So I posted this on Instagram the other day.
And ever since then people have come up to me in person and messaged me online saying how much they want to hear this too.
I won’t lie, it’s been a week.
One where sad things are happening. One where I’m frustrated with absolutely everything. Where nothing seems to be going right. I’m mad at things that are out of my control and this rage is seeping into things that aren’t even going wrong.
It’s amplifying my discontent with the yoga community that was seeded when I moved to Boulder.
I love this town.
It’s beautiful and right next to the mountains. People move here to be around like-minded people who love green juice, spirituality and yoga.
I thought I would love it for this reason too.
Turns out it’s important to be around people who aren’t like you. Spending all my time within the yoga community has made me a little cynical and bitter.
Maybe I’ve lived in cities for too long, but most of the time in conversation I want to say “really? You’re that happy all the time?”
And this week, the more I hear “love and light” the more I want to say “no, let me sit in darkness for a little while”.
Yoga teachers are quick to promote love and light.
But I think it’s important for teachers to say – sometimes we have “bad” emotions, and it’s okay to sit with those for a while.
Yoga teachers are already under a lot of pressure – people look to them to help them deal with their shit. Which isn’t fair.
But I do find it frustrating that the yoga industry promotes love, joy and light in a time where we already feel the pressure to be perfect all the time.
Maybe it’s because I’ve gone through a few years of therapy and put the time in, but now that I can accurately define an emotion – god damnit let me feel it!
To be clear, it’s really hard to recognize our emotions. A spiritual teacher of mine (um, I live in Boulder) gave me a sheet with over 100 emotions on it.
This is the range people can feel.
But if you ask people how they feel they’ll say – “good, sad, happy, angry, depressed” and that’s probably it. A lot of us don’t have the vocabulary, nor the awareness to identify what we feel.
And even when we can identify it, we feel pressure to put on a happy face or move past an emotion that’s uncomfortable.
I’ll end with a piece of advice from my previous therapist.
This little bit of wisdom was one of the first things she ever said to me and has stuck with me since then.
If you’re trying to avoid an emotion (i.e. sadness) we usually put another emotion on top of it (i.e. I’m frustrated with my sadness). Putting another emotion on top of the original one will make it stick around longer. Meaning if we don’t deal with the sadness (or whatever), it’s going to hang around a hell of a lot longer than we want it to.
Double down, sit with it, feel it, then move on.
PS. I posted a picture of the most delicious pizza today. Here’s a link to the crust. I let the crust sit in my fridge for about 45 hours, even though it had doubled at 24 hours. I used the same pizza recipe, but doubled the herbs and garlic, used sweet pickled peppers and added different cheese. As always tell me if you make this!