After I quit my job, I expected a huge relief, like a burden being lifted off my chest. Instead, the opposite happened. I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. The freedom I expected to feel was replaced by a sense of falling and not being sure I would land safely. The Buddhists call this “groundlessness”. I know I have two reactions possible here- fight or flight.
Part of me wants to run back to the safety of my job with its predictable income so I can continue to provide for my family. Part of me wants to stick around with the unknown and see what happens. Another part of me wants to curl up in bed and get lost in a book or movie. Which do I chose? Here is where the yoga as a way of life comes in.
This sense of groundlessness, if I let fear take over, causes stomach ache, headache and general grouchiness. I become unkind to my family and pick on them relentlessly. If I replace this with a sense of Grace, I feel calm and like there is something greater in store for me. I feel as if I am following someone else’s lead.
The yoga here is not asana practice (yoga poses), but practice with my mind. Each time I experience this freefalling feeling, I bring my mind back to a state of Grace and remind myself I can chose to be afraid or open to what is in store. Like an untrained puppy, I bring my mind back each time it choses fear. This is a constant practice. Practicing asana daily is a great thing for the body, but until we learn to practice training the mind, it means nothing. Each moment you want to run away, get lost, or find steady ground, remind yourself that this groundlessness is where the true growth can happen. Then, maybe you can enjoy the freefall for a moment. I know that is what I have started to do and I am enjoying the view more each step of the way.
If you have experienced upheaval in this life, I would love to know what helped you through? What tools helped you come through on the other side, still whole and balanced?