March 20, 2013

Avoiding Shadows. ~ Nichole Gould

Source: tahitian-vanilla.tumblr.com via Michelle on Pinterest


“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth”
~ Pema Chödrön

It is the first day of spring and I am feeling stuck and stagnant.

These are  typical feelings this time of year, especially when a foot of new snow falls after a week of mild temperatures. I am hearing these same feeling reflected in other articles and on social networks.

I have been digging deep all week in hopes that a great article would be born out of this festering darkness, but nothing that makes any sense has been built from such ramblings. I can offer you no solace at this time, my dear readers.

I frantically write out feelings, thoughts and experiences as they occur. Jumbled and unclear; they are a direct reflection of my unsettled life.

I grasp for comfort only to come up empty handed. I will remain in my cocoon of safety, not quite ready for spring renewal. There is still some transformation needed before rebirth.

It is day 38 of my 90 day cleanse and meditation challenge. It is proving far more challenging than I anticipated. I have become my own science experiment. I study my patterns and reactions to this challenge as a scientist would study a Petri dish. It is really quite fascinating how my body and mind are responding to the different variables at play here. As I slowly remove all of my usual comforts and attempt to replace them with healthier choices, I naturally scramble for something that seems familiar.

It has not been pretty; there is no way to sugar coat it. I am fumbling. Just last weekend I wolfed down a Boston creme doughnut as if it was the last bit of food on earth. I certainly payed the price. Reflecting on the fact that I am gluten-free and don’t even really like doughnuts, I could not find any valid excuse for the action. All I can do is observe and be patient with myself. I am too stubborn to give up so I move forward with fearful determination.

Fear seems to be the commonality. The constant emotion that threads this entire experience together. The fear of loss of control due to having my driving privileges revoked for 90 days, the fear of not being able to rely on my usual comfort foods, the fear of losing business due to my transportation issues, the fear of sitting with myself in meditation, the fear of losing my yoga practice due to an injury and the fear of flaring up my Fibromyalgia due to lack of sleep from worry and frustration.

Fear has me at a standstill in my life.

Fear is in abundance. All of this fear has affected my ability to sit in meditation. At first, I took a small break from my cushion to process some of these feelings. I was feeling overwhelmed, scared and confused. Now, I have found that I am making up excuses to avoid sitting. I have successfully avoided it for the last four days. It seems to be a pattern. I sit for several days, feelings begin to bubble up, I become scared, then I avoid it—only to begin the cycle again. I am not even sure what I am scared of. I don’t know what I am hiding from.

I could be wrong, but I think that I am on the verge of a breakthrough. I can sense a huge change just around the corner. Some sort of transformation, a shift, a new beginning. I just have to sit through whatever comes up. I need to let this run its course. I need to be patient, be still and surrender.

I know what I need to do but doing it is proving to be so hard! I am freaked out. I have never experienced anything quite so powerful in my life.

So what I keep doing is testing the waters of change. I dip my toe in only to recoil with uncertainty. I peek around the corner of a crossroads only to hide again before I have caught sight of what it is I am looking for. As I begin to find stillness the fog slowly dissipates, but I lose sight of this clarity as my nervous fidgeting stirs up the dust of discomfort once more.

I continue to play this little game with myself, dangling my truth right before myself as it remains just out of reach.

However, I am  beginning to grow tired of this chase. I have exhausted myself with avoidance. It is time to face the darkness and become friends with my shadows. It is time to embrace all of me and to come out of hiding.

Perhaps next week, or the week after I will have a fresh and inspiring article for all of you to read. For now, I will be comfortable with the discomfort; I will hang out here in limbo just a little bit longer, until the dust settles and a path reveals itself.


Nichole Gould is the founder of Barefoot Warrior Yoga in The White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a Student of life, yogini, yoga teacher, landscape gardener, single mother, organic pizza waitress and lover of all board sports, she considers herself a jack of much and a master of none. She can also be found dabbling with guitar playing, singing off key, reading from her many stacks of books or writing poetry. Feel feel to peruse her Facebook page or contact her via her website for more insight into her ever curious mind.




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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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