Friday, 1 June 2012

Strength challenged

I am one day from leaving Mumbai after living here for the past two years.  Usually during transitions I am on a roller coaster of ups and downs...mainly feeling like someone should tether me to something so I don't float away with all the buzzing energy.  In March, I participated in Yogaprasad's Teacher Training and Self-development course.  It was an amazing and intense experience that has led to a different transition this time around.  I have been able to observe this roller coaster, but not get on for a ride...well not as much at least. :) I have recognized signs in my physical body and my mind, then paused, and reflected that if what was going on was true or just my emotions and thoughts taking over.  Usually the later was occurring.  It has allowed me to stay more present and continue to enjoy my life here before it ends.

I have also tried something new.  I have experienced two energy healings, something I've not done before.  When it was presented to me, I thought it sounded interesting and wanted to experience it for myself.  Before I did the first one, about a month after my yoga course, I had an experience that repeated itself twice.  I woke up in the middle of the night with an intense, burning sensation right above my navel and below my rib cage.  I laid there observing and wondering what it was about before finally falling back to sleep.  This happened a few nights later again.  Then I soon forgot about it.

After the first healing, which we focused on anxiety and self-doubt, a felt a lot of emotion throughout the day, mainly focused in my throat.  I spent the next week and a half feeling very present...each day stretching out, not being able to even remember the details of what I had planned for the following day unless I looked at my calender.  (Usually at this point in the last weeks before moving, I am very future focused and anxious).  The past few days, I have begun observing as I'm walking around Bandra, my neighborhood, that my breathing is only happening in my upper lungs.  When I tried to deepen my breath, I found that the area in my upper abdomen was very tight, making it very hard to take deeper breaths.

During the second healing yesterday, I felt intense burning again in my upper abdomen.  It felt like a battle of my muscles trying to hold something in.  There was a decrease in this sensation at the end and my breath was deeper.  My thought was, "Whoa...something deep is in there and it's going to take more than just this healing to get rid of it."  In the last 24 hours, part of my mind has been observing this area and I've been trying to consciously relax the upper abdomen.  But, man, it is continuously flexed. Again, it woke me up last night.  I've been reflecting that I've spent most of my adult life challenging my body and mind through risk-taking adventures...pushing my mind and body to discover how far they can go.  I've spent so much time doing this, that I've learned to ignore my body so I can persevere despite pain.  In a class recently, I was reminded to listen to my body.  In this class, immediately, during the first asana, my head had this piercing pain, yet I continued to push on.  My teacher, Aditi, stated she would not tell us when to come out of poses, but that we needed to listen to our bodies to realize when to come out.  Immediately I came out of the pose I was in.  During this class, when the pain in my head started, I came out of the asana.  I held each pose less than I usually did and by the end of the class I no longer had the pain and felt calm and centered.

I feel like this burning tightness in my upper abdomen is my body letting me know it's time to let go of something.  What that something is...still trying to figure that out.  Is it's my body manifesting the process of my mind coming up with a new definition of strength?  Strength does not need to mean physical strength, but rather being courageous to speak my truth and be myself.  Maybe the battle in my abdomen is old identities fighting to stay alive while a more true identity is coming alive...


Welcome!  I decided to create this blog for several reasons.  First, I have found that I am much better at keeping more of a journal on my computer, rather than writing in a journal.  Second, after reading a friend's blog post on meditation, I realized how helpful it was to realize how similar our experiences are.  I hear people saying often, "I tried meditating but my mind won't relax."  They had preconceived ideas of what meditation should be, rather than understanding that calming the mind is part of the process, not the starting point.  Third, I wanted to keep a record of my daily observances of myself in the process of self discovery.  It's amazing how each day brings a new insight or reminder and I don't want to forget them.  Finally, sharing my experience, though it can feel scary to be vulnerable, can be helpful to others.  We are all struggling and it's nice to know you aren't alone.  I welcome any thoughts, comments or discussions...this is how we can all grow.