This morning, I took a Peloton Yoga class taught by Kirra Michel, pictured above. (Screenshot from her Wellness Rebellion website.) Wow–check out that balance, strength, and flexibility. I did not get into this pose, am not able to move as she does, but I can listen to and appreciate her words just as well as the next person.
I took a Focus Flow: Hips class (March 17, 2022, in case you have a Peloton subscription and want to take it) in which she noted that when people get into uncomfortable hip positions, feelings get stirred. She advised my classmates and me to be okay with the feelings, to acknowledge and accept them rather than fight against their existence or power. What great advice for life beyond yoga.
She went on to say that when we ignore bad feelings, they get worse and when we ruminate in our bad feelings, they also get worse. Think about how both ways -- thinking too much and not thinking at all about something-- cause problems. The way to have the bad not get worse is to let it be. Right now, we need to let the bad and the good both be okay.
I'm not generally a person who ignores what's bothering me. Instead, I get caught in a loop of thinking and rethinking about what I've said or done wrong or what's been said or done wrong to me. I try to break myself out of the cycle by thinking about what I will say or will do in response. Dwelling in these loops stresses my system.
Instead, I need to remember that what's already happened can't change and what will come my way is out of my control. I can do my best in every moment only if I stay in that moment, aware of what has come before (but not stewing in it) and of what consequences might arise (but not obsessing over them).
I need to ask myself one question: with what I know now and what I have now and what I think now, what should I do now?
I think of the oft quoted line, "Tomorrow is a mystery. Yesterday is history. Today is a gift; that's why we call it the present." It's cheesy but has merit. The best way to give tomorrow's me the chance at appreciating yesterday's me is to live fully with today's me. Remembering that is the gift of the present.
Are you more likely to try to ignore your feelings as if they don't exist or to pick at them, ripping opening what might otherwise scab over? If you are trying to be okay with what exists now, how are you doing that work? Please share your thoughts in the comments.