“Chaos is not a mess, but rather it is the primal state of pure energy to which the person returns for every true beginning…” W. Bridges
The healing journey is one that begins long before we name it such. It begins with the struggles, the turmoil, the pain, the resistance. The opportunity to heal is created here. Its beginning is nestled amidst feelings like fear, anger, sadness, and shame. The invitation to begin the journey is nestled “in between,” in the pauses, where life seems “normal.” The opportunity to begin, to step into the unknown, is the gift inside the pause. It is in these moments that we have choice. We may choose to continue on as always. Or we may choose to jump hopefully into the unknown. We finally take the risk to say “No more!” to the struggles, the turmoil, the pain, the resistance, and the unhealthy coping skills. To paraphrase a favorite quote, it is in this moment that we realize remaining the same is more painful changing.
But how do we do this?
We must return to the chaos. With awareness, with self-compassion, and with acceptance we can begin to walk softly toward our pain.
Yes. As daunting, painful, and unapproachable as it may seem, we must walk right up to the edge of our pain. We must look squarely at ourselves and acknowledge all of our experiences for what they are, pieces of our lives. And once we are aware of these pieces we have the opportunity to accept.
Acceptance is tricky. We live in a society that pushes toward rapid change, and that wants to immediately fix whatever is ‘wrong.’ So, when we feel the feelings that are hard, and we look back on our difficulties, we often judge them as ‘wrong,’ and needing to be fixed. It’s not unusual for people to feel, that they themselves, need to be ‘fixed.’ But, NO ONE IS BROKEN.
You see, this is also hard to accept. YOU ARE NOT BROKEN. You simply may not yet have loved yourself quite enough to see that. Walking gently toward your pain, embracing yourself with compassion, and accepting yourself without judgment is necessary in order to truly know and believe that this is true. You may feel disconnected from your true self. You may feel apart from your body. You may have been told repeatedly of your uselessness. You may feel unloved. But, truth is…YOU ARE WORTHY.
To come to know this, you must walk carefully toward your chaos, knowing that it is more painful not to change.
My own healing journey started many years ago, and as for many women in their 40’s, has included healing from grief, trauma, divorce, ridicule, and the like. I’m nothing special when it comes to what’s been placed in front me. We all lose someone we love. Too many marriages end badly. An outrageous number of people are mistreated or suffer abuse over the years. It’s all part of this package called ‘being human.’ Few escape these tragedies. And so this dark, shadowed place becomes the familiar, what is known, and the victim role is perpetuated.
In order to prevent this, we must return to the chaos. We must return with awareness, support, and with a knowing that we are in the midst of growth. We may not always feel like we’re growing. And it certainly doesn’t always feel good. But when we have a moment of ‘normal’ and we allow ourselves to return to the chaos knowing that our wholeness is in there somewhere, we open ourselves to the possibility of freedom.
Yes. Freedom. It’s there. It’s waiting. It’s covered up with the struggles, the turmoil, the pain, and the resistance, but when we return to the chaos, and we are able to see our vulnerable selves for who we are, it is then that the door begins to crack open. It begins to open because of us. We nudge the door ever so slightly and our friends, family, co-workers may very well try to slam it back shut in an attempt to keep us held tight in the box they know us to be familiar with. Somehow our being stuck in our story works for them.
Regardless, we must continue to look back at our experiences, to look at ourselves ‘eye to eye.’ We must resist old, unhealthy patterns that reflect to us the shell of who we used to be.
And so we must return with our whole being. Not simply telling & re-telling the story. It means showing up, really showing up when the parts of you that want to experience the story for the sake of healing ask. It means paying attention to that little voice inside you that doesn’t want to resist anymore, even when resistance shows up too. It means letting your whole being…mind, heart, body, and soul, be present and part of the healing process. For a long time I told my stories in talk therapy (and, yes, talk therapy certainly has a place in healing), and I made some progress. But, I yearned for the freedom that I knew was within me. I felt that talking was just brushing the surface of the work I really needed to do.
And then I found yoga. After years of running, cycling, weights, cardio, and aerobics, I found yoga. Or should I say, yoga found me. Yoga allowed me to be present to myself in a way I hadn’t experienced before. It allowed me to nudge the door open in a new way. Since that first class in the late 90’s I have been returning to the chaos in a way that lets me set the boundaries, honors the pace at which I explore, and allows me to tap into my own wisdom. Yoga, and more specifically, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy opened the door for me to be present to my own healing process…to be both witness and participant. It gave me the opportunity to gently walk toward my own chaos, create change, and heal.
I became the Phoenix Rising, and I am powerful, empowered, and changed. I am free.
If you feel inspired to make change in your life, call 434-906-5467, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit my website www.karasnappyogatherapy.com to schedule an appt.