A few months ago, I had a Therapeutic Yoga client that was here to deal with insomnia and other symptoms of anxiety and depression. I was using the many tools of yoga (NOT the postures!) to help them (firstly) become aware of what they were feeling. Often people will tell you certain things on their initial intake form, about what they’re experiencing and why they are coming to see you. However as you work with them, you discover there are many other issues which they didn’t tell you about, mainly because they themselves are in denial. They don’t want to see or accept certain things. Sometimes its too painful, and sometimes it seems easier because they don’t have to take responsibility for things that they don’t acknowledge.
Long story short, after a few weeks of working with this client, they asked me the following (tough) question:
“You’re inviting me to feel and to acknowledge what IS … but what if … what I’m feeling, and what IS, just sucks?”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few months.
When you teach yoga and meditation, you get used to some people rolling their eyes and doubting what it is that’s being offered. Some of us yoga teachers become so enthralled with what we’re sharing with our clients that we risk becoming obnoxious about it. We risk spreading the message that yoga or meditation can fix any situation.
And they can’t.
My answer to my client was that all the yogic tools we have, including meditation, are not MEANT to fix anything.
They’re meant to help US clear away certain blockages that prevent us from seeing things clearly. We still need to take action at times, get help, change certain things. We still need to take responsibility for ourselves and our state. But first, we have to make sure that we see things the way they are; not the way we wish they were, or the way we’ve always been told they are. We have to make sure we see our Selves for who we truly are; not the way our history, our experiences, and our community define us. Remove the blinders. Dig deep. Face facts. Then act, if necessary, with perspective. From a place of truth. From a place of self-awareness, acceptance, love.
Sometimes the present moment does “suck”. All I’ve learned is that as long as there is breath, in this moment, and another breath in the next moment, there is life, there is energy, there is opportunity, there is resilience.
And sometimes, all that is needed in the moment, is silence.
Sometimes, all that is needed in the moment, is love.