Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What We Work With

I saw this quote on Jihan Barakah's Facebook page yesterday and thought of my word for the new year: "inclusivity." I've been thinking of the practice of leaving nothing behind particularly in terms of those aspects of self and experiences that feel uncomfortable, unpleasant or downright painful.
I was having one of those experiences when I stumbled across Jihan's post- I was having a day of pain and the kind of exhaustion that is hard to describe. Let's just say it was a day where I had to lay down on the kitchen floor to wait for the kettle to boil (please no alarm or health advice- this does happen sometimes with the chronic condition I have.)
What I liked about Tolle's quote was that he was not claiming to know something we cannot know- was not declaring that we choose every thing that is in every moment. Given that there are so many things beyond our control that claim always feels like it springs from an inflated need for and sense of being-in-control.
But, he does suggest that we start from the point of accepting what is AS IF we had chosen it. This helps mitigate the feeling of being a hapless victim and gives us a shot at being with whatever the moment contains. It opens us to real inclusivity.
Tolle is not suggesting passivity- he encourages us to "work with" what is, instead of against it. I admit, this sounded less- than-inspiring in my state of pain and exhaustion, but the truth is working against it was only going to increase the discomfort.
So, I softened to the pain, allowed myself to feel the immobilizing weariness. I took a warm bath, had a cup of tea. I started to rest, really rest- without any inner ranting about unfairness, and without any need for an explanation as to why this was happening (the unpredictability of these bouts are probably the hardest thing about them.)
Did working with what was result in my springing to my feet full of energy and pain-free? No. But I did rest in compassion for my body-self that tries so hard to continue past the point where laying down would be wise. And what had seemed unbearable and unwelcome, became okay. ~Oriah


8 comments:

  1. Thanks Oriah, for this and your earlier post on giving up a social event because you listened to your body. You've inspired me to stand back and consider my attitude to my own health problems, anxiety and IBS. It's time I stopped fighting them so hard and sometimes just accept that I need to treat my body with compassion and understanding, to accept how things are at this moment and rest, relax, let go, rather than continue trying to find energy that isn't there, to resist what my body's saying and prove my "strength". My word(s) for the year have to be "be still". (My word for my life is the closely-related "surrender" - high time I applied that to looking after my body!). I hope you soon feel better xx

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    1. Anne, for some of us- so much easier to be tender and compassionate with others. May you make peace with what is in this moment in your body-self. xo

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  2. Thank you once again for your inspiring words. They bring much needed joy to my soul, especially this once...what a message for the new year, to work with whatever comes your way! Bless you and may you continue to inspire souls such as mine.

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    1. Thank you Jerica. :-) Happy New Year

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  3. My word for this coming year is "discover". I chose that to cause me to focus on what I'm learning and not just in what I'm seeking. Inclusivity is a heavy word for me. I've often felt disconnected to my life along with the events and people in it. Needless to say I struggle to feel included even when I already am. Your work has helped me tremendously along the way and this piece continues to do so. Thank you for being vulnerable and giving free space for others. Thank you for helping me discover again this morning that when I work with what is I become a part of all that's around me. Hope you're feeling better soon. Namaste

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    1. What a great word for the year- discover. :-) I am feeling better today- it comes, it goes- as all things do.

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  4. I pumped into your book yesterday in a book store,had to read the whole night.the issue I have to accept is painful. I am still overwhelmed by feelings of loss, being betrayed and even being blamed for, which makes me struggle with anger and desperation. So nothing*s left but finding a way to accept ; (

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    1. Li, sounds like a difficult night, and yes, sometimes what we have to accept is painful and overwhelming. May you be gentle with yourself. In my own experience acceptance is sort of a three steps forward, two steps back sort of process as we learn to live with what is, and keep our hearts open. Prayers for ease and courage, Oriah

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