September 4, 2013

You Are Welcome Here. (All of You.) ~ Nicole Taylor Linehan

You are welcome here—all of you.

Last night after gentle vinyasa, a yogini came up to me and shared that a lot of emotion had come up for her during the class. Her eyes glistened with tears as she shared she had felt so much well up in her that she wanted to release, but didn’t out of respect for the other students.

She thanked me for the class and the Healing the Heart mediation. After listening deeply, I asked her if I could offer my thoughts, and she said yes.

“You are welcome here. All of you. Your tears, your sadness, your entire experience. Next time you feel like you want to cry in class, I invite you to let yourself. Not only do you get to have your full expression, but there may be someone else who is holding back, and once you give yourself permission, they will too.”

We shared a hug for a few moments before leaving the studio.

My heart felt blasted wide open as I appreciated the raw vulnerability of the student. I saw how easy it was for me to become a space of welcome for her, and I wondered why sometimes I made it hard to do that for myself. My mind filled with examples of times I had tried to manage my own experience and the experience of those around me by holding back different parts of myself.

I wondered, what would life look like if I made it a practice to turn that welcome toward myself? What would shift in my relationships if the space between me and the other person was filled with the energetic signature of “You are welcome here. All of you.” What would shift in the world if we held that space, not only for ourselves, but for each other?

That sounds like a game changer.

If we think about the space between us as being filled with energy, and if we see ourselves as physical containers for Divine energy, then how beautifully amazing would it be, if we gathered all the energy tied up in suppression and targeted it toward embodying acceptance? How much easier would it be to touch and experience the Divine within if we interacted from a place of inner and outer welcome?

Acceptance gets a bad rap because we confuse it with indulgence. I used to think if I accepted my anger it meant I was giving myself permission to go around snapping at people all of the time. Accepting that an emotion is present is quite different from choosing to act on that emotion. Research shows that a pure emotion like sadness passes through us in about 90 seconds.

It’s the suppression, the stories we make up, the self-judgment, and all the other things we add to emotions that make them feel overwhelming.

This new horizon begins with an intention. I commit to fully welcoming myself and my experience in all its messy and beautiful glory. I’m sure over time I will fall into old habits, and that’s just an opportunity recommit. I welcome all of me. I welcome all of you.

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Assistant Ed: Judith Andersson / Ed: Bryonie Wise

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