Of letting go…Surender.

cropped-dsc_04441.jpg Life is a struggle from the beginning.  It takes all your energy, all of your letting go to allow what needs to happen to happen.  And in that part of the sentence, lies the key.  If a baby were to struggle, fight (which maybe they sometimes do), things don’t get easier, they become more difficult.  The baby might have to be taken with forceps or C-section which is much more traumatic for the baby.   But if the baby naturally goes with the contractions that are meant to ease the baby out, it is less traumatic…difficult, yes, but a necessary process.

I have been fighting a process. The process of the dissolution of my marriage. I sooooo wanted it to work. I was going to fix it- all by myself! I laugh when I say that because that is crazy thinking. How am I suppose to do THAT when the definition of a relationship is the state of being interrelated, connected? I need the other half to connect to and that other half needs to want to connect with me.

So, I have been struggling, resisting, clinging to what I know…the womb. I don’t want to come out! I don’t want to face the unknown! I KNOW what the womb is like…I know how my husband’s arms feel around me. I know his quirks, his routines, his likes and dislikes. I know what to expect and not what to expect. Yet something was moving me. A force bigger than myself that was pushing me out, making me experience the unknown; this grief, this black pit called despair, bringing me to my knees (literally), sobbing uncontrollably.

Through this I am finding that the only way I can survive is by surrendering. Because every time I struggle, things get worse. The noose gets tighter and I fall harder. So I surrender. I have been brought to prayer, meditation, and yoga. And as I surrender, more things come to my aid; a phrase, a kind wish, a thoughtful phone call, a cup of tea, a shoulder to cry on. I have found through surrender a Power Greater Than Myself. I have been standing on the edge of a bridge many days and something gets me off the ledge. That makes me wonder: would I have found such faith had I not been given these struggles?

Someone said something that resonated with me this week. She said, “There is a possibility that things could get better.” I thought to myself, ‘Yes, there is. They could get worse BUT there is the possibility that after divorce, things could be better.’ I am scared. I am not always so hopeful when so much is coming at me all at once but in THIS moment, and this moment is the ONLY moment I can be assured of…THIS moment is good. I am open to the possibilities.

“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. ”
― A.W. Tozer

“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.”
― Marianne Williamson

“God had brought me to my knees and made me acknowledge my own nothingness, and out of that knowledge I had been reborn. I was no longer the centre of my life and therefore I could see God in everything.”
― Bede Griffiths

Yamuna-ing in NYC!

The Hudson river as the sun sets.

The Hudson river as the sun sets.

I completed the first phase of the Yamuna Body Rolling training today. I leave NYC in the morning tomorrow, back to the Twin Cities.

When I wasn’t in training which was 10-5 for three days, I was walking the streets of Manhattan, taking the trains below ground, shooting pictures of the images around me and people watching.

The NYC subway

The NYC subway

It is an amazing city, New York. I love to visit but I would find it hard to find my center here. There is so much external energy coming at me all the time, I find it hard to hear my own inner voice. I guess that would be the challenge wouldn’t it? That is the challenge wherever you are, listing to your true self.

Night image of the West Village.

Night image of the West Village.

Learning the basics of Yamuna Body Rolling for the last few days has been such a in depth learning experience plus a healing venture for me. Body Rolling teaches you how to manipulate your muscles with a variety of different sized balls that are placed on one area of your body and then moved by laying on them and moving your body to manipulate and massage your muscles and bones using your own body weight. Yamuna has created this awesome technique that I can now use on myself daily, won’t harm my body, won’t rip my tissues and will keep me in shape for the rest of my life because it is literally a technique that most people can do at any age.

Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Scott.

Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Scott.


The instructor of the class was a Brooklyn born steel/construction worker. He has also worked in a variety of fitness places using other types of techniques but has come to Yamuna Body Rolling because he has weight-lifted, taught Pilates and has found that many other types of exercise are hard on your body. They rip, they tear, they pound and eventually, you can’t do them any more. Sure, you can run for twenty years but eventually, most people have injuries. Then, they go to a chiropractor or try to eliminate soreness by getting regular massages or take medication. Yamuna Body Rolling can align your body, can go deep into the tissues like massage and can eliminate the need for some medications.

So, I am taking this back to the Twin Cities, this knowledge and training, going to body roll myself daily and then in March I will return for Phase 2 of the training. I will let you know how it goes. Stay tuned!!

Yamuna's Flagship Studio, The Village, NYC

Yamuna’s Flagship Studio, The Village, NYC

Yamuna Body Rolling

 

I am headed off to New York City tomorrow to the Flagship Studio of Yamuna Body Rolling.  I am so very excited to be adding to my repertoire of healing exercises.

