As the changing weather of Fall approaches, I am mindful of the many seasons of life and the changes they bring.
It has been almost four years since I wrote my first post for FibroHaven – four years of change and adaptation, breathing in, slowing down, speeding up, crashing, recovering, celebrating, and the many other sensations change brings. But mostly, it has been a joyful four years because through FibroHaven I have truly found my community and my purpose – my Dharma – being in service as leader, yoga instructor, and life coach.
So what’s different? What has changed?
I still live daily with the symptoms of my illness. Today as I sit here, I have taken three breaks in my writing so far because my pain and fatigue are high, and my brain is foggy. There is a message I feel inside wanting to come out, but today I am challenged to express it. So I am doing what I have learned to do through my yoga and life coaches training – I am pausing, focusing on my breathing, changing my physiology by moving and stretching gently, and most importantly, I am treating myself with love and compassion.
That might be the biggest change – self-love, self-compassion, along with an acceptance of my illness, and an awareness that my Being is still present and whole in spite of it. Or maybe because of it. I know myself so much more completely now than I ever did before.
What got me here?
Through the practice of yoga I have reconnected to my body after many years spent trying to disconnect. I now better understand the messages and signals my body sends me daily, and know when to move, when to rest, and when to breathe deeply. Pain is still present, but no longer all-consuming.
And with the life coaching I have reconnected to my sense of Being – the sense of ourselves that we are born with – the understanding and knowing that we are perfect and whole, despite our circumstances. My coach calls this our Felt Sense of Being, and it has become a daily practice for me to reconnect with it.
What does a practice of connecting to my Being look like?
In the past when my desire to accomplish something, like writing this post, is challenged by my symptoms, I would often just quit – close my computer, focus on my symptoms and all they are preventing me from doing, and be in the frustration of what I felt was not possible.
But now when I practice connecting to my Being, I am building a new muscle that enables me to create space to move through moments when I feel like giving in to my symptoms, and ease into a space where I remember that I am so much more. In that space I am able to reconnect to my core self and my experience of living from my essence – my Felt Sense of Being – a place untouched by illness and impossibilities.
When I am feeling the familiar sensations of overwhelm, anxiety, fear, and defeat – I stop, close my eyes, place my hands on my heart, and breathe. Breathing smoothly and evenly – in and out through my nose, I follow my breath from my nose, down my throat, and into my heart center. I let my breath be the bridge that guides me gently away from my thoughts, away from my physical and emotional discomfort and into my core – my heart center. And there is where I connect to my Felt Sense of Being. There is where I know that I am so much more than my circumstances. There is where I remember that I am whole and worthy and full of light. And there is where my desire to live my Dharma becomes greater than any physical or emotional distress.
And it takes practice
This truly is a practice and somedays I am better at it than others. Somedays I resist, holding tightly to my pain, fear, and frustration. And that is okay. This is why we practice. Those days are simply opportunities to take on other practices – like practicing being with what is, and practicing loving self-compassion, and practicing reaching out for support.
That is so much the key in all of this – Practice. Practice taking on your life with a new intention and commitment to all that is possible even in the midst of fear, pain, emotional distress, burdensome energies. Practice connecting to that part of you that is untouched by your current experience of illness/disease/distress. It is there. You were born with it, and you will die with it – the Purity and Possibility of your Being. How will you practice connecting with your Being today?
For more information on life coaching – private and groups – please Contact Dannette.