Rise and Thrive




Photo by Johannah Reimer

Photo by Johannah Reimer

"Listening is where love begins."
Mr. Rogers

So my family is in a shit show of black mold invasion/evacutation/getting rid of all our stuff and since we have become a couch hopping-take out eating stress bomb of a family began- I've been shoulding the f*^! all over myself.

I tell myself, 'I'm a Buddhist. I know about letting go and surrender. I know material things aren't important and living in a mountain of debt is simply the American way.  We'll be fine. Exhale and let go, damn you!'

Oh yes my friend, in service of what I think I should be doing, I've been spiritually bypassing. Meanwhile, as I tell myself to surrender, my heart is racing so hard I can barely breathe. My shoulders are up in my ears, I'm living on chocolate and toast, and I can't stop shaking. So far I've cried in stores, coffee shops, walking down the street, my car, and everywhere else I've been. And this voice inside my gut is screaming 'NO! I don't want this! Not this! I'm a NOOOOO for this!' 
So you can see how well telling myself to let go and relax has been working.
Like a freaking charm.

Last week in Hakomi Training, a beautiful friend was practicing on me, and I really got something. Really got it. That all this resistance, all this hell NO, it's old. It goes way back, back to the very beginning. We all have hectic birth stories, and I do too. So let's just say, I was a NO from the beginning. And this NO to this crisis of losing everything, losing our foundation, triggered something in me, resistance, and unwillingness to surrender to what's happening. Makes sense, right? Who in their right mind would choose this? Who would choose to go from a warm, wet, oneness to a freezing cold world? Who would choose to lose their home and everything in it and have insurance give you the middle finger? 

Needless to say, there's some serious wisdom in my resistance. It doesn't feel good. And the part of me that is young and vulnerable is suffering.
So I've stopped telling myself to get my shit together and surrender- like a wanna-be Buddhist Sergeant-  and I've started listening to my NO. I've started honoring it.
By letting my body feel my NO, feel my resistance, feel the parts of me that are wound up, gripped hard and shaking. I've breathed into those parts and said 'I hear you. I get it. Of course you feel this way.'

I've danced it- I've let my body move me to express this pain. I've let my body be held and cry and feel the support that's there so this part of me can stop fighting and feel. I've asked friends to squeeze my shoulders, give me eye contact, hold my hands tight- anything that keeps me in my body so I can attend to myself. And it's working. I don't feel awesome and happy, but I feel like I'm not in a civil war with myself over this.
And I get it. I get why I'm a NO for this. There's nothing wrong with me, I just happen to be human. So there it is. One more way to drop the war we wage against ourselves and come into a loving relationship with the awesomeness we are. I especially recommend listening to your resistance and NO as we head into the holidays. It's a hectic time and we could all use some sweetness.

Here's what the dancers had to day after class:

"It felt really good to be just be here and listen to my body and let her do whatever she wanted to do."
"I was dancing with an injury today and I found myself having to respect and honor that vulnerability, that's hard for me, it's good to play with that here."
"I'm really feeling the sweetness of movement and body and health in the midst of suffering."
"I've been feeling resistance to myself lately so this was so perfect to me to be with my no- I don't feel such and such."
"The words that came with me while I was dancing were NO and STAND UP!"
"The prompt was timely for me, there are things coming up that I feel resistance to, and it's so cary to say no- but I have a choice! That was really alive for me."
"I'm actually allowing myself to feel sadness here, something just happened in my life that I didn't want. I think I was spiritually bypassing feeling this. Ultimately, this feels like a death, and I've been trying to let go, I feel like I lost something. I'm acknowledging how hard it is now."
"It feels scary to find my no but I'm finding it."
"I followed the thread of unraveling my resistance, and I went back to the very beginning- and found the theme of mothering myself in a new way. Simple, nuanced mothering, support and the false perception of not support. And I realized not having support is not true, there is support. Thank you for this dance."

Dance Invitation: In the midst of your day, if you find yourself struggling agsint something, listen to the resistance. Be with it. Let it scream at you- the NO, the please not this, whatever it has to say. We have to LISTEN, or it will rage at us for the rest of our lives. When you hear it, let it move. See where it is in your body and breathe there, shake there, dance there- anything to be with it, let it have its moment, and move forward.