yes, I think I know what you are talking about...yeah I do..."she says.
"Yeah, I cannot remember the last time I felt that."
My spirit wants to sob remembering that conversation. To not have a moment of recalling the last time I have felt entirely and totally myself. Feeling painfully nostalgic to the days where that feeling felt so common. I remember driving down a dark country rode in the middle of the night, just to sit on the roof of my car, watching the stars and making wishes. Getting lost in the library for 6 hours on a Friday night, choosing books on psychology, philosophy, symbols, and dreams to pick them all apart and feel lightening bolt epiphanies of how they are all related, essentially the same, and how I felt connected to the macrocosm of life. Rolling out my yoga mat in front of a closed Catholic church devoting my practice to people who still feel small and oppressed by religion.
The poem, the stars, the books, the intentional yoga practice. All the same feeling. The allowing. Being and letting inspiration happen.
The rational mind does not have a say in this.
The rational mind does not know what this is.
The rational mind will not understand this.
Not holding back the action. Being in the flow of my life and of myself. Feeling like an individual. Alone and awesome.
Tree branch break and pidgeon pose.
I continue going inward and asking where and why has this part of myself gone. I come up with answers such as laundry, responsibility, money, work, obligation, cleanliness, perfectionism, feeling the need to keep it all together, rigidness, tightness, structure, time, calendars, transportation.
Oh my god, what has happened.
All of this shit that I have let get in the way of letting my spirit unfold and unravel in it's divinely creative and sometimes messy ways.
I was flooded with awareness of how perceived stresses of life, perceived feelings of obligation, perceived responsibilities, perceived obligations to other people have hindered, stifled, belittled, and squelched my flow of creativity.
The remedy? At least for myself...
The EMPOWERING word and art use of saying NO. Taking responsibility to say no!
No, laundry you will not be done today. I have a poem to write.
No, responsibility you can wait. I have love to make.
No, money, you are not that important that I will work myself to death and forget about life.
No, work I will no longer keep you around if you feel like work 90% of the time. Also, no more working on Saturdays and Sundays, unless I really want to.
No, obligation I will not be seduced by your clever hooks and guilt trips.
No, cleanliness you are not more important than painting.
No, perfectionism you do not exist. You are an asshole.
No, I do not have to keep it all together or pretend that I do.
No, rigidness, I cannot live with you because that is not where happy and creative mistakes happen.
No, tightness, I can't breathe with your grip.
No, structure, I don't need to follow your rules. I live very well with my own.
No, time, you will not be given to people, things, and activities I do not like. More of you will be given to things and people I LOVE and feel NOURISHED by.
No, calendars, I am going to start planning my moments, instead of my months.
No, transportation, you will not consume my idle mind anymore. I vow to read more on the subway.
So my big insight for today, can pretty much be boiled down to...
The most important and vital responsibility that I have is to create. Create and foster more joy. Everything else getting in the way of that power to create is perceived. Boundary setting and saying "No" will keep my time, energy, and creative juices protected and flowing.
Thank you, pidgeon wisdom and thank you yoga therapy!