I am the most violent with myself, the most unforgiving. I dislike criticism, not because I cannot accept that I have done something poorly, but rather because I already KNOW that I did, and, frankly, I’ve probably excoriated myself much more thoroughly than anyone else can.
the principle of non-violence.
It begins with the self.
It begins with accepting where you really are, not who or what or where you want to be, but where you really, truly are.
It begins with being gentle with yourself and forgiving yourself for being where you are. You didn’t begin by jumping into a race, but rather with a few tentative steps as you learned to keep your balance and walk.
I live in a broken body; a body that limits both my physical and mental movement, so it is probably of little surprise that my spiritual practice also begins in my body.
I have been doing yoga for several years now, and I have learned how to stand, to walk, to let go and find strength. I’ve learned to find grace, balance, beauty, and relief. I have learned to begin—in my bones, in my muscles, in my exhaustion…and accept my body where it is, even if only for an hour at a time.
I have learned to forgive it for being there—for being in insufferable knots, for being stiff and heavy, for the exhaustion that feels like it goes into the marrow of my bones.
...and then to find compassion for myself.
The world is often a hostile place—so many things hurt or make the hurt worse. And my suffering is invisible.
So young! So healthy! What do you know about pain!?
…I know that I’d like to take the next person who says that to me and put his/her head through a wall--
My teeth still grind between my clenched jaw with anger that my life is work and trying to survive work.
Hatred and depression arise when I am filled with certainty that no one will want to spend her life with someone as broken and lame as I.
Hatred that I have no discipline.
Hatred of the slowness.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be only afraid of standing still.” (Chinese proverb)
Easier said than done.
Two hours of yoga and stretching only to be able to stiffly shuffle about, and I still feel like there is a golden eagle riding on my shoulders. It’s hard to not get depressed and resentful. It’s hard to come home and have to do it all alone (except for the kitty, who certainly helps my cause a-plenty).
The gentle returning of oneself home to oneself.