What do you do when it gets difficult?

A few months ago, I wrote to you about resolutions, intentions, and commitment. Time is flying by! As we near the mid-April mark, I wanted to check in on how you are doing with those resolutions. Are you continuing on? Are you steadfast? If so, then that’s so great! What is your secret? Email me here to share your insights!

Most of us have a hard time dedicating time to ourselves, especially when it involves deep change. Even though we seek transformation and healing, we find that when it comes down to it we have come face to face with how difficult this whole transformation and healing thing truly is. Change, transformation, growth and healing demand that we have courage….courage to be steadfast and committed to ourselves, even when it is the most difficult.

Especially when it is the most difficult.

 


From one of my absolute favorite books, The Book of Qualities by J.Ruth Gendler. Page 12.

What I have found to be true in my life, in my practice and through learning from you is that to be committed, courageous and to be able to “keep my eye on the prize” when things get hard is remembering a quality called:

Kindness.

When things are hard, we have a tendency to contract ourselves. We get small. We then fight to get out. We want to feel expanded again. We want to feel the way we used to. So….we strategize, struggle and theorize on doing something else to push through the difficulty. We will do anything to feel that bliss again and so we enter into the state of lack.

This often looks like:
“Maybe I should do this other modality with the yoga.”
“This hurts. I don’t want to feel all this pain. Maybe I should take this supplement or this herb. Meredith, is there something I can take? What do you think about this?”
“Would this cream help?”
“Maybe we can add another pose to my practice? I’m not feeling it where I think I need healing. I’m feeling it in this other place and it’s really uncomfortable.”

Basically….or in other words:
“I need more.”
“I am not enough.”
“Nothing is enough.”
“This is not enough.”
“I want out.”
“I don’t trust how I feel.”

And the answer is very simple. More simple than our complicated minds desire.

The answer is that we have forgotten to be kind to ourselves. And in that lack of kindness, we go searching on the outside for a new remedy, for something that will be kind to us because we simply can’t be kind to ourselves when we are feeling what we are feeling.

KEEP IT SIMPLE. KEEP IT KIND.

Kindness does not mean you run away from facing the process. Kindness means you tell yourself that you will never leave. You will always be there, even when it gets hard. Kindness means you will not over-strategize or overthink to pull yourself out of the process; instead, kindness means you will hold and love yourself while it hurts, knowing that if you offer this quality to yourself, it will ease the pain.

Kindness is an approach that heals, it is not a modality. How you do your practice matters. Do it in a kind way.

Kindness helps your body return to harmony and balance. It helps your body return to homeostasis. It reorganizes your physiology.

With this being said, the prize here is actually THE PROCESS. You see, there’s no end goal to anything. The prize, the beauty, the whole thing is the process. Yoga, Ayurveda, and the Vedic Wisdom are all about the process. It’s even stated in one of the most prominent yogic texts, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras:

Yogas citta-vrtti-nirodhah.

Say it out loud to yourself, like this:
Yogash chitta vrittee neer-oh-daha

This sutra simply means:
Yoga is the process of calming, soothing, and quieting the mind.

This is where we start. We start with calming everything down. We start with soothing, quieting and offering kindness to ourselves, even while we feel pain. It’s not a quick fix, a magic pill or pose sequence. It’s not striving for something on the outside to make you feel better. It’s not running away from the process or what is difficult. It’s not a bail out. It’s sticking with yourself all the way, in a kind and patient way.

Yoga is about being with yourself the way you are right now. And that is what induces, fosters and supports change, transformation and healing. I’m not saying it is easy. Heck, I know how hard it can be to accept things the way they are and to offer kindness to all of myself when the going gets tough. But I know from personal and professional experience that it is the way towards balance. Because I have been on this path of healing for so incredibly long, I know the ins and outs of the mind and its workings. I have several tools to help you be present with what is going on and to help take the edge off so you don’t go into strategy mode. I offer you loving support when you do go into strategy mode and offer a helping hand and heart filled with kindness so you can find your way out on your own time. This is what I specialize in. It’s not something I chose. It simply chose me. Kindness chose me when I had a really hard time in my healing process and I am here to help you with that very thing.

You may be asking:

This all sounds great, Meredith, but how am I supposed to be kind when I am really in the thick of it? All I want is to feel better and get out of this pain.

HERE’S A QUICK TIP:

Try a good healthy dose of curiosity and wonder to widen your perspective. Instead of continually spinning around in a mindset that says, “This hurts” or “I feel pain here”, why not give yourself some wonder and ask yourself this instead,

“Hmmmmm. Well now, that’s interesting. Earlier I felt this hard, rigid, contracted feeling here and now it feels warm and achy. It hurts but in a different way. I wonder what is going on in there? Isn’t that fascinating that it has changed so much? What else has happened besides that one sensation that seems to be calling my attention the most? Did anything else happen? I wonder what could happen next!”

Without a need to do anything more, you simply become involved with what you are feeling and sensing. You feel what is happening. By asking the questions that help you to describe your experience, you pull yourself off the hamster wheel and into direct inquiry… into being objective rather than subjective. Direct Inquiry and Objectivity help you to be present in the midst of change. And presence in the midst of change is what heals.

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