And then the walls came crashing down…

My last post was at the height of my euphoria following a most powerful healing retreat.  Well, as they say, what goes up, must come down. Alright, maybe not always, but in this case I crashed back down hard.   Holy shit, did I crash.

I came back from the retreat fired up ready to move forward toward my goal of reaching more people through my yoga teaching and coaching.  I spent the week reading, writing, planning, meditating, and training.  I’ve been dreaming of quitting my job and committing myself fully to my life’s passion of yoga for awhile now.  But this time felt different.  I felt so certain that I was going to make a living teaching this yogic lifestyle to others through workshops, writing, speaking, and coaching that I could literally feel it in my soul;  I could see myself living the life I’ve always wanted to live.

I guess things got a little too real for my ego.  ‘Cuz she said,  “Oh, no ya don’t sister!”  in a big way!  Stinkin’ thinkin’ started to creep in Saturday.  My ego was saying, “Are you kidding!  Who are you to think you can coach others on how to live more peaceful, purpose-filled lives!?” and “Oh, and don’t forget you only have 2 people signed up for your next yoga workshop!” and my personal fave “You aren’t even that good of a yoga teacher!”.

In response, I answered as compassionately as I possibly could, “Not now, ego, I have work to do!”  I got out my gratitude journal, wrote down 10 things I was grateful for in my life and I went to bed for the night.

Egos are insidious, powerful parts of us, though.  I woke up Sunday morning sicker than I have been in years with a kick your ass to the curb kind of migraine.  Well played ego,well played!

Thankfully, I have a wonderful acupuncture healer friend who I have on speed dial.  The next day, I had an acupuncture treatment to relieve the pain.  However, as I was laying there with my needles in, I spoke directly to my ego to assure her that I would take better care of her throughout this journey.  I realized that instead of allowing and trusting in the process, I began to force the change.  I promised myself to take a much more gentle, loving approach to the journey.

Gay Hendrick’s referred to this experience in his book, The Big Leap, as an “upper limit problem”.

The gorgeous and brilliant Marie Forleo, life coach extraordinaire, elaborated on the upper limit theory. Here’s the basic idea: “Each of has an internal thermometer for how much success, wealth, happiness, love and intimacy we’ll let ourselves experience. That’s our upper limit setting. Kind of like our success comfort zone.

When we exceed our internal thermostat setting, and life gets super duper OMG good (we have an influx of money, get healthy, find a great relationship) — we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves, so we can drop back to the old, familiar place where we feel in control.

Upper limit problems can manifest like this: You’ve just had a huge win, and then you get in an accident, break a limb, fry your computer, over-drink, over-eat, over-spend, start a fight with your significant other, get really sick, etc. You know, fun self-sabotaging stuff like that.”

So why am I telling you all of this and why should you care?

Because if you are ready to make huge changes in your life, you will come up against your upper limits.  And when you do, you may want to back away from the pain and retreat back to your comfort zone, and ditch your dreams. Don’t!  Feel the discomfort, feel the pain.  Acknowledge the discomfort and pain, be gentle with yourself, and move through it.  Find a trusted healer, coach, or holistic practitioner to help you through it if necessary.

Just remember, the world needs us to dream big and stop playing small.  As Susan Jeffers tells us, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

With gratitude,

Namaste,

Lisa

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Getting Out of Our Own Way

I attended a Tibetan Buddhist Healing Retreat over the weekend. I left blissfully empty of all the junk that I’d been carrying around with me.  But almost paradoxically filled with so much love I could have burst.

I spent two days basking in the afterglow of the healing.  Then, as Jack Kornfield’s aptly titled book says, “After the Ecstasy, The Laundry”.  Simply put, life happened and my glow started to fade…

I know in my brain that this is how life works.  You know, the whole Yin/Yang thing of life.  But I still get that pang of “Oh,no! I”m not ready for it to end yet!”

Flash forward to this morning when my mom (whom I attended the retreat with) and I were texting back and forth bemoaning that we’d lost the bliss.  I actually began typing the words, “Trying desperately to hold onto it….”  I looked down briefly at the words I’d just typed and literally laughed out loud at my momentary ignorance in thinking I could ‘hold onto’  or grasp or force this blissful state.

This evening while I lay in Savasana after a lovely asana practice and listening to Krishna Das chant, I was taken back to those words that I’d typed earlier in the day about holding onto our bliss.  This time, I saw those words from a different angle or rather they were revealed to me from a different place.

We can’t ‘hold onto’ or grasp after our bliss because it doesn’t ever go away!  That moment of bliss, that feeling of emptiness while at the same time holding the whole world in your heart, is who we all truly are when everything else is stripped away.  Our challenge then is not to hold on, but to get of our own way.

With a Heart Full of Gratitude and Love for YOU!

Namaste,

Lisa