September 15, 2012

What Do You Avoid? ~ Mindy Arbuckle

Facing the Funk

I woke up around 6:00 this morning and felt in a little funk. I wasn’t physically sick, although I didn’t feel quite right. Like usual, I was up before the rest of my family and went down to my meditation space. I sat quietly with what was there.

I said “Good morning” to God and to my spirit guides. Then I said “Hello” to the part of me that felt off. I said “Good morning” to it as well and asked it to come forward and be with me. I wanted to find out what message it had for me today. What was I supposed to be learning from feeling this funk?

A dear friend, whom I’ve recently distanced myself from, came up in the meditation. I was questioning myself and my actions with this friend. In other words, I was doubting myself. (Sound familiar to anyone?)

So, I began to look at the doubt that was there. I looked my doubt straight in the eyes and asked it why it was there.

Come to find out, I was missing the external approval and appreciation I received from that relationship. In a way, it had become a co-dependent relationship in which we relied on each other to feel like we were okay. (Again, sound familiar to you?)

Co-dependency is not something that I’m interested in. I’ve spent several years learning the hard lessons of the patterns and beliefs that I developed from my familial relations of my youth. Co-dependency may serve a person for a while, but in the end, it is a type of bondage and couldn’t be farther from the freedom you are usually seeking at the beginning of a new relationship.

 Well, I chose to end a dear friendship because he wasn’t willing to see the truth of what was happening. By doubting myself today I realized that I was looking for some temporal type of acknowledgement from an imperfect human being rather than trusting myself, my guides and my faith in God.

Amongst all of this, I found a deeper sense of my self-doubts. This is the scary one. The one I really like to avoid. I saw what looked like an oil slick forming in front of me. It wasn’t huge, but it was black, shining, and looked gooey. As it continued to form, I saw this shiny, black blob being rise out of the floor, up, up and up.

I discovered this big, ugly blob a couple weeks ago in my meditations. All I could do was sit with it then and look at it. I was too scared to really do much with it. Today, I wondered if this was the ugliness of my past or was this really a part of me?

It felt like all my self-doubt, lack of worth and confidence were this yucky black blob standing in front of me.

Did I want to run a way and avoid this all together? You bet I did!

But I took a deep breath and faced it with courage.

The more I find things like this the less I run away in horror. It is still scary to discover these old patterns and beliefs and the way they appear to me today. It’s kind of like seeing someone you’d rather not talk to and running away before they see you, or taking the chance that you’ll have to talk to this person you don’t like.

It takes courage and patience to stop avoiding what is under the surface of my being.

I’ve always been told that avoiding things gives them power over you. I have understood this for years but am now just coming to the real practice of not avoiding what I dislike. In turn, I begin to disempower those things.

When you avoid someone, a yucky feeling, a bad memory or anything else, you give it power. And that is the last thing you want to give it! When you avoid something it is almost guaranteed to get worse. Then you have to over compensate for it because the situation is now worse than it would have been had you just dealt with it. You have to pretend more, make false pretenses, tell lies, do more. Or, maybe you compensate by having an extra drink or eating more than you should.

Whatever the compensation is, it isn’t who you really are. Stop avoiding the sh*t in your life and look at it. Have the courage to feel the depths of the pain and fear that is there. You have already survived the brunt of it. If you keep avoiding it, the pain will just continue to be fed and will get more and more difficult to deal with.

We’ve all experienced this. Just think back to a time that you told your parents a little white lie to get through something. Maybe you had a party while your parents were out of town and you lied to them so you wouldn’t get in trouble. The more you had to cover up, the more you had to lie. Eventually, after some time, the amount of cover up that you built up around it felt so solid that you couldn’t break through and tell them the truth even if the original “sin” really wasn’t all that bad.

The same thing is true for all of us. We have to be honest with ourselves in order not to build up walls around the little things that go awry. Look at the places you avoid, people you steer clear of and the emotions that you aren’t willing to feel.

It is through awareness that you’ll be able to start changing the patterns of denial and repression into conscious choices so you can heal.

If something feels wrong, listen to it. Sit with it.

Stop avoiding yourself and start understanding what is under the surface so you can stop empowering the things you are avoiding. Have courage to look at what you’ve swept under your rug and be willing to do a little house keeping.


Mindy Arbuckle, E-RYT and founder of Maitri Yoga Center,has been practicing and teaching yoga since the late 90′s. She loves spreading the knowledge and heart of yoga in an accessible way.Her deep love of yoga enables her to be straight forward, compassionate, caring, peaceful, dedicated and generous in her life and with her students. By listening to her readers, students and to herself, she is able to apply universal knowledge to practical goals of this world including health, family life and business. She believes in the power of yoga for every person and is skilled at finding the right yoga practices for each individual rather than a student fitting into a particular style of yoga. She is fully committed to being a healer, teacher, wife, mother and yogini while remaining down to earth and connected to source.
Find Mindy’s website at www.yogamaitricenter.com


Editor: Edith Lazenby

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