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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Head Hits the Ground...Finally! (Yoga, 12 Step and Little by Little)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Head Hits the Ground...Finally! (Yoga, 12 Step and Little by Little)

A friend of mine told me recently that finally, thankfully, amazingly, her head has hit the ground. She has been practicing Yoga for years now, and while she knows that she is supposed to keep her eyes focused on her own mat, or closed even, for that matter, she can't help but notice that she is the only one in the class who cannot get her head down to the ground when the position calls for it. It just won't go. She has been inching closer, bit by bit, for years, but to no avail. Until this week.

Week after week she would keep on keeping on. She would show up for class. She would follow the instructor's lead. My friend lives at the intersection of Yoga and 12-step. In fact, all of her 12-step mantras would slip through her head like the ticker tape in time Time Square while she was on the mat.

Do the next right thing...

Don't compare your insides to everyone else's outsides

Fear is false evidence appearing real

Little efforts add up to big results

Let go and let G-d

Pay attention to your weight, you will lose your recovery, Pay attention to your recovery, you will lose your weight

Keep coming back

One day at a time (one class at a time, one stretch at a time, one second at a time)

It works if you work it

Easy does it....

My serenity is directly proportional to my surrender....

In G-d's time....

We are marveling together at how such a small victory is actually such a big one. How her head hitting the ground means to her that she has endured many months of difficult feelings. Many months of her old mantras. The "you can'ts" The "Just forget its." The "who do you think you are kiddings." And of course, the "It must be you, because everyone else seems okay, able to do it, not really having these feelings."

They are painful, our old mantras. Some folks call it The Voice. Or My Disease. Or My Eating Disorder. Whatever it is, sometimes, its like lightening during the day. It talks these messages across our minds, bringing us down without us even knowing what's hitting us. Until we feel the thunder of our bad feelings, lousy mood or dark cloud of depression or despair.

There are new words, new mantras to be learned. To be repeated over and over and over again until we can take on and take in the good. Until we learn to appreciate and credit ourselves for the victories and the achievements and the staying power it takes just to get through a day sometimes, when we are in emotional bad shape.

Keep stretching, I think. Your head will eventually hit the ground.


Dr. Heckle said...

I just recently started some beginner yoga. I am really impressed with how great you feel afterwards. It's great exercise, yet you feel a sense of "calmness" after working out. I love it.

Melissa Groman, LCSW said...

Dr. Heckle,

Yes....calmness is a wonderful benefit! Thanks for stopping by,

Angela said...

I love those mantras, and I'm getting better about letting them take space inside of my head. It is hard to replace those old negative mantras with new positive ones. I just wrote a post on my blog about being connected to my body, and how frightening that is. I'm trying to find the strength in my body by exercising instead of only using it as a weight loss tool, but I'm finding that difficult. Anyway...thanks as always for a wonderful post!

Melissa Groman, LCSW said...

Yes, the old mantras can be stubborn, but the new ones can take hold! Thanks for stopping by...

Lily said...

What a good analogy to any growth. Little by little things change, you don't notice them until something "BIG" happens.

It's hard during those in between times, when you feel like nothing is changing... but when your head hits the ground, it is so apparent just how hard you have worked and how much things have changed.

Thanks for reminding me to remember those moments.

Anonymous said...

That voice for me is my Sabotuer.

These mantras are really good, I wrote down a few of them in my planner as a reminder. The metaphor and symbolic meaning behind this post is wonderful!