Fighting vs. Unfolding

I have had the privilege of going to a free yoga class at school for the past 2 weeks over the lunch hour on Tuesdays. I’m sending over loads of gratefulness to the sweet (and scattered, and adorable!) woman who puts it on. One thing she always says in her classes is that how we are on the mat often correlates to how we are in our lives.

One thing that has come to me from the class is the idea of fighting vs. unfolding. On the mat, am I fighting to get into a pose, or unfolding into it? There is a distinct difference. Fighting presupposes that external forces are preventing my pose. Unfolding presupposes that my body has what it takes to come into a pose as I can, today.

In life, I am prone to fighting. I assume that external forces are against me, and I have to summon my resources to withstand them. I feel like this is a a huge reaction to my trauma. An external force assaulted me without warning. Therefore, I assume that the external will always assault me, and often without warning. The only response then is to assume a hard, fighting stance.

I’ve started asking myself what it would look like to unfold.

What if life is not externally directed, but internal unfolding into external?

Think of a flower. Unfolding is like that; internal processes, provoked by photosynthesis which is provided by sunlight, are expressed in a beautiful flower that unfolds.

A flower is touchingly vulnerable, prone to the elements at all times. But this doesn’t make it any less beautiful. In fact, it is startlingly brave, to show such beauty in the face of what seems like madness.

It is really hard for me to approach life in this way. It is much, much easier to be hard, rigid, braced against the external and often threatening influences.

This is my current challenge, to soften myself and unfold into something stunning and wildly courageous.

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