I got back from Richmond Virginia yesterday morning. I was there to take a 4 day Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training. I almost didn’t make it past Thursday night before I even started the class. I definitely went with the intention of processing some stuff about the last 2 years and all that’s happened and also to shift my perception on some issues that I’ve been dealing with, like a low level anxiety that seems to always be under the surface.
It’s been many years since I’ve actually been a student. It felt important for me to start doing that again as its something I used to do regularly. I had to put my ego aside and be fully present as just me. Well, I didn’t have to be, but I wanted to be, otherwise, what was the point of going. It took a day or so to just settle into that. It seemed the theme for me was to just BE. It was amazing how many times I went back and forth from hating the class, to loving it, to looking up early flights to come back sooner, to thinking about taking the next level of training.
I’ve been working on my spiritual growth for 25 + years now and its always an interesting process of peeling back the layers. Although I teach this stuff, it’s not so easy when it’s me having to do it. Depending on where I’m at and what’s coming up, it can also be challenging at times for sure. On the surface this training was very subtle. Having done years of intensive process work, I figured having someone put me into a yoga posture and ask “what’s happening now” would be a piece of cake. I thought it would be easy for me to explore my feelings around what was happening now for me. However, I didn’t think that this one little sentence, asked over and over again, along with lots of silence and absolutely no feedback or emotion from my partner would spur some major realizations for me. In fact, the lack of verbal communication from my partners that we were paired up with was actually irritating to me at first. Why wasn’t she at least giving me an “oh yes, I see” or a “wow, that’s interesting, what else is going on for you” or at the very least, a head tilt with a twinge of a smile reassuring me that she understood what I was saying. But I got nothing. Welcome to Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. The most irritating thing at the time was the “what’s happening now” line. I was just trying to ‘be’ with myself and my feelings. Some of what I realized was that I wasn’t really feeling much of “what was happening now”. I seemed to be numb to some deeper feelings and seemed to want to rush through many of the emotions, which, in the past, have always been easy for me to connect with.
I’m still not sure about all that has transpired in the last week. I’m letting it simmer for a few days. Small and large realizations are still bubbling up. There were many aspects of this trip that lent itself to some major growth for me this week. Although I’ve traveled alone since Dennis’s passing, it’s always been to see family or friends and I’ve stayed with other people. Being in a hotel alone, for days, for the first time since Dennis passed was an uncomfortable feeling since we used to travel together all the time. Other parts of this trip threw me out of my comfort zone in many ways.
A big realization I had came late in the day on the last day of class. I realized that I don’t like to be uncomfortable. At all. I know that doesn’t sound like a huge break-though. I mean, who likes to be uncomfortable? But for me, it was huge. I mean, I’ve spent years crying and processing out angers and fears and getting in touch with those emotions that aren’t fun to feel. Even now, I’m so quick to want to feel the depths of my feelings at all cost. I have no problem allowing the feelings of pain, hurt, sadness etc… to bubble up and be dealt with. But, I realized it’s to be able to ‘get it out’ quickly so I can be rid of it. I’ve always thought that was one of my stronger qualities, that I can feel deeply, see what it really is and move through it. But I touched a part of myself that also cannot, for any length of time, just SIT and BE with the feelings so that it may show me other things and lead me even deeper into the parts of myself that I may not want to know.
I came home feeling quite and introspective. I don’t feel like I need to talk as much as I usually do. Somehow I feel lighter but more grounded. I feel more connected again, and this is what I was needing. My morning meditations feel deeper and more real. I feel balanced and more peaceful. And amazingly, that low level anxiety seems to be gone.
So my time in Richmond, although a rollercoaster ride, seemed to be just what the doctor ordered Even through the resistance, doubts and mental gymnastics my mind was engaged in for most of those 4 days.
So for those of you following me on twitter and wondering why every other tweet was a love hate relationship with those 4 days, here is the longer explanation!
I also love coming home after any kind of traveling. It always makes me appreciate what I have and gives me a new perspective on my life. Something I desperately needed.
Oh and I almost forgot, the place I felt most at home all week, Ellwood Thompsons! Its like a mini whole foods. I spend my mornings getting juice and smoothies there and amazing salads for lunch. They had kale salad, raw broccoli salad, raw slaws and lots of raw snacks so it was my saving grace when I felt out of my comfort zone at times. I’m such a foodie that the health food store was so exciting for me, ha! I could have spend hours there.
I’m thinking of spending some of the summer in Vermont to take another Phoenix Rising Training….or do I just want to lay on the beach…. Hmmm, panic zone or comfort zone… I think I’ll have to let this settle for a day or two….