This was my original blog post in a previous blog, naomifriesenyoga.com. It was written at the tail end of a rather difficult chapter in my life. Gosh. Things are easy-peesy these days in comparison. But it was all necessary to bring me here. I sure love my Comox Valley community, my profession as RMT, new and old friends. I am grateful to all of you who carried me here.
Sometimes I’m just not up to doing timed handstands, or 108 (who’s counting?) sun salutations. On these days, I simply drape myself over a few bolsters, and turn on my favourite yoga nidra track with Richard Miller. He’s got a great line about how every circumstance is a pointer, guiding you home to your authentic ground of being.
The life learning curve has been mighty steep of late. Interestingly, preceding this onslaught of heart break was a whisper I uttered in my heart. “I desire lasting peace. Consistency. Joy. Beautiful friendships. Community of love. Bus loads of laughter. Make me a conduit for healing.” What I hoped for were warm fuzzy feelings and miracles handed to me on a palm leaf. Not a lead weight on my chest preventing me from breathing, endless, sleepless nights, the ulcerous heat of rejection and betrayal in my gut.
Everything is a pointer, guiding us home to our authentic ground of being. “Alrighty then, Richard”, I think to myself, “Let’s see about this, although I kind of feel like punching you in the throat right now…” So I sit in silence with more frequency. But often I would be so distraught, there was nothing silent about the sitting due to the mind monkeys gnawing on the gyri of my brain. In the end, what made the most sense was a simple decision to open my heart back up, surrender to the pain. Remain in felt perception rather than thought perception.
Then an interesting thing happened. Compassion began to rise up. Compassion toward this man who turned out to be an angel delivering an answer to prayer. Compassion for myself, silencing the Genghis Khan inside my head, telling me I had not been good enough. Compassion for my long suffering friends and family holding space for me as I wept.
The word compassion is part community (comm – to join; union), part passion (suffer, endure: enthusiasm). It’s not for pansies, this compassion business. You have to assert the opening of your heart at times, cuz when it is most required is when it seems impossible, it directly challenges egoic emotion. It is a simultaneous act of surrender and assertion. But you see, the greatest awakening seems to often happen through great pain, then demonstrating compassion through a love-resonating heart.
Approaching the end of my training at the Registered Massage Therapy college, I consider what it means to be a conduit for healing. In a clinical setting, pain presents itself as physical on an intake form – therapy after MCL reconstruction, whiplash, ankle sprains, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, etc. Physical pain and emotional pain are not separate however, each a pointer to our authentic ground of being. The thing is, we humans don’t like pain. We like to feel good. So we take pain meds, drink wine, eat chocolate, write an angry letter, start a new relationship as quickly as possible. These things happen, and it is o.k. But what if we sat with the discomfort, open our hearts to it, allow it to take us home? Compassion toward yourself, and received from others, dissolves the contracture, defogs the lens through which you may finally see the source of your pain as well as your perfect nature. When you know yourself, you will heal. Come home to yourself.