Check out the video and I will post more as I train and learn.

Namaste,

Carrie

Are you PRE-suffering?

“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

How many times have I anticipated suffering, or created suffering before it happens thus PRE-suffering? Oh…many! I can get myself so wound up over stuff that hasn’t even happened yet thus ruining the present moment…huh, I am not even in the present when I am PRE-suffering, I am somewhere in the non-existent future that I have created in my head!!

I heard someone use this term last night and WOW…it just resonated through my whole being. “PRE-SUFFERING”. This is definitely something I can try and let go of. But how?

This is present moment and breath work. For me, meditation and yoga help with this. Focusing my mind on my breath during yoga, the movement from one posture to the next that aligns with my breath keeps me right there. It keeps me from thinking about thinking or thinking about the things that haven’t even happened yet. I enjoy Vinyasa yoga because it is a yoga practice that allows me to move. One breath to one movement- it seems very natural to me.

Sitting meditation also helps me to remain sane and in the moment but honestly is more difficult for me because I am sitting and not moving. Thoughts come into my head on a regular basis even though I have been meditating for twenty years. The process of letting them go and focusing on my breath is more automatic than it used to be but it is still a work in process.

The most difficult thing for me is getting myself un-stuck and out of the PRE-suffering black hole that once I am there is like space…never ending. I like that I can put a name to it now. It will help me to more easily identify this thinking. It lends me perspective which then guides me through the five other “P’s”- pain, prayer, patience, process and payoff. These are from the book, Paths to Recovery. John Maxwell also has a similar idea that I have spoken about before in his book Today Matters. I recommend both.

Just for today, start to notice your pre-suffering. Are you experiencing pain or anguish about something that hasn’t even happened yet? Are you anticipating bad things happening to you? Take a moment and breathe, connect to your source, go for a walk, do yoga, do what works to bring peace around you. I know you can!

Are you stuck in S.H.I.T? How to tame your dragon.

The dragon within us (CMG original)

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

― Plato

I can easily get caught up in S.H.I.T.  For me, S.H.I.T is this feeling of being overwhelmed with my life, an inability to control situations, thinking that I have to do it all and then making that happen, wondering if anyone that is part of my life will just get their SHIT together and make my life easier?  Have YOU ever had this feeling?

S.H.I.T is an acronym that stands for Super High Intensity Thinking.  And although I’d like to say I coined this phrase, I did not.  An Al-Anon member who heard it from a speaker at a conference retold this story to me.  I’m still researching the source and when I find it, I want to give this person credit because this acronym has stuck in my head and is useful.

Super High Intensity Thinking is something I bet many of you can relate to.  I was just reading an interview of the author, Kelly McGonigal who has written The Neuroscience of Change, in the October issue of  Yoga Journal and she states that “Neuroscientists have found that everyone has a default state that the brain shifts into when we’re not fully immersed in an activity.  This state things about the future and past, makes judgments, and categorizes and compares everything.”  Ahhhhhh…. What a relief that is!  I thought I was just nuts!  Our brains are really hard wired with this chattering state and if left to its own devices, it would continue to go on this rampage.

How do you know when you’re in S.H.I.T. mode and how can you get out?  Ask yourself these questions: What patterns of your behavior tend to repeat themselves?  Do you have a default mode of thinking?  Is your default mode of thinking negative affirmations that sound like; “I can’t do it all,” “I am incapable, not loveable,” “I will always be alone”.  Or maybe your voice speaks to you like this; “People are always trying to screw me”, “How come all the jackasses are on the road when I am?” “ Why doesn’t anything work for _________ (insert your name here).”    It could be that S.H.I.T. not only sounds a certain way but may look a certain way.  Are you running around to every crisis that isn’t yours?  Are you fixing things that aren’t yours to fix or helping those that you think need helping?  This is all S.H.I.T.!!!

How do we get out of S.H.I.T.?  McGonigal states that “mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can take us temporarily out of the default state of the mind and into an experiencing state.”  It’s about compassion, compassion for yourself and for others.  The brain will continually try and go back to its default stage.  It will remind you how uncomfortable mindfulness or yoga is and try to get back to its comfort zone… S.H.I.T. mode.  Knowing this, you can continue to focus on self-compassion and care.  Know that the only way out of S.H.I.T. is the awareness of it and then back to self-compassion and care.  AND once you begin to have compassion and care for yourself you can begin to see that everyone is just doing the best that they can given the tools that they have and you can start to feel compassion towards others.

With much love,

Carrie