A few mornings ago I was thinking about my yoga practice, or more accurately my lack of yoga practice these days. I was wondering why I have been avoiding it. I know that when I practice regularly I feel fantastic. I begin to open up to life, to feel connected to my body and spirit, and to feel firmly grounded in my truth. I feel that amazing joy and immense sense of being fully alive in every cell of my being. Why would I avoid that? Then it came to me… it’s the crash.
The crash for me usually comes at work. My work situation is less than ideal. My crash consists of walking into work feeling wonderful and open, and then getting bombarded by anger and negativity. This feeling gets compounded by self judgments of why I have left myself in this situation so long. I realize now that my crash consists of me feeling how miserable I really am; something that I have unconsciously worked very hard to numb over the past five years.
So here was the question I was faced with:
If I do not allow myself to feel sadness and sorrow, can I really experience joy?
For me, this answer is a simple no. We live in a world full of duality. We can not have the good without the bad, the happy without the sad, or the reward without the work. I believe that to live fully you must be open to the entire range of emotions.
I know that I have robbed myself of feeling intense joy and happiness because I chose to numb the pain. I can feel the stuck emotions in my body magnifying the longer I avoid my practice. In life, we always have choices. I can continue to deaden myself and mourn the loss of the joy that I once felt, but this is not the way I want to live. Instead, tonight I will unroll my mat with a willingness to experience duality. I will choose to let myself experience whatever emotions present themselves so that I can savor the sweet glimpses of bliss.