Darkness within the confines

I went to a yoga workshop and practice Sunday morning. I wasn’t planning on going until a friend told me about it. I still was not planning to go until I shifted my perspective and thought of it as a gift to myself rather than an obligation.

Once I shifted my perspective, I realized how good it felt to be doing something that I knew would lift my spirits. When I feel low, it is easy to crawl into my shell and wallow there. Even though I know from experience how to feel better, it is difficult to get out of the shell once I am in there.

I realize that the confines of the business model and the way of creating I have been working within offer a similarly unhealthy shell. I went there voluntarily, but it was not until spending quite a bit of time within the confines of that realm that I began to realize the toll it was taking on my entire being.

As I move beyond those confines, I continue to experience quite visceral reminders of that dark place and the way I felt within it.

On Sunday morning, I lay on my back with my eyes closed and listened to a guided meditation. The meditation began with an invitation to focus on my body. I started with my toes, the top and bottom of my foot and moved through the right side of my body all the way to the crown of my head and back down the left side of my body.

For each part of the body I was asked to focus on, I felt a tingling or a pulsing.

I felt calm, heavy, and in my body.

The meditation brought me to a place where I was looking through a screen into darkness. I was asked to let whatever I saw in the darkness materialize. I saw my life partner. He was walking along a beach right at the edge of the water. I saw myself walking toward him. He was inviting me to join him, and I did. I could feel my heart open. I walked into the water, gently at first, feeling the coolness of the waves washing over my feet. I stepped out of the water, walked away, and then ran crashing back in.

I was asked to continue witnessing the scene but to remain detached. So I watched through the screen at the scene unfolding before me.

Then I was invited into a forest with birds singing, through trees, and to a small temple. I walked inside the temple and sat in the darkness upon the floor. On the walls were saints.

This is where the calm I had been feeling began to dissipate. I could feel panic rising to take its place. Soon, my heart was racing, and my body was shaking.

My thoughts began to wander to thoughts of the transition I was moving through in my business. I could see the image of my business partner.

Then my mind stepped in more fully, questioning why and how I could feel so anxious in such a sacred, supposedly safe place.

I listened to the remaining meditation from a distance. And I headed home.

When I arrived home, I described what had happened to my life partner’s daughter, and through my explanation began to realize that the inside of the temple, small and dark, was a metaphor for the confinement I had been experiencing with my business.

The impact of being confined and inhibited on my body was shaking, racing heart, stress, and panic.

It did not matter what I did or where I went. I might be awake, asleep, meditating, walking, or swimming, yet still I was viscerally reminded by my body, mind, and heart of what I could expect to feel if I followed one path or the other. I could choose ease and openness or darkness and confinement.

It was and is my choice and my choice alone.

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