Saturday, September 12, 2009


Aliveness shows up in a lot of ways. I like it when aliveness shows up as happy and joy and tingles and fun. But sometimes aliveness shows up as sad or worry or wondering or pain. It's just as alive! But the "negative" sensations are the ones we try to get rid of. We worry about them, making them bigger, when what we really want is that they just go away. And sometimes they do. But they always come back. We always get winter. It is never not winter here (yet).

One of my teachers used to say "breathe. It beats the alternative." And when strong sensations came up he'd say, "it beats the alternative," as though those strong sensations we wish to go away are part of the deal too. In Elizabeth Lesser's book Broken Open, she's got someone in there talking about her problems like they're her friends. They're there. Hey, the only people with no problems are dead people, right?

So allowing aliveness to be in its fullness means allowing the discomfort to be welcome just as the comfort is. That Serenity Prayer always seems to make sense to me - do what you can about the things that you can and leave the things alone you can't control and know the difference between them. So when stuff shows up, a mood comes over, some internal weather pattern moves in, just trust it will pass for one thing. It always does. And something else shows up and then it goes too.

In Mother Daughter yoga today I mentioned to everyone that at some point probably everyday, the body is uncomfortable. It just is. Our thinking that it's supposed to always be comfortable inside and that there's something wrong when we are uncomfortable isn't helpful. It makes things worse! (Of course you can also get some other opinions - don't ignore sensations - check them out and get things looked at that need to be looked at!) Once you've done what you can to be comfortable and you're still uncomfortable, just breathe and consider those are signs of life. You're alive. It's part of the deal to be uncomfortable some of the time.

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