Friday, January 18, 2013

Sick, But Happy: The Difference Between Suffering and Pain

Something I learned a long time ago, I believe it was 6 years ago when I started my yoga studio, was how to be gracefully ill. When I first opened I got really sick, or really I was battling germs left and right. Every other week I'd have a fever, and students would arrive, and I'd have a scarf and hat on, sometimes several blankets, and be sitting on the heating grate. But I would always feel like smiling.. Most of the time I'd still teach too.

I discovered that my body may feel sick, but my spirit doesn't.. and I choose to honor the connection between the two, but to think of myself more as my spirit/energy then the wonderful, but temporary body. So when the body has discomforts, like bodies do, it doesn't damage my self-esteem or inner peace and joy.

When I thought all I was was the body, I was miserable.. because a body isn't perfect, and never can be.. its a walking, talking, pooping, farting, composting machine, that has mucus and mentral cycles, and hormones, which I still haven't quite grasped why those are so chalenging, and yet they are!!... and the body grows and ages, and eventually composts back into the giant Mother Earth.

So to shift, and see who I AM as energy, and not just body.. and to release mcuh discomfort comes from the interface of the physical and energetic.. it makes sense, it resonates, it brings liberation!

Even when I suffered a broken heart recently.. I had some severe moments of misery and got a little lost in it. But quicker then ever, and so fast I was surprised.... so quickly, in fact, that I caught myself not wanting to let the pain go so easily because it seemed almost to easy... I found my peace.. the pain existed and still, a bit, exists within my energy field.. its within my experience.. but it isn't my total experience by any means, and it is just there, and we co-exist, and it lessens everyday, like a cut on your finger slowly heals, especially once you stop STARING AT IT.. like that proverbial pot that just WILL NOT BOIL! ;)

It is the same method whether dealing with emotional pain or physical pain, and of course, like the secret to everything else amazing in the Universe, being fully present is the center.

So I become aware fully of the pain... I breathe.. I feel and acknowledge its source, and the way I am experiencing it. As I write at this very moment, my body is so achey that my finger tips almost sting as they hit the keys, I am achey and exhausted, belly sluggish and now on a tea fast for the night and early morning.. but I am surrealy at peace.. I have a great deal of love in this moment, just a general feeling of love.. I just am love, I love, I love the Universe, life, all that is.. and I feel this, along with all the discomfort, and a splash of heartache...

So you feel your pain and your loss.. feel it fully, acknowledge its source and depth, and act truthfully in its honor.. taking care of your sick body.. crying and journaling and processing your emotional pain.. but never grow stagnant, never cling to labels.. "I have a headache, I have a headache, I have a headache..." "I am sick, I am sick.." "I'm in pain, I'm in pain, I'm in pain.." "I am devastated, I am devastated, I am devastated.." That's what the left brain loves to do... obsess.. a negative affirmation, concretizing the split moment experience and making a shrine of self-pity out of it.. a monument to this unpleasant experience is errected in that obsessive redundancy....  until you expel the thought.. just.. let it go.. everytime it repeats, don't feed into it.. just breathe and let it fall away, turn your attention to your FULL experience, in the present moment.. and the pain will shrink.. because it is only one part of your total experience.. it is only part of this moment.. along with the entire singing crying laughing dying dancing birthing learning lying loving ebbing flowing Universe.. it is only one part of what you feel.. along with the space around you, the light of your energy, nature, and anything or anyone else in contact with you.. and the music, art, beauty.. the Universe smiling at you through everything that is.. because everything that is, is conscious energy.. Divinity. We are the cells in the Divine living conscious Universe, or what a lot of people call God, or whatever way it resonates in your heart.. we are all connected to all that is. We are so vast.. our life story so significant, and so transient.. this too shall pass.. so find the light in it.. enjoy the mandatory rest and smile.. you are alive.. this is your life story, you are the star, stay real, stay you, life is beautiful.

