While I don't always find telling the truth to be a challenging concept, being with the truth (satya) can always bump up the work to a level that can make me a bit wobbly in the knees. Life can be brutal. And being with each wave of fresh information can really be a lot. In just the past week, two of my best friends lost people in their closest circles. Being with my friends in the early hours of learning the heartbreaking news allowed only for being with it. Not coming up with something helpful to say, but just being with it. Bearing witness to the suffering.
It's hard to be human. And it's hard to be a teenager these days. For most of us, it was hard to be a teenager, but I think that this time in American history has its own particular challenges.
But for me, being the parent of two teenagers is challenging. It involves heartbreak, building trust when I feel totally raw, and so much letting go (and holding on, and letting go). And so much practice being with what is. Each time part of me cries, "No!!! This isn't happening! This wasn't the way it was supposed to be! This isn't what I pictured!" Another part of me gets to step up to the plate and say - "Given that this IS what's happening, how are you going to show up in a way that helps, or at least doesn't harm the situation?"
And then sometimes I really blow it. And then part of me says, "I can't believe I reacted from fear again!" And then I get to try to engage the part of me that says to myself, "Yes, you did react from fear again. Fear highjacked your nervous system and you really said and did some mindless things. That happened."
Whether we're having a hard time with parenting, or friending, or even being a member of society, incredulity is a natural, human response. Lashing out is a natural response. Turning away from the difficulty is totally understandable. It's being with the thing that is hard.
Do we have options? Yes, sometimes we do. Sometimes we turn to behaviors like social media scrolling, watching Netflix, or using food or other substances to turn away from the difficulty we face. Not to say that those coping tools are all bad, all the time. They can be used skillfully, as well. But they are a different choice from being with what is - which is the witnessing of the pain and suffering of ourselves and others. It's a doozie, but it can also bring us a sense of connection, meaning and purpose.
The truth (satya) is a powerful thing. And the practice of being with it can connect us to life itself. It can be brutal. It can be beautiful. And everything in between. But it is the truth. And there's a sense of presence and connection we can gain from not turning away.
We believe that yoga practice helps us do exactly this - be with what is. It is what makes these body-mind-spirit practices different from other things we might do with our bodies - like pilates, or a weight-lifting class.
Consider join in one of our asana (physical posture) classes, or try one of our meditation classes this week! We have meditation on Tuesday evenings, and Yoga Nidra (which is meditation lying down) on Thursdays midday. And we have a meditation techniques class once a month on Fridays - usually the 2nd or 3rd Friday. In February, you'll find it on the 18th.