Today’s teaching landed like a swift slap across my cheek.
Shocking and sharp, my own resistance bubbled up out of the spaces between my ribs, overflowed out from the seams behind my heart, and poured down from the creases of my hips about 30 seconds into my practice this morning.
It didn’t take much. No pushing or prodding, no peeling back, or edge-riding today. No, no, Universe didn’t waste any time this morning in the delivery of my lesson.
Express-post styles, the teaching was just there, sprinkled though the spaces of my body, vibrating violently in my resistance, resting just below the surface of the morning’s business and the night’s sleep. Today it didn’t take a 26 minute hold in headstand, or 15 handstands, full splits or full wheel to crack me open — stepping into myself was enough. Stopping and breathing and feeling was enough.
The body doesn’t lie, or sugar coat, or pamper or pad up lessons, and today’s awakening was no different. The teachings I’d been denying reached out through my muscles, dissolved out through my tendons, and poured out through my skin, wrapping me in exactly what I’ve been shying away from off my mat: my own resistance, my own holding, my own fight against my reality.
There’s no denying a reflection that crisp, that clear. No pretending I didn’t see it or feel it’s vice grip wrapped neatly, tightly, around my throat, my chest, my heart. I was surrounded.
In a split second, somewhere between mentally whipping my hardened hips, wishing with my entire being that the tightness would finally just melt away, and wondering how it’s possible to be so tight after 1,867,459 hours spent on my mat, the tidal wave of awareness hit me. Instantaneously, without warning, I was submerged in the feelings I’d been holding and hiding away for months now.
Resistance. Bucket-fulls and shit-loads of it, radiating out of every pore of my body.
The lesson had landed.
It’s time to stop now. Stop resisting Kelli. Just stop. Because whether you choose to accept what is or not, it still is. Your resistance, no matter how strong, will not shift your reality, but acceptance will.
Trashing your tight shoulders, or verbally thrashing your heart for the fact that after six years of dedicated practice, full wheel just isn’t the blissed out, angelic, enlightening experience you were hoping for, isn’t going to help the tension melt away.
Resisting what is will only make you harder.
Indulging yourself with fantasies of full nights of sleeps, public yoga classes, quite vacations on the beach, and silent car rides is not going to help you react more calmly to your little milk bear who still wants a cuddle at night time, isn’t content with anyone other than her Mum and Dad, and viciously hates the car seat.
Resisting your reality will only invite in more anger, more resentment, even more resistance.
Living your life with the expectations of how things used to be before you were a mother, before you were 30, or single, before you worked full time, or gained that 20 pounds, or had that accident, will not make you happier, or more calm, or better prepared to deal with where you are today.
Resisting what is will actually continue to keep you stuck exactly where it is you don’t want to be.
Resistance only makes things harder. It’s like swimming upstream, or closing your eyes and hoping for the best, like shooting yourself in the foot so that you can’t actually get to where you’re going.
It’s taken me my whole life to start to realize that my power lies not in my ability to fight back, but in my ability to accept. Because, when we start to accept where we are, and who we are, we stop relying on the power of our wishes or our willpower to transport us to where it is we’d like to be. Because, once you open up to acceptance, you open up to the possibility of working with what you got to get to where you want.
Life happens. Shit happens. Bad days and sudden death, sleepless nights and un-met expectations, let- downs and let-go’s, disappointments and loneliness, and tightness and loss all happen, regardless of how much you dedicate yourself to the fight of resistance.
No matter how hard you try or harden, no matter how upset or angry or betrayed you feel, you can not stop life from happening and changing and unfolding all around you.
Our pain and our suffering and our harboring and hardening isn’t so much caused by the experiences that life unfolds for us, but by our resistance and our reactions to them.
Pretending your reality isn’t your reality isn’t going to change anything.
Only acceptance will.
editor: Greg Eckard
hot on elephant
July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.