This morning I went to Ecstatic Dance. It had been awhile, and so I was determined to go today no matter what. No other plans. No excuses. Just go.
But when I woke up and got out of bed, I limped. My ankle very occasionally has this mysterious, out-of-the-blue pain. And this morning it showed up. But since I was determined to go to dance, I knew I'd still go.
I knew that even if all I did was sit on the edge of the dance floor, watching others dance, I'd still be happy I went. Plus, there was also a chance the pain would resolve before it was time for dance.
And it did. My ankle felt better. The pain was gone! But then it came back. So I danced a little. I sat a little. And when I danced, I took it easy. I resisted jumping.
Yes, I'm a jumper. I love bouncing around the dance floor. But not this morning. This morning, I just had to work with what I got.
And it reminded me of the kind of thing I say to my qigong and meditation students when we're doing the movements, or even just during a little warm up:
"Work with what you've got. If you're in pain or feeling restricted, find a way to do this that feels good to you. Forget about what you can't do; enjoy what you can do."
And as I type that, I smile as I think of how it applies to more than just physical movement.
How often have you felt brought down by limitations and restrictions? Sometimes limitations and restrictions are meant to be challenged. And feeling sad or angry about it can be like fuel for making changes.
But sometimes we need to accept restrictions and limitations and learn to focus on the bright side and be solution-oriented rather than fixated on the problem. Sometimes we gotta get creative to work with what we got. And sometimes it takes a little bit of effort to shift the negative perspective to a positive one.
Sure, I have a right to feel pissed off or bummed out when my ankle hurts and prevents me from dancing how I really want to dance. And you have a right to feel bummed out or angry about whatever seems to be holding you back.
But I love being able to acknowledge that and then let it go. Acknowledge it and then move on to finding the better feeling thoughts.
Try it for yourself. Next time you're feeling stifled, limited, restricted, and getting upset over it, see what happens when you take a step back. Take a deep breath. And let it go.
This isn't about denial or spiritual bypassing. It's important to acknowledge that part of you that feels bothered. You can even say to yourself, "I know, I know. I hear you. This sucks. So, what would feel good right now? What would help? What can we do?" And see if that helps you shift, feel a bit lighter or more hopeful. See if you can find the gratitude and joy in working with what you got.
And on a side note, when I was thinking of the title for this blog post, I stumbled upon this song on YouTube! Enjoy: :)
In my blog post the other day, I shared a concern that if we say "everyone has something to heal" or "everyone is always healing," then it's like implying there's "something wrong with them." Something broken. Something needing to be fixed.
I asked you to share some thoughts on this before I share more of mine.
And now, here are mine:
I feel that it's important to remember the Truth of who we are: We are are Perfect. We are all Whole. Nothing to fix.
And yet it's also true that we have things to heal.
Sometimes we have things going on physically, emotionally, mentally, or energetically that appear as problems--or as something that needs healing. Perhaps the important thing here is to recognize that just because we are healing, that does not mean we are broken or that there's something "wrong" with us.
What's so wrong about feeling like there's something wrong? I can hear some people thinking that! Even a part of me is wondering that!
And my answer is: It depends.
Does the thought--do those words--empower or disempower you? Does the thought of needing to heal imply that something is wrong with you? And does the thought having something to heal or feeling like something is "wrong" make you feel smaller or help you feel more expansive and motivated towards taking some action? Does acknowledging that something is/feels "wrong" make you feel bad, or is it just useful information to guide you towards making a change for the better?
Some of this is about semantics--whether it's the word "healing" or the word "wrong." Some is about perception and belief systems.
I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here. I feel very curious to hear from others about this. All I know is that as a teacher, or in any leadership role, it feels important to me to be mindful and considerate regarding word choice and the power of words.
So, personally, I don't feel comfortable saying that we are all in the process of healing, and yet I recognize that maybe--depending on how you look at it--maybe we are.
Even as I write that though, part of me sighs, ugh, but that just feels like so much work. I just want to be free and not always feeling like there's something to heal!
So when I share a concern about how others will take "we are all healing something," maybe I'm projecting. Because sometimes that implies to me a need for ongoing work. A constant need for improvement or something. And not in a fun, expansive, and evolutionary way.
Then again, sometimes I do see healing as an adventure, as constant growth and expansion! And that feels good.
So, again, the bottom line is that it depends. It depends on who you are. It depends on the day. It depends on the context.
Today the thought of everyone always being in need of healing doesn't feel good to me. Maybe it would ring true another day. I don't know.
Again, I find myself wondering, what do you think?
What does healing mean to you?
Comment or send me a message. I'd love to hear from you.
When you're ready, it's easy. When you're ready, there's no question. No making up judgments, assumptions, or stories as to why not to.... It just feels right.
Although this could apply to so many things in life, these are the words I heard in my head a couple of nights ago while voraciously reading Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy.
I'd purchased this book by Georg Feuerstein on a whim a few months ago. I was at Half Priced Books, and it caught my attention. I knew I'd only really been skimming the surface over the past couple of years-- sure I'd been diving deep with my Sexual Awakening for Women studies (and teachings) and some other workshops and readings here and there-- but what about the foundation and origins of Tantra? I'd pretty much skipped right over that.
I knew there was much more to Tantra, and it was time for me learn what exactly that "more" was.
And yet it wasn't. It wasn't time for me. Each time I picked up this book, I could never get into it. I'd read a page or two or three or four here or there. But it didn't grab me. It felt too dense or technical or dry or something. Something that made it feel difficult to read. I even started thinking I didn't like the author, didn't like his writing style.
But now? Now I know I just wasn't ready. It just wasn't time. Almost. But not quite.
Now I am loving this book. I feel that it's so easy to read. So fascinating. So digestible. So right for me right now.
And this brings me back to timing and readiness. Imagine if I had tried to force myself to read this sooner and when it wasn't feeling right. I probably wouldn't have gotten nearly as much out of it. Would've gone in one eye and out the other. And it certainly wouldn't have been as enjoyable. It would have felt more like some sort of obligation or something I should do because blah blah blah.
But instead, I didn't force it. I remained open to the possibility that at some point in time I'd read this book. But I wasn't attached to the when or even to it happening at all. And then? One day it finally happened. Right timing. Resonance. Ease. Flow.
It feels so delightful now, and all because I had let go. I had let go and remained open. And when I was ready, it all worked out.
I want to remember this. I want to remember this anytime, in any situation, where impatience or force or pressure, where trying to micromanage or control an outcome or timing, are wreaking havoc-- and they always do. I want to remember this.
And now some questions for you:
What in your life do you feel you might be trying to force?
Are you willing to just let go?
Ooooh, and this makes me think of a related topic-- the topic of getting over the resistance to getting into a daily practice. This has come up with friends, clients, and students a lot lately. What's the difference between discipline and force? Perhaps it's that feeling of devotion I wrote about the other day? Perhaps it's a question of alignment? Please feel free to comment below, or email me at email@example.com. I'd love to see your thoughts.
© 2015 Rebecca Clio Gould. All rights reserved.
Rebecca Clio Gould is a Certified Sheng Zhen Teacher and Holistic Wellness Coach. Her specialties include self-love, embodied joy, women's sexuality, spirituality, surgery preparation, and trauma recovery. She is also a Supreme Science Qigong Instructor, Essence vs Form Coach, and Award-winning Author of "The Multi-Orgasmic Diet: Embrace Your Sexual Energy and Awaken Your Senses for a Healthier, Happier, Sexier You."