You know that moment when it feels like you are involved in some kind of Divine joke and the characters in the story of your life keep reappearing, guised in new forms?

I have certainly noticed myself, at times, showing up to face circumstances that very creatively and sometimes humorously repeat themselves: a specific crossroads in a relationship, a difficult colleague who challenges my sense of self-worth, an impulse to act out in a way my wiser self knows does not align with my actual needs. 

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know”

Pema Chodron writes, in her book When Things Fall Apart. 

Wow. These words sometimes feel like a painful stab of truth, asking us to see difficulties as teachers.  In my own practice, I have worked hard to get to know myself and the way I tend to escape from pain and difficulty. This awareness has allowed me to slowly and over time practice making better choices.  

I have learned that the more I show up on my mat with an open heart to meet myself with kindness, the less I feel crushed by those darker layers of myself in other parts of my life. I have practiced, to the best of my ability and with a lot of guidance, taking a deep breath, stepping back and seeing whatever I need to see from more of a bird’s eye view perspective.

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know”

I recently took a restorative class on a night when I was feeling unsettled and overwhelmed by some unpleasant events that had happened earlier. I had a difficult time staying present, my entire body was aching, and I noticed a long decision making dialogue happening inside my head. As the class was about to end, the teacher acknowledged how much courage it takes to choose to practice restorative yoga and to choose sitting quietly with ourselves. 

Even as a regular teacher and student of restorative yoga, these words nailed me.

Choosing to be kind and loving to ourselves, even the not-so-pretty parts of how we sometimes show up, takes endless courage. Allowing ourselves to feel what we are feeling also is no easy task. As we move through the chaos of the holidays and the end of another year, we enter a time where reflection, slowing down, and self-care are vital and needed healing rituals. 

Let’s enter this new year soaked in kindness, gentleness and a whole lot of love. 

AuthorAnastasia Nevin