A few weeks ago I was doing a yoga class with Guru Jagat. She suggested an experiment - try not defending yourself AT ALL for an entire week.
This idea struck me. I scribbled it down on a post-it note and started experimenting with it... Seeing if I could first notice all the ways that I try to protect myself, and then not do it.
I had the perfect opportunity to experiment with this today. My first reaction to what happened was biting and defensive.
My second reaction was to stop and reflect on what I was actually feeling, and then, what thinking led to that feeling.
[ SAD AND HURT. ]
[ MY NEEDS DON'T MATTER. ]
[ OUCH. ]
I've become an avid listener of Brooke Castillo's The Life Coach School Podcast. In one of her episodes she talks about pain - about how she reminds herself that there is NO PAIN THAT IS TOO GREAT FOR HER TO FEEL.
[ I LOVE THIS. ]
Sometimes, when pain comes, she acknowledges it by saying to herself softly, "Pain..." "Pain..." "Pain..." As she says,
Negative emotion is a part of life. What we do with the negative emotion (let it exist or try to push it away) is what determines the impact it has on us.
I don't really like to feel hurt, and for most of my life I've either pushed it away or avoided it entirely.
Anger, I get. It teaches me about my boundaries and what matters to me. Sadness, I'm okay with. But hurt... I still don't get it.
Perhaps because hurts makes me aware of how powerless I am over certain things. I have control over how I experience something. I have control over how I engage with my feelings, but I don't have control over how others choose to act.
But, after sitting with it for a while I did find an unexpected pocket of beauty in it, and perhaps part of the gift of hurting:
When I dropped the resistance and let the hurt just be there, without trying to change it and without trying to fix it, I felt so much more connected and intimate with myself.
A tenderness and a sweet sense of presence swept in...
WHY AM I SHARING THIS?
Because I learned long ago that when I can take my subjective feelings and turn them into something more "objective" - into an (art) object outside of myself, I close the gap between my Self and Others.
If I understand what matters to me most (how we feel and what we do with it) I know what to post online and how I want to share.
Learn how to do the same. Register for the 5-Day Mini-Course: