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Whose Life Is It Anyway? Ramblings on life, yoga, romance, money, sex, life, yoga, art, music, life and life.


What if my heart just won’t stay open!!
~Sitting with Shadows~
I’m on my way home from a very long and challenging weekend. A weekend where very important parts of my future were hanging in the balance. “I” needed to be able to cope, to find my center “for the good of all” (that was my mind speaking, in case you couldn’t tell). Each day began with a meditation on heart opening — a good start to any day! By day’s end, the feeling in my heart was that of a steel trap with daggers directed outward for protection. I was miserable!!
Each day, my issues were brought alive, seemingly into technicolor. My issues with control, trust and fear were put directly in my face, sometimes all in the same moment. There were points where I wept with the stifling weight of the fear I was feeling. I felt completely defeated. I felt old patterns rise up as my heart moved into contractions I didn’t even know it could still form. I felt the dark, I felt the evil, I wanted to lash out! I wanted to protect myself from all the judgment that “I believed” was being sent my way. My practice was not helping me here — or was it?
When it dawned on me once again that I was merely human, I did what a wise yogi might do: I reached out. I asked for help and expressed my fear and the pain I was feeling. I got honest with my shadow feelings and unveiled my unlovable self. I thought for sure this would end it all. Who could love someone so afraid, so defended, so not in control (I still feel the lingering urge to kick myself right now for not being“better”… Old patterns die a slow death, don’t they.) I literally hung my head in shame. When I got the courage to look up, I was met with the biggest wave of love I have ever experienced. It was as if the world was waiting for me to do just what I did — surrender. While I held on so tightly to my contrived strength, there was no way in. All I needed to do was open and the love and support I needed was waiting for me. How may times will I need to learn this lesson…? As many as it takes, I guess.
Fortunately for me, I am blessed with caring, wonderful and insightful people in my life. Through them I realized that the meditations on opening my heart did work. These meditations didn’t make me a fearless warrior in the way that I thought they might, but instead they gave me real courage — the courage to reveal my vulnerable heart. Sitting with the honesty of what I was feeling allowed me to drop the projections, get real with those feelings and eventually, speak them aloud. In this way, my beloved was given the opportunity to embrace the parts of me that were so shamefully dark and ugly to me. Opening allowed him to be there and comfort the part of me that was so afraid of disappointing him and me and perhaps losing what was so important to us both. My vulnerable heart gave me the courage to let go of control and allow someone to take a step for me that I was too afraid to make– a step towards loving my flawed, human self.
This amazingly painful and beautiful weekend showed me that I can only do so much on my own and that we all need a loving reflection to help the rest of the way. We don’t live on the planet alone for a reason! I learned AGAIN that my vulnerable heart is not ugly at all but what could be the most lovable part of me. Thank you for loving the part of me I couldn’t — until now.
Does this story resonate with you?  Join Paula, as she continues to discover the wisdom of yoga, every Monday night at 6:30pm (Foundations 1) and Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm (Meditation thru the senses).  She is also leading a Spiritual Development Retreat in Costa Rica in September.