I’m not teaching any classes on Wednesdays this fall to make time for me to practice. I need the accountability that I have with scheduled classes, to do my own practice of reading, writing, moving, cleaning, laughing, sleeping, — whatever I need my practice to be. This is my first Wednesday Work In. I’m not going to worry about writing all my thoughts like a blog post. I’ll tell you what the practice was and invite you to do it too, if you want. AND I would love it if you would tell me how it was for you. Maybe take a picture, send me a note – — I want to know that I’m not alone in this and that YOU are doing it with me. So, you can reply on this blog post or write me an old fashioned email at email@example.com .
The quote above is the quote of the week, for this months Meditation Mantra — AVIDYA. Avidya is the smudge in our perception that gets us all messed up in our understanding of reality. There is no way NOT to have smudges. What we are trying to practice is recognizing our smudges and seeing how they distort our view of reality.
I used that quote for my WorkIn today. When I read that quote, with me in mind, I was challenged to offer more kindness and compassion to myself than is my way. I really struggle to be honest with myself about how I am feeling. I get really focused on the story around my feelings, how to fix the messy feelings, rationalize, and multiple other ways of Shoulding On Myself. I offer compassion to myself as a means to an end of fixing the problem, rather than offering compassion simply because I need it.
Here is The Practice that I did in response to challenge of directing the quote by Father Gregory Boyle towards myself.
I wrote in my journal with my non-dominant hand, a conversation with myself. I wrote back and forth, like I would with one of my very best friends, over text message. They would definitely start with 1. compassion for the situation, and affirm how I was feeling. So, I did that. 2. Then I figured that they would ask me more about how I was feeling, because they care and want to understand better. So, I gently asked with real curiosity – What about this feels scary right now? 3. And then, not letting me stay stuck, I think my friends would ask – Is there anything that might be helpful right now? They wouldn’t ask trying to fix it or even out of their own need to help, but just sincerely Asking The Question, what would be helpful.
It was slow and awkward. I had to be patient with myself and really focus, because I was writing with my left hand. There were no default responses because my brain was working hard to hold the pen, make words, and press the pen on the paper hard enough to actually write. I was grateful for my own patience for me. I felt listened to and not reacted to. I felt like I was taking time to sit and hear me out, without the other distractions, without trying to fix the problem of my feelings.
There’s My Wednesday WorkIN. Maybe it will be good practice for you too? I would love to hear about it, if you are willing to share.
Peace on your head, you. You’re doing a great job.