“I’ve learned a lot of myself recently” is usually something I say when I’ve been on the verge of a mental breakdown and somehow come out okay.
But how exactly do I keep “learning”?
The past few weeks have been very stressful (good and bad) but with the practice of taking on the role of the observer more deeply (the thing I like to ramble on the most in my yoga classes) stressful situations have had less of an effect on me. For example, getting into a car accident last week has taught me how much I am willing to keep going and how resilient I am becoming with the help of this practice. It sounds silly, but after my dad died any car trouble I have has lead to a complete meltdown without him there to answer the phone and be here for me right away.
Feeling of grief, abandonment, loneliness, anxiety are just a few examples of the stuff that comes up. Now, I don’t accept those feelings rather I think, “that’s interesting this little car accident can bring up such deep trauma and old wounds.” The moment you step back and recognize the mind being the mind the uneasy feelings dissolve. I notice, I listen to what the feeling is, then I chose to not give them a starring role in the moment.
After these steps I surrender. I wait with open arms to see what’s going to happen instead of trying to plan out the next step. With this particular situation I noticed thoughts like “but how am I going to sleep after this? I have to wake up at 4:30.” “I am hosting my first workshop tonight what if I can’t make it? What will I do?” “What if nobody shows up?” Every worry showed me how much more I needed to surrender. And you know what? I didn’t sleep Thursday night. My classes on Friday went well regardless. More people showed up to my first workshop than I expected. It all worked out, imagine that.
A few days after, I am sitting in traffic on a one way street with a roundabout for over 30 minutes. A situation that would’ve sent me into an hour long panic attack last year is now just casually annoying.
Don’t get me wrong, the panic starts to come up but then once I recognize it, the emotion loses its power.
With an accomplished smile and heart filled with grace, the words from Dharma Mittra come to my mind:
You really have to believe in this stuff if you want it to work