Okay, so in the moment when you are so sad and in so much pain that it feels like all the air is sucked out of your chest, that you can't see, you don't have quite enough life force in your body to move, and eating is absurdly out of the question, and breathing is asking too much right now, because your entire torso feels like it was scooped out with an icecream scoop.. you may not feel like smilin' at the sunset.. those are the moments when you are so fully surrendered.. the moments when the migraine is so bad that you CANNOT leave the present moment or else you will vomit from the pain, those are the moments you cannot have any other intention but to be present.. weather it out.. because IT WILL PASS, and when it does, it becomes clearer why.. if not right away, someday...

Even my chronic migraines have become a forced and mandatory meditation practice for me, and have increased my mindfulness immensely.. they also keep me in check as the pain shoots up exponentially when I leave the present moment in my head.. so I get knocked down to the lowest rung, so to speak, and humbled really fast.. drawn into the present moment against my will by the degradation of pain, I find my heart becomes extremely open.. totally open. This is the beautiful way that sickness and heartache work for us. When they force us to let go of everthing that is not now, we clear the way.  All false priorities die, and as they wither and dry and blow away, love is right there shining at us. 

As I say in classes, everytime you are present, every yoga practice, every moment of deep mindfulness, even a split second, begins to wipe the slate of habit energy clean, and you can make a conscious choice in how to act and react when you arise afterwards. All of the expctations, habits, paths of least resistance are wiped away, and we can walk in a way that describes the energy that is who we are.. the unique creative flow of Shakti.. life energy..soul.. that is shining through the prism of us.. each of us, a unique and precious crystal, casting our own refletion of the light into the world.. when we clear away all the acquired debris in our heads, and free ourselves of fears, our hearts shine and the light dances through us into the world, into the lives of others..

Most people make the mistake of letting the left brain take over, condemning ourselves for our limitations instead of honoring them and getting over it and going on wisely, we knock ourselves when we are already down, and our energy is dragged down further. Get too stagnant and sucked into the dark chasm of the left brain chatter and judgement, and being sick and depressed will converge and you will feel worse then you had to feel. Most of our suffering is self-induced.. arguably all of it... see, if we are in pain, that is one thing, if we cannot accept that we are in pain and fight it, we suffer.. see there is a difference.

Suffering is the rejection and fighting of reality.. of what we are experiencing in the moment. Accept reality, accept that you are in pain, and suffering ends.. the mind and heart are ok, but the pain remains.. This is true in illness and in heart-break.. and by staying present and responding in integrity with your inner rightness, the pain will heal over time, like any wound, and the it will be gone..

So you see, that is the deal.. there is pain in life, there is heart-ache.. but you don't need to suffer.. you can choose to accept reality and still touch your inner peace and joy while you are also experiencing pain and discomfort, even great pain, I have found. Opening, instead of closing, the heart, makes everything easier and brighter and better. Open wider in the face of your pain, and you may cry, but you will be letting it go, and the pain cannot last, and the heart remains wide open.. more love and beauty flow in to nourish you, life becomes brighter.. over and over, pain cracks us open to let go of the debris and find ecstacy..  and so it goes. I hope you find the bravery to try this, and see for yourself. Love and Blessings to all..... xoxo

Mindfulness Triage in the Battlefield of Life

Life isn't always easy. But you can find something to see as meaningful, purposeful, or beautiful, even in the painful moments. Even when in agony, you can connect to you inner peace.

One simple trick is to remember: Breathe (with your whole body), feel everything (physical senses, emotions, energy, inner + outer), and then let it go. Use that to cultivate presence.. To become grounded and clear as opposed to scattered. When clear, add: Respond honestly (in harmony with your inner sense of rightness).

Breathe, Feel, Release... Respond honestly.

Mindfulness triage to practice in easy and comfortable times, so that it becomes available to you automatically in times of inner war.

Much love, for all that is... L

Let It Come When It May

Let it Come When It May
By Laura Harrison

I'm letting go of the love I had known,
The love I had found,
I had thought it my own,
And it quickly disintegrated in my hands,
Fell through my fingers,
and left me alone,

But alone, I recall,
Is something I rather enjoy,

But when I think of what I thought I had,
I am in terrible pain,
That tears at my heart and sucks me down to my knees,
That's why holding too tightly to what's past
Is actually a disease..

