Monday, August 26, 2013

Stress, Stretching Your Limits, and Transcendence..

The only way to become stronger when you workout is to extend just past your natural, comfortable limits. Well, that truth extends in every direction of life, tangible and intangible alike.

I tell my students regularly that when they practice, they should come to the point of comfort, then let themselves go beyond that, to the realm where it takes work to still breathe rhythmically and keep their facial muscles relaxed. We get to the edge of the comfort zone, and then where we would typically stop, we hover... And breathe.. And burn.. And let the intensity course through our veins and mind. This process is both purifying in our denial of limitation, our bold facing and enveloping of the sensations we may typically run away from, and in the growth it produces. We force ourselves to stretch our awareness to encompass more pieces of information in each split moment, instead of the brain's default maneuver: truncating anything remotely familiar and flattening it to a 2-dimensional version of itself.

This doesn't just happen on the yoga mat, or in the gym, but in our daily lives as well. At least, we are invited into this process, whether we embrace it or not is our choice. We tend to think of stress as something other than life; something we can escape one day, something not present in heaven or nirvana. Stress is ever present though, stress is a major guru in life- the heat and pressure giving us an opportunity and the energy to turn the coal of our untrained mind into the diamond of pure loving awareness and authenticity of spirit.

STRESS AND CHALLENGES ARE NOT OTHER THAN LIFE, SO DON'T KEEP WAITING FOR THEM TO DISAPPEAR BEFORE YOU START LIVING AUTHENTICALLY OR MORE FULLY!! Instead, use stress for what it provides- a potent opportunity for purification and growth. Anyone can be perfectly loving and peaceful on vacation, with zero responsibilities, no time constraints, but it takes an advanced soul to begin to generate love and peace right in the hot mess that is child-rearing, career, time schedules and limitations of time and space. THIS is our opportunity and challenge. THIS is life: life is love... And life is mining for the diamond of love inside yourself and letting its light guide you, not around or avoiding the dark and dangerous areas of life experience, but going right through them, feeling them, aching, hurting, falling, embarrassing yourself, stinging at the mistakes, and this letting that memory of pain motivate you to hold stronger to the truth of your heart in every single situation.

THAT is real life. Those moments where you are completely free from stress are blissful... Pure bliss, and you earn them by learning to dance with stress and welcome it as the training grounds. Eventually, you can handle an astonishing amount of stress without any ill effects, just a great deal of growth. It requires the development of intense self care as well: knowing when to rest, relax, hide, only to recharge and run right back into the ring.

Life is beautiful, amazing, pure love and miracles are unfolding around us and through us constantly. However, stress is part of this gorgeous experience. Stress and other suffering is the catalyst for real growth, real expansion, and the development of true, functional, unshakeable peace.

Let your desire to be a more loving, wise, compassionate, decisive and authentic being pull you through stress, let it motivate your development so that the more it hurts, the more you work on forming habits that express your inner goodness and sense of rightness. Slowly we stretch our limits and retrain our reactions, and down the road a little ways, we can see how far we have truly come. And the journey never stops... This is what it is to be alive as a human being.

Sent from my iPhone

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