I'll be the first to admit it, I run away from pain. I search for comfort and I love feeling good and when things are not going my way, I have a long list of ways that I numb, escape, flee, avoid and down right deny.
This summer, however, I had a transcendental experience. I would love to tell you all about it but somehow it feels like every time I try to put it into words, they just fall short - no matter how poetic I get. So I am just going to give you the gem, the nugget, the big take away from having my Ego completely annihilated! You're welcome. Here it comes, ready? It is this simple phrase:
Lean Into It.
The Buddhists say "Life is suffering," Tony Robbins says "Life is a Gift," George Gershwin says "Life is a lot like jazz," and Virginia Wolfe said "Life is a luminous halo."
I say life is just life.
It's awesome and wonderful, it's horrible and hopeless, it's pain and beauty, it's poetry and dread. And the overwhelming message that came to me this past year, is that if I can just lean into EVERYTHING that IS, I will find bliss and freedom and joy no matter what the suffering, gifts, jazz ballads or angels have in store.
It's my resistance that causes the pain.
When I look back on this life so far, I hate to admit this, but the most alive I have felt, the most growth that has happened, the closest I have felt to understanding the Universe?... well ALL of those moments have come during (or closely following) intensely difficult times - for me, or my family, or the country, or the world. Pain has been one of my greatest teachers.
Now I am not saying go out there and create as much difficulty as you can muster in your life in order to find enlightenment! Trust me, life will take care of that just fine without your help! I AM saying that pain and difficulty have been some of my greatest teachers, and I am also realizing that they have always led me to more love.
This is what happens when you lean into fear. More love.
This is what happens when you lean into the tears. More Love.
This is what happens when you lean into the shadow. More Love.
This is what happens when you lean into your weakness. More Love.
So here is one way to work with this concept:
Make a list of the hardest things you have been through.
Now after each one, write down all the things that unfolded in your life because of it.
Here are a couple of mine:
Getting Date Raped in College.
passionate advocacy for women rights and protection
a new found relationship with my intuition, mind and body
raising my own daughters with a BIG awareness of predator energy
finding levels of release, relief and healing in my own yoni that have led to paroxysms of pleasure now
unyielding education about consent culture in my relationships, my parenting, and my teaching
Going Through A Divorce.
better understanding of my own sexulality and relationship needs
a very unique and wonderfully intense bond with my children
role modeling amicable divorcing for our friends, family and community
releasing myself from the chauvinistic binds of matrimony
clarity about what kind of love I want and deserve
finally finding my person and experiencing love beyond, beyond
discovering Empowered Pleasure Portland
See how this practice takes the sting out of the situation and transforms it into power?
Now, I don't wish difficulty on anyone. But when it comes, and it will come, what can you do to lean into it? To see the bigger picture and understand its purpose?
Feel free to let the Acoustic Vitality community know in the comments below what skills and tricks you have for leaning into difficult times. And if you need help in learning and practicing these skills, I'd love to see you in an empowerment session!