So I'm breathing and letting go,
And letting go again,
And then letting go of a little more,
So that this heartbreak may be useful to wipe the slate clean,
And I will let go of all that is no longer me,
I will let go of my past and  let go of him,
Of all I used to be and thought I was,
Of everything I ever knew,

And when I awake, as my eyes open,
It is as if I am seeing the entire universe for the first time,
It is my first smile,

And I am free to be myself..


I recall, I need not pander for love,
Everything, everyone, light and nature,
And Love itself loves me,

I am held by the sunlight and it knows me as its own,
I am the sweetness within the sweetness of love,
I am strength, I am Ma Kali..
I am Radha... I am Parvati,...

But I remember myself as perfect just as me,
And I cannot care if you ever love me,
Love comes from all directions and from far beyond form,
And I will shine love, and give endlessly my love like the fountain of youth,
But I cannot make time with those whose affections are heavy,
Who crush my light and delicate form,
For I am a flower,
And a flower needs no one to tell her
That she is elegance and grace.

Simply to open and to release her fragrence
is enough.

And I must stay strong and true
To who
I am

And trust that when I am in full enough bloom
One sweet lover will appreciate
My form and fragrence fully..

And honor me with word and deed,
Breath and desire,
That our love will be weightless,
And our passion a fire
That can last for a while
For a blessed time side by side,
Nourishing each other's wholeness,
Seamless connection of love,
No pressure or boundaries,
No cages, no strings,
But single-pointed, untangled,
Bound by mutual respect and awe,
Deeply desirous and unabridged,
Unselfish and ethereal,
The realest of things.
A love that binds not,
But grants us each wings.

Open and following my heart,
Let it come when it may,
Although hoping and excited,
I find love in each day.
I thought I found a partner,
And must have been wrong,
So I healed the wound where that was torn away,
And I live in the wholeness of my beautiful life,
But with shining, open beckoning,
Let it come when it may.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It is not the wound that hurts so much..

It is not the wound that hurts so much
by Laura Harrison

How quickly things change
how abruptly things rearrange
plans shatter
hopes scatter
and holding on to what is no longer there
was never there
but was so desired
is the part that burns

so many hopes
of happy returns
of something that would last
better then the past

the pain
long after the memory of the disdain paid
is laid to rest
because of the fear

the fear of letting go
the fear of being free
the fear of what you know
.. although

you thought this was it
that this one would last
no matter how fresh
your wound is past

let it go
let it go
let it go
let it go

and you will find
that it is not the wound that hurts so much
as your fierce reluctance
to accept that your false hopes
are not reality

let it go
 and you'll be free

and for a minute there is an empty space in the middle of your heart
but if you turn your attention to living your life you'll start
to fill that space with life and love
and in no time
the wound is long gone

only time and being fully here
to the rest of your life,
not just the pain,
will bring you healing
and allow you to perservere

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Painfully Lost in the Small View

Pain, loss, tragedy, frustration and embarrassment are part of our life stories, as much as growth, joy, delight, fascination, and ecstasy.

