Balancing Beyond Comfort in an Uncertain Time
“I made the personal choice to keep teaching and practicing the form of yoga that helped transform my life.”
In August 2019, when my memoir Balancing with Bunions, Untying the the Knots of Life was published, it was meant as a shared story to help others navigate the challenges our childhood experiences bring, including how our adult choices can be confronted and healed as well.
Fast forward a year later to the world of COVID-19, amid charges that the teacher whose teachings changed my life and my life direction, may in fact need to be added to the list of Me Too offenders. Despite these claims, it was the 35 years of practice that enabled me to handle being in New York City, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, that helped me handle the emotional and mental stress of this global experience that changed so much for so many.
What I discovered, as I had known all along from all the various self-help books and practices I had read or tried, is that truth is one, paths are many. I made the personal choice to keep teaching and practicing the form of yoga that helped transform my life, as well as others I had learned along the way of my over 45 years of exploration. Rather than discard it and its benefits, I pondered the many reactions to the unsettling possibility that this teacher may have been morally unethical. Here are some lessons I have learned along the way:
- Only you know how you walk your own talk. If you do walk your talk, usually those around you who are worth having around you, will see your efforts to be honest and have integrity.
- Life is a series of problem solving moments. It has its inevitable ups and downs. The challenge is how we handle them and grow from each experience.
- When the going gets tough, remember the people and things that help you stay inspired. Turn to them. Ask for help. Help them! Serving others always lessens your burden.
- Every one of us has a shadow side. When we hand our power over to a teacher or another person we are often bound to be disappointed. When someone lets you down meditate on it, forgive them for being human, as we all are, then move on, with or without them in your life.
- Self reflection on what habits are constructive and which ones are destructive in your life is extremely helpful. During COVID-19 many people were not practicing self care; some ate worse or increased their alcohol consumption. Some were afraid to go outside. Constructive habits make us feel better in mind, body, and spirit. We are lucky to have the internet to turn to inspiring teachers and practices there.
- Long slow distance (LSD) is helpful. Do not be hard on yourself. Little steps can make a big difference.
- Loving soulful disciplined devotion is another form of “LSD,” above, that is truly helpful in navigating life.
In my memoir I offer some of the techniques, one meditation in particular, that helped me navigate some of my demons. Our goal is to enjoy the life we were given as best we can. Spiritual practices definitely help. Choosing those that work for you are more important now than ever as we face these uncertain waters in the ocean of life that yogis speak about.
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