It is a place we are all too familiar with. It is a place where no one ever wants to be. It is a place where so many people have lived for so long that they are unaware other options even exist. It is that place that is created from years of subtle (or sometimes obvious) messages that we are not good enough. It is the worst hell on Earth imaginable because it doesn’t come from anything outside of us that we can fight with our bodies or our intellect. It attacks us from deep within and turns the entire world into an ugly, hopeless and dark place. It forces us to unconsciously disconnect from life and go into an autopilot driven by our sickness, moving through life like a zombie.
Though I have built a life that actively repels this place as much as possible, I am not immune. After returning from the U.S.A. last week, I have spent much of my time in bed, exhausted and then angry at myself for being exhausted. I have viewed my friends as responsibilities instead of joys, my cottage as small and dark rather than adorable and cozy, and my body as weak and flabby instead of strong and beautiful. When I have had the strength to leave the confines of my home, I bicycle quickly through the gorgeous jungle and next to the breathtaking Caribbean Sea, too stuck in my own thoughts to even notice them.
This is how I used to live on a consistent basis. My first thought upon waking in the morning would be, ´What do I need to worry about today?´ Of course, I would always find something within moments, which would set the tone for the rest of the day.
Thankfully, after years of practice, this place of constant fear is becoming increasingly less familiar to me, but still pops up on occasion. Like any dis-ease, symptoms can vary from one person to the next, but are all related to avoiding contact with the only antidote: Self-love. Working too hard, worrying about food (am I eating too much? Am I eating healthy enough?), telling others what they should do differently or how they should change are just a few of my personal symptoms.
This morning, I finally force myself out of bed and bike to a yoga class. I spend the next hour and fifteen minutes trying not to think about much I suck and how I was WAY more flexible the last time I went to a yoga class. Oh, and by the way, why the FUCK do I keep falling over when I try to do this ONE pose which I’ve done it 100 times in the past with no problems??
Finally, we make it to savasana, which is a resting pose at the very end of the class. I lay down and simply do my best to be present and away from my thoughts. It takes me a few minutes, but eventually I let my mind be free. Instead of being in the past (my stupid body was so wobbly and awkward during this class) or the future (what am I going to eat later? I’ve been so lazy lately that I probably shouldn´t eat anything so I can lose a couple of pounds), I am simply here in the now. As I allow my body to fully let go of all of the stored tension and simply sink into the mat beneath me, the musical sounds of different chirping birds fill my ears; The light breeze makes the hair on my arms dance; The sweet yet metallic-like smell in the air from the rainstorm last night fills my nostrils.
From this place of presence, I also take a moment to observe the thoughts I have been having over the past few days…and I begin to quietly giggle.
I laugh at how unnecessary and ridiculous these thoughts have been. I laugh at how sad it is that these untrue thoughts that I made up in my own head have kept me from enjoying what an incredible life I have and what incredible people I have around me. I laugh at how many people suffer from this and how much pain it leads to…all because we feel we are are not good enough in some way. I laugh because, even though none if this is particularly funny, laughter is the best thing I can do for myself in this moment.