The lovely Tracy of PranaLight is with us again to talk about Presence. You may remember her take on Love and Wonder. Today she is here to help us deal with pain in the present, on our way to “everyday nirvana.” Enjoy!
The world at the end of my yoga mat… Being here now, and opening up to my heart and body.
One day, at the tail end of last week, I experienced one of those magic moments, something I call everyday nirvana. It happened somewhat unexpectedly, as such experiences often occur, and are meant to. I appreciate them all the more that way.
Lately I am learning to make friends with pain. Recurring bouts of tendonitis in my hands as well as some restricted mobility in the hip area (this is my fault entirely–too much sitting throughout the day for prolonged periods) has meant some serious physical discomfort to deal with for a while now. I try to keep my yoga practice going and challenging in spite of the pain. Small adjustments help, tweaking the practice each session to correspond with what’s happening in my body and brain. Each time on the mat is unique. Last week I was experiencing quite a lot of physical pain. Practice on the yoga mat was hard. My concentration wavered. Lighting incense helped me to keep the focus, to breathe. A gentle reminder to be patient, to be kind. To just be present with what is.
Instead of punishing myself mentally for not slowing down enough so the tendonitis flair ups aren’t so frequent or so bad, and not to beat myself up for not practicing yoga twice a day so the hips were more flexible, I decided to try loving the pain.
To love something that is distressing, hurtful or annoying–be it a physical or mental discomfort–might seem impossible under some circumstances. But surprising things can happen when we turn to love and compassion. To experience and give love and compassion to others, we have to start at home–literally, with ourselves. Love is a choice, a state of mind. The mind can then transform the bodily experience.
Meanwhile, back on my yoga… Seated in a forward bend and trying to get the hips to release a little more, I spied my cat Charlie’s kitty toys nearby. They looked almost like a little offering to the Buddha and my yoga practice. *SMILE* Instantly my mood lightened. LOVE brought me back to center, to the present. I was graced with a flood of warm inner light. I decided to love my hips, and give them the thought that maybe one day they will glide more smoothly into forward bends and angles. I decided to love my hands and wrists in spite of the tendonitis and try to be kinder to them. LOVE in motion every moment of the day, be here now with love–that is my motto, my aim. Even if that comes with somewhat limited physical motion sometimes!
We all experience pain–physical or mental. Try love as a remedy next time you are hurting. May love help you cope better in the present moment, and especially when that present moment is difficult. And I wish for you that being here now is light in your world.
Tracy is an an artist exploring the path where creativity & spirit meet. She is currently engaged in art/painting, fiber arts, writing and photography. Her blog, A Life of Joy, is a place for creative living & everyday celebrations.