If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen some recent posts about my Yoga Teacher Training. And if you haven’t, let me tell you now, it’s kicking my ass.
I knew going into it that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but it’s taken me to other levels I couldn’t even grasp. Far beyond just the physical stuff (although the physical stuff has certainly been challenging too).
I’ve cried a lot. I’ve had some dings and bruises (literally). I even threw my back out. Last week I was almost ready just to throw in the towel. I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for it and was preparing myself to discuss with the teacher if I could finish the rest of the program next year.
The truth is, it was an ugly place to be, and I hate when I end up in that space.
When we get to those situations or tough times in life, it’s easy to get lost in our head. You know what I mean. You show up there, thinking you are “sorting things out” and organizing your thoughts and feelings in a systematic way. Walking up those stairs, you tell yourself it’s an organized space when in reality is it’s a chaotic freeway. You have great intentions to come to a logical decision, but suddenly find yourself swirling around at 100kmh, looking for an off ramp.
It serves us no good at all to spend too much time in there. There should be a time limit or someone to say, “It’s been 15 minutes, time is up. Move on.”
Get in, ask a few questions, and get out.
Instead, while we are cruising around up there, we create these stories and fears that do nothing but hold us back. As time goes on, we start to live into these stories that we’ve made up about ourselves, and the fears hold us hostage in our lives. Then, if it gets really dangerous, we can set up camp in this feeling of helplessness, and it gets even harder to pack up and move on. We feel stuck, powerless, and victimized.
These stories and fears take us further from our truth. Further from THE truth of how powerful we actually are.
In a book I’m currently reading, the author has a great way of describing this. “When we feel powerless, we have forgotten how much choice we really have. We have a choice to take action and we have a choice to change the story we are telling ourselves about our powerlessness.”
I find that this is so accurate and such a great reminder. We are never powerless. We may have forgotten, or temporarily forfeited our right to choice, but there is always something we can do.
Back to my yoga training situation – my mind was telling me, actually convincing me, I wasn’t strong enough for the program and through the freeways up there, I was brought to the place of being a victim. Then I came across a post on Facebook took me right back.
“Remember why you started.”
I say this to people all of the time. It’s one of my go-to lines. But I’d forgotten about myself. (This is also a great reminder for us that we need to get better at taking care of ourselves, but I’ll save that for another post).
Why did I start?
I started this training program because I wanted to take my personal yoga practice to another level. I wanted to strengthen my back and improve my alignment. I wanted to help others with back and other body issues to help them find balance – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Enter perfect metaphor here. Of course I was being challenged in this way. This is the same way I want to help others.
You may have heard the quote that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Here’s something to take that a little further, our suffering comes from our judgment of something, not the something itself. Boom!
My frustration with the situation came from the fact I felt like my training should have gone a different way. That it should have been easier or better than it was, instead of accepting what was happening and that I was exactly where I should be.
“How do I know it was supposed to happen that way? Because it did.” Byron Katie
An important principle in yoga is to surrender to what is, and the irony is that by surrendering I was able to come to my own power.
With my training halfway done now, I’m committed to seeing this till the end and reminding myself that I can and I will.
Remember, we are so much more powerful than we realize.
If you find yourself spending too much time in your head, might as well ask yourself some questions while you’re up there. Here are a few that I’ve found to be impactful to bringing me back to my power.
Why am I choosing to feel this way?
Why am I living into this story?
Why is this important to me?
Why did I start this?
Why do I really want to quit?
Why am I upset?