This past week has been one where I have felt the true fruits of my practice protecting and guiding me the entire way.
When we first begin practicing (most anything) there is an excitement and enthusiasm at the newness of it all. Finally we’ve set our priorities and committed to something that is going to make us feel better about ourselves.
Somewhere along the way though, we plateau. We don’t see the same results we felt at the beginning of our trial, and it becomes more and more difficult to get to our practice. Either we become lazy and resistant or our minds tell us we no longer have the time or space to continue.
A teacher once told me that the definition for discipline is “continuing to show up even when the thrill wears off”. In yoga terms we call this Tapasaya. This is often described as purification through fire, or rather the purification that comes through a steady and consistent practice.
It can be difficult to show up when the thrill has worn off. It can be a struggle to sit down to meditate when we are worn out from our day and all we want to do is Netflix and chill. It’s even more of an obstacle to make our way to class when its freezing or raining outside. After months of not seeing any particular results its very easy to become fickle and search for the next new thing, only to be met with the same sense of deflation when the newness begins to fade.
The reality of our spiritual practices, be it yoga, meditation or traveling, is that on an unseen level these practices hold us in our integrity and contribute deeply to our ability to become unshakeable in our spirits.
A spiritual practice can be anything that awakens a connection between our bodies, minds and spirits. It is what allows us to see that we are more than just our physical bodies, that there are multi dimensions to our being and that in this way we are all one.
Not everyone will meet us at the same level of our consciousness. That’s just reality. People carry allot of pain and hurt that we cant always see. Sooner or later if you are a true spiritual practitioner, showing up continually to your process, your inner depth is going to trigger the wounding that some people are deeply terrified to look at and accept as a gift to work with. In most cases these people run as opposed to stay. In some cases you become the anchor for a deeper transformation to take place.
Very recently I experienced this. It was unexpected but in retrospect the clues had been there all along. The dynamic shifted dramatically as soon as I began to consciously speak /mirror this person back to themselves. The reaction was immediate. It felt like spirit had sent down a lightening bolt to split the earth between us and send me onward in a new direction. On the other side of the sparks, I was met with a deep child like retaliation. A clear sign that this wound ran deep and I had somehow broken the skin to let the puss out.
What happened next was an attack and rebuttal to try and take my power away. Was it going to work? Not on your life.
As much as it was painful to witness that level of self destruction, I sat still and let the waves of emotions, thoughts and impulses come and eventually go. What they were trying to take from me was all rooted in the material world, not within the spiritual. It was as if all those years of praying at my altar were meant for that one single moment in time. I was impenetrable.
On the outside it may have looked like I lost, but what I gained internally was so much more.
I believe that because of sitting down to practice my spirit had become unshakable. Sure, I was feeling emotions but I wasn’t acting upon them. Instead, I was watching someone else tailspin out of control, making decisions based on confusion, hurt and the need to feel powerful. I noticed too, that even though I was being attacked this wasn’t my pain, hurt or anger. It was theirs. This gave me perspective to step away from the drama, disengage and accept the will of spirit to move forward.
After all, anyone can destroy your job, money, ideas, partner and home. But no one can destroy your spirit.
As I continued to show up to my practice in the wake of the decimation, I began to consciously integrate all that had happened. This is a very powerful moment to recognize. When we are going through something traumatic, to sit down and connect consciously to our spiritual center allows for all negative emotions to travel through our subtle bodies and eventually leave. In this way, we can rid ourselves of cancers and diseases that occur when we hold onto situations such as these, when we fight, grip and struggle.
If we can do this when we are super charged emotionally before taking action we could learn to save ourselves allot of grief. But where do we learn this? AH HA! This comes from continually showing up and laying the foundation, even when we aren’t caught up in the drama, in deep need of healing or feeling a surge of enthusiasm.
It comes from showing up to our spirits every single day no matter what.
So the next time you are feeling a wee bit lazy about getting to your practice just remember that its kind of like paying it forward energetically. You never know when that lightening bolt is going to strike down from the heavens to steer you in another direction.