A bit of a confession, a bit of a reflection. An article, from which anyone can learn a lesson applicable to his or her journey, I hope.
I will tell you an itty bitty story to start things off
(If you don’t like stories, feel free to skip the first paragraph.)
Recently, I have completed a yin yoga instructor course, which I have been looking for forever! As in all the other various yoga styles, there are many ways to teach yin yoga, therefore I didn’t really have a clear image of what was I getting myself into. I didn’t find out until the first day of the course that the core theme will be meridians, which elements form us, how are these elements affected and how does that influence our body. I am not sure how deep is your knowledge of this topic, however it was my first time touching the subject of meridians – I am aware of its existence in Chinese medicine but quite frankly, that’s about it.
When I was listening to the lecture, I was growing more and more anxious, even angry. Distrust, suspicion, dissociation. Various thoughts were running through my head, questions such as: Has anyone ever proved this? How do we know it even exists? And than the main thought: This is simply not me.
What is important to realize at this point?
We are living in a bubble. A bubble into which we were born or we have chosen ourselves later in life. We are surrounded by certain group of people and we don’t seek out the ones that are not in line with us, it is actually exactly the opposite and that is why we are similar to each other in a lot of ways. Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels show us only the news that these platforms deem newsworthy and interesting. What are the consequences of this? It is difficult to come across something new.
And when we encounter new thought, theory and idea or initiative, our initial reaction is to adopt hesitating attitude. I don’t like this. This is not my cup of tea. I am not like this, I am not like that. I don’t like spicy food so what is the point in trying it out. I don’t believe that.
We can be very stubborn, even at a very young age. We have strong positions, opinions and feelings.
Our schools teach us that we must have an answer for everything. Simple “I don’t know” is not accepted. We have to form an opinion on every topic even when we just barely skimmed the surface. It can be a great personal quality, trying to simplify complex issues to better understand them, but does it always work?
Everything new is considered weird, unknown, doubtful, and not good until we better understand it. We have to try, test and explore in order to understand and accept.
We have to realize that incredibly intelligent people live on this planet, and these people invested their whole life into researching something we just don’t believe. (For example meridians and Chinese medicine). How can we deem it bad and doubtful when we just scanned the subject quickly? When every time we come across something new, something out of our comfort zone, we quickly distance ourselves to go back to something we know and feel good about?
Discomfort is part of our life and signifies growth. Do you want a bikini body? It will hurt. You want to be able to do splits? It will hurt. Do you want to learn something new? It won’t be easy, it will “hurt”.
Rejection, discomfort, pain are all a first step towards growth, understanding and acceptance.
Muscles and flexibility are easy, we know why we want them and why we do what we do, we have a specific goal in mind and as a result, it is much easier to hang in there in spite of the pain at the beginning but still, it is a tremendous task for some of us (full gyms in January, wink wink).
And how do we stand on exploring new cultures, philosophy or religion? How to overcome the initial discomfort and distrust? Believe in people. Realize that we don’t know it all at 20, not even at 40 or even 80. Let’s try to open our minds, our hearts and just accept. It is not necessary to decide right now, whether we believe it or not. Whether it is right or wrong. That is not what we are here for. Let’s stop adopting the negative attitude towards our surroundings and people around us. I am trying to remind myself of this as I am typing this article for you.
And what am I wishing for myself? Let that be a New Year’s wish or just because, because I am not the one to give myself resolutions. I want to have an open mind and an open heart. I want to further educate myself and keep on searching. I don’t want to be drowning in false illusion that I am an expert in some field and that I can’t learn more about it from other people. I don’t want to judge and live in fear.
And what is your wish?