Monthly Archives: March 2016

Breathing into resistance



I know I’ve been absent from the blogging community for a bit. Fortunately, I haven’t had any drastic life changes, just subtle changes that take adjusting to…They are just little weekly surprises- reminders that nothing stays constant.

I haven’t been able to start the cooking blog I had wrote about in an earlier post. I’ll get to it one of these days. Don’t expect it within the next two weeks, as I have report cards this week and parent teacher conferences the week after. Meanwhile, my ever constant mind chatter is thinking about doing a new project (one of many of course). I found this video this morning:

I am thinking about making myself slow down a bit by concentrating on the two coping skills I am currently working on: yoga and piano and creating progress videos like the one above to show myself my progress. My other coping mechanism is work, but I’m not so sure that’s a coping skill I want to broadcast…It isn’t so healthy… Though I sure would like to figure out a way to track the progress I’ve made there too.

I’ve come a long way. When I was a child, I used TV to cope with my troubles. I would passively watch hours of TV while my parents were away at work. I also liked to read and write, which were my healthier coping mechanisms.

In my early adult life, coping with the stresses of school and marriage didn’t go so well. I remember a lot of darkness and a little bit of fantasizing about cutting myself and seeing the intoxicating red blood in my mind. Then, one day on the way to school, I saw a sign pointing out a lovely park trail. I followed the sign by instinct…And biophilia is an instinct… I parked my car and I went for my first hike for at least an hour in the healing company of the trees. That was the beginning.

From my first romantic relationship, I knew that I didn’t want to be like him: cope with stress with booze, women and cocaine. It just wasn’t a pleasant or happy way to live. I wanted to live my life smiling and being joyful and I wanted to spread this skill. Picking up methods of coping with the difficulties of life has been easier said than done. It’s a lot easier to start learning new skills than to maintain them. I often ask myself if I want to be a jill of all trades, master of none or if I want to master a thing or two during this lifetime. My recognition of the damages of poor self regulation in my own life and in the life of my ex also prompted me to specialize my teaching career in teaching kids who lack self regulation skills by pursuing jobs in teaching kids with ED and ASD; the latter became my career. Last month, I finished a certification in teaching kids with ASD yoga, an exciting point for me… a skill I look forward to developing and maintaining.

In the last couple of months, I’ve fallen into another relationship with someone who copes with things by drinking. Because of the memories from marriage, I’ve kept my distance. As I distance myself more and more from him, I find great joy in my piano, yoga and work. To be able to lose concentration and then be completely aware of it and be able to bring myself back… To breathe into the corners of discomfort, to “smile and play it loud, play it proud” (as a saxophone player I once knew put it about my discomfort when I made mistakes) is a skill I will further develop. In yoga, when an asana is difficult to hold, we just breathe. We become aware of the breath we hold when things are difficult and let go of that breath. That principle applied to all skills in life is what I am so excited to continue doing.

I can understand when my friend cuts herself. Emotional pain is uncomfortable so being able to put one’s mind on physical pain is so much less painful, it’s like relief. I can understand when a kid wants to punch another kid. Anger is uncomfortable, so why not show the person you’re reacting to what you feel by punching her or him? I can also understand that discomfort is tolerable if you are aware that you have tension in your body and mind, are holding your breath and you let it all go and just breathe into the next moment. So, I may be silent here in the blogging community, but I am still breathing from one moment to the next with a soft smile on my face and hope that you are doing the same!