We seem to go through a spiraling pattern of evolution- bright, open, free turns and heavy, painful, withdrawn ones as well. However, pleasant and unpleasant are part of the same growth, the same path of enlightenment.
When the heavy, painful experiences are upon us, it is helpful to recall that the pain is from opening and letting go of these false or former realities that are no longer current. It is the pain of dying to the old idea of your life and who you are, and the restructuring of your view of reality in the light of new shifts and truths. Oh, that doesn't sound so bad, right? But the truth is, it is easy to get lost in the texture and terrain of the suffering when experiencing it.
The left brain/ego is concerned with past and future and fully absorbed in the up-close, individual experience. In painful experiences, it zooms in on the source of the suffering and obsesses on the tragedy of it all. It loops around over and over in the lament and agony, and feels so alive in the torment. The ego/individual self loves to affirm its own existence, because it is very insecure. It obsesses on solution and closure, even when only time and space can resolve the ache.
The solution is to spend more time in yoga practice, meditation, deep relaxation, creative expression, and in Nature, or in general in cultivating present moment awareness/mindfulness. Mindfulness is the experience connected with the right brain, it is the broad view, widening the lens of your attention, so that it no longer zooms in your suffering, but sees the suffering as only one part of your total current experience.
"Breathe, Feel everything, Let it go", I tell myself, and my students, frequently, "and respond honestly with what you experience." Honesty beckons us to let go of the unhealthy relationship, accept loss, forgive ourselves for making mistakes and to learn from them instead of beating ourselves up. Honesty makes us notice that the pain may be there, but there is also peace, there are also things to enjoy, there are also many blessings to count. Honesty reminds us that nothing lasts forever, so neither will this pain, and we can turn it into growth and personal development instead of feeling sorry for ourselves.
Its easy to sink into the heaviness of defeat, to feel sorry for ourselves, but that mood is only healthy once in each experience. Once the facts have permeated our awareness and shock is no longer necessary, the only humane way to resolve our suffering is to practice extreme self care and be present. Don't get sucked into the hole of depression, don't give in to self-pity, its like a drug. Its lazy. Its cheap. Its ugly. Instead, breathe, feel everything, let that moment go. Again, breathe, feel everything, let that moment go... And continue to move on with your healthy life.
Automatically get yourself present when you start to drift down that filthy hallway of "what if's" and reinventing the past, and other counter-factuals. "If" nothing, work on accepting Reality as it is but touching it in the present moment. Don't waste time worrying about the future, and "what will happen when..." Instead, immerse yourself completely in the moment at hand, the task at hand, the company at hand. Use self-care: take a walk, eat healthfully and not too little or too much, use techniques that bring you peace, and that bring you into the NOW.
...And an amazing thing happens.. The pain will slowly heal, like a cut heals, from the inside out.. And naturally the scab falls off, and then eventually you won't even see the mark anymore, or if you can, it certainly won't hurt, just remind you of a time and place and experience and lesson.
A story.. Part of your life story.. Not THE entire life story. So don't get lost in the close-up when you can soar above the total experience and feel so much more then just your pain.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Last Thing I Wanted to Be (was a burden to you)

The Last Thing I Wanted to Be, (was a burden to you)
by Laura Harrison

It is a miracle that we ever even met,
and it was with my whole heart that I said,
I will grant you anything you need.

The one thing you wanted,
seems to be the hardest possible thing
that I could do for you.

How its ripping my heart out not to be near you,
not to hear your voice,
not to tell you what you have come to mean to me.
not to even know if you ever want to know me,
because you don't want me to show me

But its true,
I was all in with you,
but you were not ready
to open up and see me,
you weren't there,
as much as you wished you were.

And I forgive that,
I forgive the way you acted,
I forgive that you were closed,
if you can understand,
and forgive me
that feeling the bond between us
suddenly stop,
and grow cold,
brought me more pain then I could possibly hold.
how it killed me
you needed
for me
to set
you free

when all I wanted to do was love you
with all the love
and sunlight
and warmth
contained in the entire universe.

And even though my sharing became a burden on your shoulders
my world still grew colder
when suddenly I could no longer
share my life with you.

Perhaps it was all an illusion.

There is nothing else I can do
but feel this agony for you
and pray that if you do love me
you will come to me
come into my world
with that giant heart of yours
and want to know me,
and that you will be as hungry
for me
as I always was for you.

Or that at least
if its through,
you'll make it clear to me,
the last thing I want to be,
to you.

Bust Down Those Walls

Bust Down Those Walls
by Laura Harrison

Bust those walls down, baby!

The faster the walls crash down,
 the sooner you become totally free!!!

Open your heart wider in the face of fear, pain, confusion,
Grow your heart large enough to
Swallow your reality.

Destroy the delusion,
and you will grow brighter, freer, and wiser..

To close is to resist,
to resist is to die.
If you close, the pain

and the darkness will only remain.

You are here to live,
free from the reign
of self-consciousness and fear,
in real happiness and love.

No one is here to live a lie.
You should live your Truth,

and let the self-consciousness die.