Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Doing the thing we think we can't

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.”

I was a little concerned when my yoga teacher started our class with this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. My mind went running: Must be some pretty hard poses she’s got in store for us today…I hope I can balance….my elbow feels a little sore….I’m the oldest one here, I shouldn’t be doing these challenging poses… sure would have been nice to stay in bed on this rainy morning…wonder what I’ll eat when I’m done…and blah blah blah…

The funny thing about looking fear in the face is that often there isn’t much there. I remember once as a kid, I woke up in the middle of the night terrified to see a snake on the floor in my bedroom. I screamed for my father who sleepily came to my door, turned on the light, revealing my socks. My brain had created an entirely different, horrifying scenario.

The whole idea of yoga is joining the body and mind. It comes from a Sanskrit word meaning yoke or union. The type of yoga that I practice most is Vinyasa, so every movement is connected with either an inhalation or an exhalation. The idea is that the postures are more like breathing exercises than gymnastics. The breathing keeps one in the present. There is no space for worrying about the past, nor anticipating the future. Only breath, where you are, at the moment. No place else to be.

The lessons learned ‘on the mat’ at yoga class are intended to be taken ‘off the mat’ every bit as much as the message from the preacher doing Sunday services, or the pearls gleaned from an AA or NA meeting.

Many people who are anticipating an Accelerated Opiate Detox are stuck in the fear of painful experiences from previous attempts to stop. Many are obsessed with what the future will bring.

Creating new pathways for the addictive brain starts with being present and showing up. Breath by breath, fears dissolve and transformation happens. Churchill once said “…I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Call The Coleman Institute if you are ready to do ‘that which you think you can’t’. You can, and we can help.

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