This is a guest post by Brie at Capital Mom. It was posted on her blog on January 17th, 2011, but I wanted to re-post it here as it captures so perfectly the challenge and process of parenting, and living, mindfully.
Find the sensations and breathe into them says the teacher at the front of the room.
I do. With my left leg stretched out behind me and my right leg bent under my chest I lean forward as far as I can until my forehead is inches from the floor. The muscles in my right hip stretch and pull. I can feel the sensations. I breathe.
Move away from pain. If it hurts, stop doing it. But if it’s a sensation, then stay there and keep breathing.
I used to confuse pain and sensations. I would stay in pain, refusing to stop in case it made me seem like a failure. I would let the hurt I felt grow until I hurt even more. I would avoid sensations, convinced that I wasn’t strong enough to endure them and so I wouldn’t even bother. Not understanding that sensations, the good ones and the bad ones, always end on their own.
Pain will hurt you and keep on hurting you. The only relief is to stop. To move out of the pose. Away form the person. Leave the situation.
Sensations will challenge you. They will make you question what you are capable of. They will show you how strong you really are.
Sensations are feelings. Your thoughts are sensations. Let yourslef feel them and then let them go.
As I lie flat on the floor in savasana I allow my body to relax. My bones sink heavily to the ground and my muscles soften onto my mat. But the sensations are still there. Whirling and twirling through my mind. Just like they do when I watch the kids fight over a stuffed animal. Just like when the girl won’t listen to me when I ask her to pick up the book she threw to the floor. Just like when the boy crosses his arms in response to my request that he come eat lunch.
And so I breathe. Into all the sensations.
Thanks to Brie! Now go over there and give her some props!