From Gil Hedley:
“We all defend, habitually, one way or another. Our defense strategies take up residence in the tonus of every layer of our body. Depending on our own structure, we will react differently to these patterns in one another. Often our strategies loop back and cause the very thing from which we feel we must protect ourselves. To banish from oneself all defense and judgment and fear may seem a noble aspiration, but such ideals often merely promote self loathing and more judgment rather than enlightenment. We are not failures by the very fact that we are human. Quite the opposite. Donning these skins and walking about in flesh on this planet takes considerable courage. Marvel, when it occurs to you, at one another’s courage. Lingering on that, our inevitable failings are much easier to forgive.”
When I arrived at Kripalu I believed I would be able to ride above the fray when it came to the whole concept of self-discovery. I felt good, in fact, really good; and more importantly I felt that I had mentally and spiritually prepared myself for the grueling oftentimes stressful schedule. I was prepared, well-armored, and completely ahead of the game.
It was, rather ironically, my body that betrayed me first. From the second day forward, I began to develop a tension in my muscles from my scapulae to my sternum, on both sides of my body, that would not leave me alone or even allow itself to be stretched out. I sought out the help of one of the massage therapists on the course with me, and as he began to massage my scalenes, above my collarbones, waves of tension spread through my neck shoulders and throat to such an extent that I exclaimed out loud, in somewhat characteristic fashion, “What the f*ck is that?”
And so I have begun a journey of unraveling from habitual conditioned stress patterns that emanate from deep within my unconcious and concious mind body and spirit. These are places of tension, within my body that express themselves as opportunities for release, renewal and the kind of energetic moving on that I am, quite frankly, completely jazzed to encounter, acknwowledge and take action on letting go.
I know I have spent a lot of time since I began this blog swimming in the waters of the power of forgiveness. And I believe it to be, at least so far for me, one of the most enduring and tender invitations to transform myself and my relationships to others that I have ever had the grace to experience. Somewhere, along the way however, I have neglected, in a pretty serious fashion, to look inward and completely forgive myself.
I believe my most egregious area of non-forgiveness has come in the form of not completely trusting myself to my core. At its essence was an unbelief that caused me, and sometimes still causes me, to be hyper-vigilant in areas of my life where I feel I might be revealed as not quite as capable as I represent myself to be. And its shown up at Kripalu, in spite of all of my efforts to keep it at bay, mostly because I believe this is the final residual vestiges of the whole damn thing. It is time to let go of all of it that remains, build an altar to myself, work on my breathing and send energy and great great powerful positive affirmations to the essence of who I am that I am healed, wide open and ready for anything; loving, in love and luminescent to the very depths of my soul.
Much gratitude and love to my fabulous teacher Maria Kali Ma for filling in the final pieces.
BIG BIG NAMASTE AND MUCH MUCH LOVE!