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Facing Challenges, On and Off the Mat

Posted on April 13 2019

Yogi in Forearm Hollowback Scorpion
"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are."   ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

What does “avoiding difficulty” really mean?

Avoiding – to go around.  To detour.  To take the easier path.  To manage not to do something or stop something from happening.

I watched today as this guy struggled to go into a backbend.  His arms flopped open, elbows taking the strain, shoulders collapsing.  Desperately trying to push up through a weak foundation.  He could spend years like that, slowly making the weakest parts of his shoulders weaker and wearing out his elbows: until finally, something breaks. OR he can go a step backward; he can learn to look at the part which he finds difficult (in this case holding the elbows in and the shoulders in their sockets) and work there before even lifting the head off the floor.  Identify the work.  The real work.  The work that will bring about the positive changes that will give you strength -- that will give you a different outcome.


It IS hard.  I know it is hard.  That’s why we avoid it.  We do it the easy way because we think it will get us to the end result faster.  But that is just an illusion.  It’s simply not true.  All it will do is keep us from the right path.  Stop us from heading in the right direction.  It actually prevents the results that we desperately seek.

So how can this important lesson be reflected in our day-to-day lives?  If we have the same problem occurring over and over again we do have to take a step back. Re-assess the situation and identify the weakness.  What is it that we do that avoids dealing with the difficulty?  What is it that causes the same results over and over?  For me, I am trying to learn how to act and not react.  I tend to get defensive and when I respond emotionally it is normally unpleasant and vicious.  Like a scorpion, I have a sting in my tail and when I react with my sting, it hurts.  It also drives people away. Scared of being stung again, the attacker retreats. This has resulted in me being left alone; not the outcome that I desired.

So, working within my difficulty, I have to take a step backward.  To recognize what I am doing wrong.  See how to change it.  Learn how to act, not react.  Let the emotions drain out of a situation before I respond. Come from a calm and nurturing place.  Not a defensive and stubborn place, unwilling to back down.  It IS hard!  That’s the real work. The work that can bring about change.  The work that will set about a different cause and bring about a different effect.  The work that will bring me the results that I want.

Sometimes when we feel bad about ourselves we do things that avoid dealing with the real issue.  We drink alcohol, we smoke, we do things to numb out the pain.  This, in turn, makes us feel bad, we feel worse about ourselves and so we drink to hide from it.  To avoid dealing with the real difficulty. What we really need to do is be nice to ourselves.  To work within the difficulty.  To take rest, do more yoga, eat good food, laugh and be with people who love us. Do the hard work to feel good about ourselves.  To get the result that we really want.  To be a fitter, healthier, and happier person.

And there you have it.  Working within the difficulties.  Doing the hard work.  The real work.  Seeing the faults and putting in lots of effort to correct them, to rebalance them.  In the case of the backbend, if you work on the foundation then you will lift up higher. From strong roots, we grow tall.  And so it is the same with my own issues off the mat.  Work on the foundations.  Come from a good place, have strong roots.  Work with the difficulties and do the work.  Start to get the results that you want.

By changing the way we do things daily, allows the new person inside of us to grow.

Thanks for reading!  Feel free to take 10% off your next order with code: PAWBLOG



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