Look back at your life and notice when you grew the most as a person, when you learned the most about yourself, and when your life profoundly changed. These instances of growth for me always revolve around some difficult period. When I was going through these changes, they felt painful and they were fucking hard.
Now look at the last time you got pissed off at someone or something. When we get pissed, most of the time, we are simply saying we don’t like reality. Reality is the one thing you need to pick your battles with. (I’m not talking about our revolution here – the reality is there is a problem and it needs to change.) If it is something you can’t change, why use your energy to fight it?
When the pandemic hit and the reality of our situation started to sink in, I felt scared. My family is in another state and I am alone here in NYC. That never bothered me until then. I work part-time for a choreographer and all his work was put on hold for a year. What would I do if I lost my job? How would I pay rent? My job doesn’t provide health insurance. What would I do if I did catch the virus? My roommate works on Broadway and a member of her company died from Covid. How am I going to live day-to-day with someone who may have it? She wasn’t taking it seriously at first and went to a party and then to a dance club – she was increasing her exposure and I felt a little too vulnerable.
It was hilarious, you guys… there was one moment early on when she moved our trash can to a different spot in the kitchen and I was so pissed about it. Let me repeat that: I was pissed about someone moving a trash can! haha I’m generally calm and try to accept people for who they are and how they are but I let my fear of the situation come out as frustration with something she did.
I needed to put my self in time out! I am not going to fight against what is and I needed to whip my mind back into shape to accept without reaction. I started doing my cycle classes to burn off the excess energy that was accumulating inside my body and I would do yoga to see what I needed to let go of. I was working on puzzles to give myself tiny victories and I stopped watching television and movies. I organized my room and put away everything that I didn’t need access to so I could set up a little mini kitchen in my space. Everything had its place and I created space.
While in contemplation, I realized the one true thing is everything always works out in the end, no matter how hard it is – and the beautiful thing is the harder the time, the bigger the gift (lesson). So with that insight, I felt the static energy of fear just dissipate. It no longer held me in its mind-vice.
Faith is what I was describing above. Faith is the antidote for fear. We absolutely must have faith if we are to get through life with any sense of grace. I put on this bracelet that a student and friend of mine gave me and it became my anchor.
I realized if I got sick, I would be okay – if I recovered or not. I realized if I lost my job, I would be okay. But the thing I gained by practicing faith was freedom. Since my mind was no longer in a fear-fight-flight-freeze stress response, it was relaxed. When my mind relaxed, I could hear more clearly.
What’s up for me right now is trust. I can get a little forceful in my forward movement trying to make things happen and this morning in my contemplation, I remembered the timing of how things unfold is completely out of my control. This is another layer of practicing faith – trusting divine timing. Leaning in with grace.
This morning’s practice will explore how to do that.