“Hold Back Nothing”

7 May

“The real tests of the situation are your own willingness to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom you share your first accurate self-survey…Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute. The damned-up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility takes its place.”—The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous

This is exactly how I feel about yoga right now. If I hold back nothing in my postures and if I am fully present with my locks and breathing, then I get a profound sense of relief. True, it is usually preceded by intense discomfort (and cursing and sweating and twitching and sometimes crying) but I keep reminding myself that the pain will eventually subside. There’s a lot of corrective action going on in my body and mind right now, and frequently those adjustments are painful.

Learning to live a life without seeking a constant fix from alcohol, drugs and food is a very similar process. I’m either going to seek a chemical adjustment (if I choose to abuse my substances of choice) or a spiritual adjustment (through yoga, prayer and mediation) on a daily basis—it’s happening one way or another. I’ll take what’s behind door #2, thank you very much…

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