I attended a wonderful yoga class and found this pose most beneficial this morning:
This is a simple heart opener, which means when you hold this pose you should gently stretch the muscles in front of your heart, across your ribcage. When I sat for this photo at the end of class, my instructor reminded me to clasp my hands firmly, press both palms together, and bring my elbows together as well, a step I'd been missing. Holding it, I could feel my chest open up and it was suddenly easier to breathe.
I tend to curl my body forward and around my heart, which means I really FEEL a pose like this! Another instructor always reminds me to open my heart, both literally and figuratively. Curling up is partly a habit from crafting, and might also be a reflex from being hurt in the past and wanting to curl up and protect myself from more harm.
After quilting the words "I have an open and willing heart" I'm finding myself drawn to heart opening poses and twists that stretch and move this area. Sometimes when stretching and trying to open this area, I feel waves of anger or sadness, usually accompanied with a memory I don't really want to revisit.
I'm not meaning to dredge stuff up. Seriously, I did my digging back in 2011 and found it only dug the hole deeper and deeper. That's why I set Sinkhole on fire.
But stuff still sometimes comes up. While stretching today, I suddenly began thinking about the past and why I'm struggling to let these memories, and their accompanying pain and anger, go.
While in another pose I suddenly had the thought - No one is making you angry or hurting you right now. Right now you are here in yoga class, enjoying this stretch. So why are you feeling angry and hurt? This is not real.
The "this is not real." was really interesting. It was a bit like a lightbulb in my head went off. Yes, the pain is real, yes, I was hurt in whatever painful memory, and yes, it sucks to revisit it.
But it isn't REAL because it isn't happening RIGHT NOW. I'm feeling pissed off and hurt, and that event happened YEARS ago! Drop it Leah, that pain is fake!
So I dropped it, reminded myself where I was and finished class with a single goal - next time a bad memory crops up, I'm going to give myself a reality check. Where am I? Is this happening now? Is there any benefit from getting angry or sad from this AGAIN?
Thoughts are habits and this year, I want to build a habit to open my heart, see and feel what is happening right NOW, and stop these painful memories in their tracks. You know that saying "You are what you eat?" I think another good one is "You are what you remember." Let's make good memories today!
Let's go quilt,