Loosen The Grip/Stay Centered

Hello dear readers!

It was brought to my attention this weekend by an East Side Yoga retreater and friend that my blog posts are helpful and people are reading them, which made me feel good...to know that aside from the cathartic effect that writing has for me, that these little snippets are reaching people and are of good use.  So, thanks Melinda for reminding me of this.  I shall keep going and going and going!

I got back from the retreat yesterday and was, again reminded of the importance of stepping out of my daily life and going somewhere else to collect my thoughts, regain stamina and remember myself and what I stand for and what I'm passionate about which is holding space for people in whatever capacity that is needed.  

This morning, I went for my weekly walk with my dear friend, Lindsey and we talked a lot about our lives as space holders (she is a therapist) and when we walk, we share time and space and it's so helpful to be heard and to able to voice things that might otherwise go unsaid.  Aside from sharing our life's details and what's been going on, we also come to these really interesting and often, pretty accurate and introspective conclusions.  In this post, I'll share one.

I used to be an avid horseback rider.  I rode everyday, in fact when I was younger and got really attached and close to the beautiful beasts.  I was a show jumper and understood this really interesting connection between the horses and my body and nervous system without necessarily having the language at the time to discuss it.  

If you hold the reins too tightly on the horse, not giving them enough space to move their heads around, they rebel...they might even buck you off, which I experienced quite a bit in my younger years.  If you hold the reins too loosely, they won't trust you...they might go off to eat grass in the field or just totally take over....there must be a middle ground....some in between place to make them both trust you and themselves in the process.

This reminds me very much of the re-parenting process I've been going through with myself.  I have been learning how to mother myself with both respect and trust...building up my internal compass more and more to trust that I have my own back.

There was a time in my life where I did not trust myself.  I was a rebel, completely...in every sense of the word.  I would put myself on strict diets, I would abstain from life's pleasures and try to be 'good.'  Little did I know, this was in some ways, a method of punishment for the part of me that desires freedom and fun and excitement!  I inevitably would rebel and drink too much or be irresponsible with my body...and this cycle would persist for years...over and over again.  It was not that fun and it was pretty obsessive/unhealthy.  It was incongruous with the lifestyle I really wanted to foster for myself.

Now, I'm learning to hold a looser grip on myself...to trust my inner authority in all things...that I know I have my own back, because now I'm coming into great self-love and acceptance.  I no longer have to punish myself for being 'bad' nor reward myself for being 'good.'  I see that life is a constant relationship of ups and downs, trials and tribulations and that regardless of my external reality, I can have a strong core and trust myself even if I loosen the reins.

So, like a horse...I feel less inclined to run off into a barren field or put myself into a tight box....I can just be and graze as I feel like and live my life.  I will liken this to a dream I had quite a while ago about staying in my center.  I dreamed that I was in a pile up of cars in the middle of a field and I was about to crash into the car in front of me.  This was all happening in slow motion.  Instead of staying in the disastrous situation, I got out of my car and stood in the center of the circle, just watching.  I ran off to a nearby town and it was completely barren; a wasteland...the buildings were rusted over and everything was run down.  

I told the owner of East Side Yoga about this dream and he interpreted in to mean that if I am in my center, I will not need to run.  You see, the nearby town was dilapidated and didn't have anything for me....but the pile up of cars surrounding me was also something that disturbed me...the trick is to stay centered...stay inside myself and then, regardless of external circumstances, I won't need to run off.  That has been my deepest lesson...and so, I am grateful that it shows up in my life over and over again as a reminder.

Thank you for reading.  More next week!