I’ve been involved in an interesting email exchange with my yoga teacher, who’s been sympathetically (and rightfully) concerned since an unexpectedly fierce meltdown yesterday. He’s been sending chants, mantras, posture advice, thoughts, ideas – all intended to keep me positive and sane and strong.
Sometimes, I wonder, though: Positive and sane and strong are wonderful attributes, but during those times when you’re not quite feeling the vibe, is it better to push aside the clouds and hope they dissipate permanently? Or are you merely postponing the inevitable storm, allowing it to gather strength?
Plus – and let me be completely candid here – oftentimes the pep talks annoy me (not my teacher’s, because his are wrapped around insightful nuggets and not one-size-fits-all homilies). In general, I tend to be a little wary of those whom I find to be too cheerfully “on,” too Suzy Sunshine, too suspiciously upbeat. The yoga world is filled with these sorts of people; perhaps it’s contributing to my mood of late, because some, quite frankly, seem phony to me.
I find I must sit with my bad self occasionally – the self who likes to muck about in self-pity and murky despair – in order to become so fed up with wallowing that I eventually pull myself out into the light again. The more I ignore my honest feelings – especially the negative ones – the more they chafe at me, rubbing my psyche raw, leaving an open wound.
And so I don’t neglect my dark side; whenever I feel a pressing need, I give in to it, I embrace it, I allow it to surface even when I meditate. I hope that, simply by inviting these emotions to visit, my dark side never overstays its welcome.