Monthly Archives: March 2015

Alignment

Detail of a walkway, Chinese Garden, Huntington Library

Detail of a walkway, Chinese Garden, Huntington Library

While I was in down dog during my regular morning yoga session, I was shocked to see that my feet were uneven. I felt like I was perfectly aligned. All this time, I’ve been out of alignment and compensating by moving my right foot a little in front of my left. That’s what happens in life, too. We feel balanced when we’re actually out of alignment with Source, and when we do connect with that energy, ironically, it feels unbalanced. Being out of alignment becomes so familiar that being in alignment feels wrong.

In order to bring myself back into alignment, I’m going to have to consciously think about where I place my feet every single time I move them. That’s the way to emotionally and spiritually bring yourself back into balance as well. Consciously recognizing that the familiar habit you’ve had for years is keeping you from what you want. I have to be aware of where my thoughts are going and redirect them. It’s not easy, it’s really not fun, and for me, it’s going to take some time to retrain myself into liking myself. But I’m choosing alignment. I’m choosing to connect to my true self.

Behind the Façade

Winterthur

Usually by the time I get done writing a post, I feel better, but starting out I feel like all I’m doing is whining. I’m sure there are people out there who would agree with me. I don’t want to be that way, but I have to be honest about how I feel. Yes, there is an aspect of wallowing to it; I’m fully aware of that. I’d rather be truthful and say I feel like shit than tell everyone I’m doing great and I love my life, when inside I’m having trouble getting through each day.

Most people prefer the façade. I do too, at times. It’s easy to hide behind. You can get through the politesse and go about your way without ever having to reveal a single true emotion to anyone you meet. The problem is the politesse becomes such a habit, that it becomes who we are. Our entire lives are spent skimming the surface, and it ends up being empty.

You can’t have deep intimate relationships without revealing what’s truly going on in your life. You don’t want to get into the habit of complaining all the time about all the bad things happening to you, but you need to be able to drop the façade and just be. I tend to wallow in the negative, even when I say I want a solution. That’s usually the frustrating part for me–I’m completely conscious I’m doing it but feel powerless to change it. It’s not true, but it allows me to stay in my victimhood.

Behind the façade is the ugly that no one wants to see, or so I tell myself. In reality, underneath is all the interesting stuff. Most of us are just too afraid to let it be seen. Everyone has hidden depths that are beautiful. The key is to have the courage to share that with the world, because it would definitely make the world a better place. I’m still working on figuring out who I am under the façade. I’m always hoping I’ll have some epiphany and instantly have all the answers, but I know I have access to the solution right now. I just have to open up to my true self and listen, and that’s a daily process I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.

Crying is a Release of Resistance

Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls)

Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls)

Growing up, I viewed crying as a sign of weakness. A lot of us were taught that as children: Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about. Suck it up. You’re such a sissy. Luckily that thinking is beginning to change, for both boys and girls. I’ve come to learn that crying is powerful and can help break through a lot of the emotional blocks we put up in an attempt to avoid pain. The pain is still there; it’s just trapped in your body. Letting it out is cathartic.

Some people let it out as anger, which was my personal favorite in the early days of crawling out of depression because it was so familiar, but after a while, anger no longer moves you forward, it holds you back. If anger gets you out of hopelessness, go for it. Just don’t stay there. The goal is to move through the anger to a better feeling. For me, the way to that happier thought is usually through crying. It seems counterintuitive to cry yourself happy, but I’m not one of those people who can just shift immediately into positive, cheerful thoughts. When the tears start falling, I’ve finally stop fighting myself and just given in and allowed myself to be in that moment–feeling bad, but truly present. That’s what propels me to expand and grow as a person.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been copiously crying in a shopping center or restaurant. When it first started happening, I was embarrassed and tried to hold it in. Then I realized that’s what I’d been doing my entire life and it didn’t work, so I started to just cry. If people saw me, oh well. I’d rather be able to express my feelings. As bad as I feel in that moment, I know that by crying I have finally released the resistance to finding the solution. It’s actually incredibly healthy.

We hold so much bottled up that we need to have a release value. Some people find that release in ways that end up being unhealthy–overwork, sex, alcohol, drugs, shopping, food. Those just mask the problem. Eventually you’re going to have to deal with the emotions, and I’m at the point where I’d rather deal with them as they happen than to wait for the huge explosion. Because it will happen. You get sick, your spouse wants a divorce, you lose your job. Trying to learn healthy techniques to feel better in those moments is impossible.

For me, if I’m crying I know I’m on the right track, but only if I don’t wallow in self-pity, which I have been known to do many, many times. Crying shifts something for me. I’m no longer pushing against the resistance. I might not be actively looking for the solution yet, but I’ve at least acknowledged that what I’ve been doing isn’t going to bring me what I want, and I need to look for a different way. Once you let go of that resistance, you stand in a new place from which to create your life.