Don’t Think. Just get on your Mat.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us…”
Have you ever experienced any kind of resistance to getting on your mat to practice yoga? Or resistance to teaching yoga? To working out? To some kind of creative expression? To some service that you are to provide? To anything really? This mantra “Don’t think, just _______,” could just be your saving grace.
We all experience varying degrees of resistance. On the low end of the scale is resistance to the boring, routine stuff, buut it seems that on the highest end of the scale, the toughest resistance is to the things that make us come alive, the things that we are most passionate about. Why the hell is that?! It’s like there is something inside that obviously needs to be released, expressed, created, given, but the mind is so resistant to letting it be.
So we distract ourselves. We keep the mind busy with other things. We clutter our minds with Facebook, Twitter, emails, television, whatever it is that will keep us from doing the real work of waking up, coming to life, facing fears and the unknown.
The line between resistance and surrender seems to be a thick and strong one, but once crossed, it makes you wonder why you didn’t just let go and cross it sooner. After so much fighting, so much resistance, there is an inevitable breaking through to the other side of that line. At some point, there is no choice but to just stop and let go.
At this point, stop, be still and take a moment. Let only one thing pop into your head:
“Don’t think. Just get on your mat.” Or “Don’t think. Just _____________.”
Let it be so simple, precise and clear that you just find yourself getting up, moving, doing what needs to be done. No thoughts, no stories, no drama, no resistance. Just surrender.
When you surrender your thoughts and resistance, life flows. You release blockages and life unfolds. Your true self is expressed. You create and give what needs to be given to the world or to yourself. When you surrender, you let go of trying to make anything happen, trying to be anything or any one in particular, or get certain results. You find space to just be. To be with yourself, to ground within yourself and to express yourself: freely and wholly, without attachment, without judgment.
No matter how long you’ve been practicing yoga, teaching yoga, doing whatever it is that makes you who you are, there can still be much fear and resistance surrounding it. Yet there is also such a strong pull toward it, something that can’t be denied or ignored. When experiencing fear and resistance toward teaching yoga, for example, there is a strong sense of purpose, power and truth that comes through after facing it and moving through it.
The same things goes: Don’t think. Just teach. Just go with it. Just let it be what it is. Let it flow. As soon as the mind gets too involved and takes over, stories start spinning, and fear and resistance set in. Thoughts fly like, “How am I supposed to teach this class? What do I have to teach or give to these people? These people are really listening to ME for the next 90 minutes?! I totally just screwed up that sequence! They all hate me and my class! I’m not a yoga teacher!!”
Silly, ridiculous, dramatic stories that you think are the absolute TRUTH. The same old thoughts that come back over and over, again and again. And you resist and struggle with them over and over. But what if you offer no resistance? What if you recognize the thoughts and let them be? What if you let the emotions be and simply surrender? When you are this present, in the moment and waking up out of the old stories, you will notice, the thoughts do fade away.
When you surrender and get on the mat, whether to practice or to teach, it effortlessly unfolds. It is what it is. It flows from a true space inside. It comes from your heart with authenticity and articulation.
The same goes for any creative endeavor. Any expression of your craft, your artistry, or your being that wants to be freed and released. Writing. Dancing. Singing. Painting. Acting. Designing. Engineering. Whatever it is. Your expression of being alive.
Maybe this resistance we all encounter is also what keeps us persevering. Maybe the fear is there to keep us at it, to keep us going deeper into it. It gets to a point where we can’t resist anymore and then we have no choice but to surrender. Once we surrender, this is where the beautiful and effortless creation begins to flow.
Recognize the darkness, the fear, those thoughts, those stories spinning, trying to hold you down. Let them be what they are and let them pass. Don’t think. Just move. Don’t think. Be still. Get on the mat. Teach. Speak. Dance. Write. Paint. Sing. Flow.
Let your experience be and see what happens. Have the courage to dive into the unknown, to move through the motions, the darkness and to allow your LIGHT to shine.
How have you unblocked yourself? Have you found a way to overcome personal resistance and to let your light shine? Let us know!