March 12, 2013

Sit with the Sh*t. ~ Alexis Asquith

Source: via Michele on Pinterest

I grew up with an insufferable amount of anxiety.

Since I was a very little girl, constant projections raced through my brain of what could be coming next to hurt me, scare me or even kill me. Because of this almost debilitating fear of the future, I trained my mind to fix, combat or prevent these horrifying stories written in my head.

I have spent most of my life trying to protect myself from experiencing sadness, anger and fear—I didn’t trust that I would be able to survive them.

So, I hid. I would be whoever I thought my family, friends, boyfriends, bosses wanted me to be. I tried to make everyone happy. If they were constantly happy, they would never get mad at me. There would never be any fighting. There would never be any pain. I locked myself, my true self, in a cage to keep people from getting too close—never letting them in.

If I give them the key, I give them control. They won’t like me and they will hurt me.” This was my story.

Because I didn’t trust myself, I trusted no one else. From people who loved me to strangers on the sidewalk—everyone was a threat to my safety, to my happiness.

Little did I know that what I thought was saving me was slowly killing me.

It took me a long time and is still taking time to realize that I can neither control others’ behavior nor can I keep things from happening. I am not God. I am not The Universe. And it sucked the life out of me trying to play those roles.

I accept that the strategy I mentioned before might have helped me through some things then, but it doesn’t serve me anymore.

I am creating new pathways in my brain to guide me around the landscape of the here and now.

I am committed to sit with the shit.

There is nothing scary about feeling afraid; there is nothing sad about feeling sad.

Experience what is coming up for you and be with it. Our society is addicted to the presence of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. We worship the distractions that will take our minds off whatever stress or discomfort is happening. We numb out. But burying it, putting it away, hiding somewhere deep into our bodies does nothing but add to the pile and weigh us down.

Baron Baptiste gives a visual that, sadly to say, I know all too well: When you let dirty dishes build up in the kitchen sink, it becomes a daunting and time consuming task to get them done. It’s a chore you dread—you walk by and try ignoring them until they begin to stink. But if you washed each dish immediately after you used it, it would take only a few seconds before it was done.

Clean the dishes. Sit with the shit. Even just for five minutes.

Let yourself experience exactly what it is you’re feeling. Don’t run. Don’t hide. Feel. Feel and be aware of every sensation that is going on inside your body and mind. Then clear the space and move forward with spirit.

We are blessed with the amazing gift of being able to experience hundreds of different emotions. Although it may not always feel that way, it is indeed a blessing.

This is what makes us human.

Why is it that we fight so hard to keep certain ones away and fight even harder to keep the others around?

It is true—you choose how you want to feel and how you want to react to your experiences.

Sign the permission slip to explore all of the options. Don’t stuff them down. Let them come through.

Because without a moment of deep sadness, you will never know the lasting light of genuine happiness.


Alexis Asquith is a young yogini with an old soul. She is a teacher, student, dancer, writer, lover and daughter from Buffalo, New York. You can find her on her Blog and Facebook.





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Assistant Ed: Josie Huang/Ed: Bryonie Wise



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