Self Care Sunday: Sit With It
I'm talking about all the ways in which we often run from or numb ourselves to what feels uncomfortable instead of using those feelings to empower ourselves to create a life we don't want to run away from. I wrote a blog post about it when I did my 60 day celibacy and sobriety detox. Its attached, but I recently did a podcast. Listen and read below.
In the last days of 2017, I realized that I needed to do things a lot differently in 2018 if I wanted to see different results. I recognized that my thoughts, words and actions had not been aligned and I wanted to get very clear on why that was. I thought a detox would be a good start.
This detox eliminated: alcohol, funny cigarettes, and sex (with myself or anyone else). Yikes.
The alcohol was by far the easiest to eliminate since I'm not much of a drinker anyway. Am I more enlightened and in touch with my feelings and thoughts? Absolutely!
Its so interesting. I've made a direct correlation between my desire for any of these things with my want/need to numb or distract myself from something/someone. If I feel like I have to do something I don't want to do, I think about turning to one of these things. If I am frustrated with something or someone, I think about these things. These are my self-soothing go-to options. If I am happy, aligned and rested - I do NOT think about most of these things.
It also helped that I found an awesome yoga studio that was advertising a 20-day challenge at the start of the new year that I happily accepted. I love a good challenge! So here I am all sober and celibate AND practicing yoga pretty much daily. Hello awareness!
Yoga is a practice that I absolutely love, but one of the main reasons is that it teaches us to sit with ourselves-especially when its uncomfortable. One of my favorite yoga instructors and friends, Kandice Doley, once said during class " the pose doesn't start until you're ready to get out of it." That couldn't be more true of yoga and of life! What do you do when things start to get uncomfortable? Do you fold? Do you give up? Do you resort to sex and drugs? Solange's song "Cranes In The Sky" speaks to our need to do something about our discomfort. The idea that if we just do X, Y, or Z - magically our discomfort will disappear. Doesn't happen folks. After that temporary buzz comes down, our anxiety, problems or discomfort will be awaiting us once again. The only way to deal with our issues is head on. Avoidance is unsuccessful. Trust me, I'm a pro at avoidance. It has never worked.
Now what I've also observed is that everyone has different vices for avoidance.
I've been taking mindful/social meditation classes as well and they've been really insightful. I find, and had others admit that there is a need to speak-even if its forced small talk chatter- to break uncomfortable silence or eye contact. The need to offer a word of advice or comfort if someone expresses their distress. The need to respond to everything that is said or done, the feeling of obligation to put a title or label or attach a word or description on every person or thing we encounter...instead of letting things just be. Without conscious, or unconscious judgement and labels. Ah. This is such unfamiliar ground for me. As a control freak, it is so hard for me to be in the moment because I'm always trying to anticipate the next moment and what it will require of me.
Ultimately, I went into this detox thinking I was giving up sex and liquor, but it turns out I was really giving up the need to slap a bandaid on my uncomfortable moments. Giving up the need to control every moment. Giving up the need to fold when things don't go my way, and instead facing my fears and frustrations and inviting them to sit and stay awhile. Looking at myself in the mirror and welcoming whatever version of myself I am that day. I saw this quote on Instagram and think it fits beautifully:
Love the one in you who is sad.
Love the one in you who is scared.
Love the one in you who is angry.
Love the one in you who is lonely.
Love the one in you who hates herself.
Love ALL the ones who you are, and then you will know how to love the world.
Love all of YOU, without feeling the need to fix a thing.