A YOGI CHA BLOG
RESILIENCE – the hard nut
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
For the second part, let’s deal with that nut now.
Naturally, anything that we can deal with before it crystallises, before it hardens, is easier to get rid off. It’s the “get back in the saddle” idea : when you have fallen off a horse once, they say that it’s important to get back at it as soon as possible. Before it becomes a thing, your thing even. Not to ride anymore.
Imagine then that the very first trauma is birth itself and that this event leaves traces on us like all trauma does. The difficulty would be to recognise it since it’s been there since, well, birth.
That would most probably be the case for any other “natural” traumatic event in the beginning of our lives that we simply assimilate as part of our life experience but that will still leave traces on us. Stay with us like they do, crystallise and then harden. Just look at the human body: starting out extremely flexible for the very small child and then as it grows and experiences new things, shapes itself, sharpens, hardens. It becomes the blueprint of the life it is living.
What happens is that we are developing our resilience to life. We adapt, we grow and we continue. Like the tree, we find ways around what we experience in order to move on. Depending on many things; external environment and beliefs planted in our minds to mention two important ones, our capacity to use what we learn will vary. In the west we talk about psycho-developmental theories, explaining how our personalities BECOME what they later are. In the yogic philosophy (and not only in yoga) they explained this same evolution through the chakra system.
I will talk more thoroughly about the chakras and resilience in another post where I’ll relate our yogic physical and mental practice as tools.
What is essential to grasp is the following: you are who you are because of every experience you have ever had. Even the meal you had last night has an impact on the person you are this morning and would have had a different outcome if the meal was different. Whether we are happy with the person we are today or not, the very first step is always acceptance. Because just like finding flow in life in general, you will never get anywhere with yourself if you keep resisting what is. Resisting what is when it comes to you WHO you are is this constant self-sabotaging of disliking ourselves. It’s the refusal of acknowledging our preferences, our body shapes, our skills and hindrances. Not sure you’re doing that? Take a look at whatever thing you are addicted to and realise that you are addicted to it because you are not accepting what truly is.
I have a whole article just about addictions so I won’t go further into detail about that here, but addiction is not only to toxic substances. Addiction is an escape from what is to something we feel is more liberating. Anything I grasp for when the present moment isn’t soothing enough. That means, obsessive thinking, food, emotional states (enhanced by social media for instance, not only other people) to mention a few.
Now once we agree that we need to stop resisting what is, who we are, then we need to come to terms with the fact that who we are is not something flawed. Actually, no matter what you wish you could be different, the fact is that you are completely unique due to this “every experience shapes you” idea.
The concept of self love, that many of us seem to find confusing or fussy is actually the simple fact that we need to stop resisting who we are. Love means to include so self love means, include all of you, accept yourself the way you are. Acceptance does not mean agreeing. You can accept that you are addicted to a toxin but it doesn’t mean you are condoning it. It simply means that you stop resisting what is, and that is how you can actually make a change.
I’ve said it before: like any journey you can only start where you are. So start there.
The work towards self love, towards accepting yourself fully is what the post-Jungians came to call SHADOW WORK. I will also go further into shadow work in another article.
The person that you are today is then a combination of the experiences, the beliefs and the whole environment around you. To develop resilience is to not let the past limit you when adapting in a new situation. The things that have become blockages are in effect more difficult to shake off like the duck but it is not impossible. A physical, mental and emotional work of “de-crystalising” the structure is the way towards seeing the world as the non judgemental child again.
In my work of “east meets west”I propose the work of the Self Image Project for this. My chakra focused classes “chakra flow” (also known in the past to be called “mindful vinyasa”) are the physical side to the mental work of the Self Image online course.
If the idea of chakra flow classes sounds appealing, you can access my chakra flow classes online from wherever you are. I have made a series of 4 classes on this theme that are available for purchase.
Chakra 1: mulhadhara, develop stability mentally, emotionally and physically. Find a feeling of home in your body, find ground in your practice.
Chakra 2: svadhistana, learning to flow. Find pleasure in connecting with your sensations. Let go of the fear of feeling things, wether they are uncomfortable or actually, very pleasurable.
Chakra 3: manicure, connecting to your personal power. Many of us are so afraid of our actual capacity of taking action that we have pushed it deep down through strong feelings of shame.
Chakra 4: acceptance. breath. Space to allow in everything. Courage to love, even in situations where we think we need to close off and protect.
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