I know it’s ironic. I have been suffering from a severe inner ear condition since December, and the title of my recent book is Deep Listening.
Lately, the deepest listening I’ve been doing has been to my new teacher, Tinnitus. Ugh. Not only has my hearing been greatly affected (everything is underwater and muffled), but I’ve also been trying to relax with intense bouts of pain and pressure in my ears and eyes.
It has been a distressing journey searching for a diagnosis. Aside from not knowing the cause of my pain and calming myself throughout an hour in the MRI machine, one of the most difficult parts of this experience has been listening to the truth. The truth that sometimes caring for our well-being doesn’t always feel so good.
In my case, the truth was that I had to say, “No, I can’t.” These three words do not come easily to me. Luckily, I was forced to say them. (Sometimes it is just easier when we don’t have a choice.)
Because of healing complications with my ears, I cannot fly, and had to cancel my upcoming trip to California and reschedule my May events at YogaWorks (more below).
Even though this forced quit was for my health and well-being, I still had to use all of my Deep Listening skills to make peace with it. I have had to relax with feelings of guilt and disappointment; not only the fear of letting down registered students but also my own inability to overcome this pain - what I viewed as my weakness.
I had to remind myself repeatedly that saying, “No,” was not only critical to my healing but also a beautiful act of self-care. But the truth is that choosing what’s good for us doesn’t always feel really good. Paradox, dichotomy and contradictory feelings are often present and real in many of the 'right' choices in our day-to-day lives.
So, we practice, again and again. We slow down, pause and listen in, so we can acknowledge all of our feelings and then relax again. For when we do this, we increase the possibility that we can support ourselves in more nourishing and compassionate ways.
So here I am, a student of my own teaching as I practice offering and receiving my own loving support. I'm committed to walking the walk... or driving the drive I should say. While my flights are grounded at this time, and my California trip is postponed, I am still teaching all of my east coast events that I can drive to. And, as I am in the midst of planning my schedule for 2019, I will gently lighten my travels in order to make more space for time at home and with family and friends.
May each of us make space to hear our deeper wisdom and that which is important to us. May we then have the courage to follow and act on what we hear. And may we remember that we can return.... to tune in ... and begin again and again.
Whether you are making room for a decision or just cleaning out for spring you may enjoy this meditation to give you a sense of spaciousness.