Tag Archives: shame

I Can Learn Something

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I can feel the pressure building inside of me,
pressure to get things done, get things organized,
be better, do more, know more,
pressure to have a plan,
pressure to answer others’ questions…
It’s the dark time of the year,
and the darkness is bringing me down.
I don’t want this pressure.
I want to hide.
God, help me change my mind.
Help me welcome the pressure.
Let me see this discomfort as a yoga posture
life has given me to master.
If I can breathe through it,
I can learn something from it.

A Friend to Myself

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I keep looking for someone to see me,
to be excited about being with me,
a friend who mirrors my dreams
and celebrates them
who looks into my heart
and shares a sweet connectedness.
I think I find a friend
and I get excited.
I reach out, send texts expressing my thanks,
celebrating the synchronicity
that brought us here.
I wait, full of anticipation
looking forward to the experience
of full reciprocation.
And then…
And then, static on the other end of the line.
That vulnerable feeling
of thinking I divulged too much,
reached out too much,
suffocated a budding friendship
with my over-zealous enthusiasm.
Was I too much?
Was the connection I experienced
all a dream?
These dreams were mine.
And so were the lies I told myself
about needing someone else
to show me to myself.
Back at square one,
I realize I’ll never be done
looking for a friend
if I can’t first be one to myself.

Keeping Appearances

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If you are so strong
why do you feel the need to
flex your muscles before an audience?
If you are so highly educated
why would you broadcast
to everyone around you
where you went to school
and how much more you know
than everyone else?
If you are trying to keep up appearances,
tell me what are you so ashamed of,
what are you hiding,
what is it that you don’t want me to see?
If you are in possession of true wealth,
there is no need to cover yourself
with glittering jewels.
Your glowing eyes and strong heart
speak volumes of who you are.

Essential Forgiveness

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If we are to continue
on this path of awakening
with our open hearts,
the spiritual warriors that we are
will need to learn how to forgive.
Forgiveness is essential.
If we are to set down
the burdens of the past
we need to learn how to let go.
Sit a moment.
Feel the regret, the remorse.
Acknowledge the shame, or the pain
as you reflect on past events,
and then…
let go.
Because this moment is ever new
and fresh–
Because you are this being now.
The you who made that mistake
decades ago
no longer exists.
In this one now moment,
this eternal present,
your heart beats life blood
through your body.
Its intelligence masters
complex processes
and with a symphony
of collaborative movements
you are here alive
this very moment.
If you want to learn how to forgive others,
start with yourself.
If you want to learn how to forgive yourself,
start with your own heart.
Acknowledge its beating,
then let go of the past.
You can let go of the past
the way a tree lets go of a leaf
in autumn–
finality without mourning.
Each letting go can be joyful
as space is made for the
burgeoning and the blossoming
that is to come.

Freezing Rain

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There was a freezing rain advisory in effect this morning until noon. It has been cold here the last few days, and the ground has been frozen, so any precipitation was expected to freeze on contact. I got myself worked up about having to drive in unsafe road conditions, and interrupted my meditation to text two of my yoga teacher colleagues to ask for help. The first one was teaching the class before mine so I asked him to let me know what his drive was like. The second one lives near the yoga studio, so I asked her if she could sub for me if the roads were treacherous.

My husband made fun of me when I told him how worked up I was getting. “Marylanders,” he said, shaking his head.  I actually got bent out of shape with his teasing. The PMS hormones were still having their way with me and I’m not good at taking jokes at that point.

“The roads are not too bad, but be careful,” my one colleague told me. The other told me she’d be willing to teach, just let her know. Not too bad? What does that mean? I hate driving in ice. I hate sharing the road with people who don’t know how to safely navigate in wintry weather. My anxiety continued to rise until I was in quite a state as I was getting ready to leave. I even screamed maniacally at the hubby when he attempted to argue with me about something that I found inconsequential. I wanted a moment to get ready and asked him to let me be. When he stood there, telling me that he couldn’t believe I was reacting in that way, I just kind of lost it and reacted even worse. “GET OUT OF MY FACE!” I told him.

I left the house feeling pumped full of adrenaline, and had to take some really slow, deep breaths to talk myself out of my anxiety storm. I felt really guilty for blowing up at my husband. Ashamed that I didn’t have more self-control. Remorseful for letting it get to that point.

It turns out that the roads were fine.

I hoped that none of my yoga students would be scared away by the forecasted weather. As I pulled into the studio parking pad way earlier than normal, I wondered if I could fit my own practice in before my students arrived. The room was nice and warm. I rolled out my mat and sang a couple of kirtan songs to the empty room. I felt soothed by my own voice, glad to be there early, having that moment to mentally prepare for teaching.

Twenty-one students showed up, ready to move and breathe. Twenty-one wonderful, willing, open human beings, so eager to learn and explore. I love my job. I’m so grateful for my students.

I left the studio feeling calm and centered. I called Cliff to check in; he sounded fine, the kids were fine, down for nap. Everything was back to normal. The events of this morning stood as a reminder that I still have so much work to do to master my mind and its fluctuations, its temper tantrums, its reactivity.

I wondered if I would ever get to the point that I wouldn’t explode with anger when faced with life’s daily challenges. Will I ever be that patient, and aware, and centered?

The weather will change, and hopefully so will I. Someday the clouds will part and reveal the clear blue sky. Maybe my moods are like this changing weather. I can’t really choose sunshine or rain, but I can choose how I experience them.  Perhaps my work isn’t to eliminate the anger and the anxiety, but to hold space for them, to let them come, and then to let them go. Just like drops of rain falling on the windshield on a cold January morning, I can watch them rolling down, down, and away.