* Lean in

The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. 
Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves.
This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering — yours, mine, and that of all beings.

~ Pema Chodron, Taking the Leap

courageous yoga pose

Reading these words I think of poses in yoga where we lean in to the physical and emotional discomfort and embrace the sensations and thoughts that come up. Surprisingly it is the poses of surrender and letting go, rather than strength building that can be the most challenging for us.

Our practice on the mat is a great metaphor for life. We learn to be present with whatever comes up and use our breath to lean into it. Accepting where we are in that moment.

On our mat there is no one to blame …except perhaps the yoga teacher who brought you to this challenging place. 😉


44 thoughts on “* Lean in

  1. I love that book. I refer to it often. Again, Val, I would soooooo take yoga from you if I were closer. I love the physical aspect when dealing with something emotional, spiritual or mental. Great post. I do that somewhat with tai chi, but there is a rhythm to it so leaning in and holding wouldn’t work. Next time I need to lean in to something, I will try some stretches. Is there a type of yoga you do that I could maybe find in NM? Thank you Val.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this and I agree Val. When I started yoga during the early part of my grief, I learned to lean into my pain and sadness, rather than resist or suppress it. I leaned into it softly, allowed it to open gently and let it go over time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Three Day Quote Challenge: Day 3 | tea & paper

  4. haha “except the yoga teacher who brought you to this challenging place”. I kept trying to get my participants to stop blaming me reminding them that they brought the discomfort with them, the pose simply reveals it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the wise recommendation, Val. I think it makes sense to accept and lean into situations – if we cannot change them.

    But sometimes, situations can be changed. In this case, I think acceptance comes down to acceptance of the inner voice. If the inner voice of intuition says, “Speak up” or “Get out of here” , then it may be the appropriate action to follow the guidance of the inner voice.

    Liked by 1 person

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