Unfolding on the Mat
Expanded Content and Thoughtful Guidance
This week I'm continuing with Pema Chodron's book, Comfortable with Uncertainty. This practice, or mindset, of being ok when you don't know how things will end up, continues to strengthen me. I am getting better at seeing fear arise in my mind and simply labeling it, "fear." That way, it's not that I'M AFRAID (identifying with the fear), but rather, "I have fear." (I am separate FROM the fear so I can look at it.) Or, I have fear, just like I have joy, and support, and love, and sadness, and anger, and faith. It's part of my full spectrum of experience...cuz I'm human. The fear does not define me--there's a lot more going on here than just that!
In the reading I do in this week's podcast, we come across Pema's words and use of the cocoon metaphor in a way I have never encountered. She describes the cocoon as the life we create around ourselves that is safe, predictable, convenient, and trustworthy.
I believe that practicing ways that expand our adaptability makes life more memorable and our compassion run deeper.
When you FEEL your environment, you are likely more present. If you don't like it, don't run. Be in it. Watch yourself automatically try to adjust towards comfort and stop yourself. Name it. Then with compassion think of those whose environment cannot be changed, whose discomfort cannot be soothed. Send them love. Be with them in your own little way--your life then expands across the globe.
When you listen to dissenting views, rather than typecasting and dismissing the speaker, consider broadening your range of understanding where people are coming from. You don't have to agree--you don't even have to particularly like them--but do watch how your mind responds and give yourself a good ego check. There is way more to you and to them than social, religious, or political affiliation!
You get the idea.
This week, I'm challenging us all to watch for our discomforts, and make a practice of sitting in them with curiosity. We can breathe deeply while we let our mind have a battle, then plunge into the vastness of our unbreakable hearts. We can wiggle our toes, get back in our bodies, and remember we feel these things because we are ALIVE!
May you bust out of that cocoon and fly, butterfly!
Jessica lives, has a family, and teaches yoga in Austin, Texas.