Releasing the Bind of "Other"
I have spent so long "being" and "doing" what I thought others wanted.
I saw this image on Pinterest and loved it! So simple and yet made me laugh as I recognised my own battle with wanting to give things up. Finding release of this meant, time and again, facing an even more important question. "Who am I" and "What do I want to do"? These are essential questions and for myself have taken years to solidify.
As trust in Self deepens, opportunities present to, essentially, start again. Should I bravely traverse these layers a freedom can be found from my wants and desires. An unknown strength unfolds in releasing my "I". It isn't easy though.... This kind of work requires a fire to help burn away the impurities of cravings and restrictive me-ness.
A moment in time to put "I" under pressure.
If you get a chance to practice active meditation then I encourage you to leap in its' direction. Particularly the posture holds (placing yourself in a stance maintained for minutes/hours) They have always been a block to me... at they highlight, quite quickly, those moments when it feels enough.
Personally, I am faced with an old trigger. Am I doing this because someone told me to do it or am I doing it it for me. Pain is a big part of such holds. From a life time of pain... why would I place my Self back there again? If I can trust it IS for me, what happens at the moment my "I" feels it is enough. (If you have kept up with this writing then You have done amazingly well!)
I love this image - reminding me how hot the fire burns at the moment we think we have had enough. There is a part of Me that tries so hard. It would do anything for me. Another appears to protect us from pain and anguish like a caring parent. And what about our inner saboteur? The one that quite happily undoes all the positive work I have done?
Postural exercises and breaths hold a space for all of these parts. Should we be able to thank our "Me" for holding the fort for so long... each of the blocks arising are parts of us, a channel a level of energy. The pain can be quite huge but a caring self can step in and offer a hand to hold. The part that would do anything for me is more challenged. It thinks it, alone, needs to do the work but the truth (as it will find out quite quickly) is It isn't possible for any one part of us to do this alone. me needs all of Me... different parts of it at different times and sometimes all of Me at the same time. The saboteur in particular is steeped in untapped sustenance. The energy this part of us has can be used like fire wood. Burnt up by a particularly challenging hold. Within such work we can choose to put forward parts that would benefit from being burning up. Subtle and flighty energy turned into grounded energy.
In so doing what happens next?
To find out... we need to get to that tricky part. And so...
"The pose begins when we wish to leave it"
Breathing Exercise to experience this work - A technique to burn off impurities and experience our true power.
This is one of those breaths that turns out to be very different for everyone. Should you choose to progress through the levels, it also becomes the most challenging breath discussed on this blog so far.
The challenge is how to face our own moment of 'enough'. Nb: The fitter you are, the more able you will be to avoid or control the darkness this breath will naturally lead us into. In the end, it does not matter... as this too can be burnt up but be mindful. You can do so by observing the ways we make things easier or cheat ourselves.
The Scarecrow is best done in a group, led by an experienced practitioner. This is for the reason that having a 'witness' makes this particularly powerful. Otherwise follow the guidelines as best you can.
1. Standing (or sitting if unable to stand). Bend your knees placing yourself into a seated position, knees in alignment with toes and spread outwards to enable the seated position (you will be hovering at this point, unless actually seated on a stool. If on a stool ensure it is not too comfortable as we can easily slop into it. Something firm will challenge your nervous system as standing naturally does)
2. In this position ensure spine is upright with a relaxed back.
3. Spread arms outwards into a T shape, just lower than or the same height as your shoulders.
4. Focus on your breath. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 4, hold for 2, inhale for 4, repeat. (You are welcome to find a breath tempo that suits you)
5. Remain squat with arms reaching out as you focus on the breath.
(it is best to set a timer to enable you to focus on your breath.)
Beginners - 3 minutes
Intermediate - 5 minutes
Intermediate Plus - 10
Advanced - 20 minutes
Advanced Plus - 30 minutes
Master - 1 hour
There will come many times where you will meet the 'burn'. At each time, it is your choice what you do. This blog is in no way forcing or telling you to do this exercise. It is effective at supporting us to meet our limitations and explore what happens when we breathe our way through them.
But what happens after the burn? If we choose to maintain breath and posture, does the heat transform into something different?
From new decisions arises new energy and new opportunities.
Enjoy! (If it is possible to enjoy such things)