I did something really important for myself and my own evolution today. I held on to a painful experience for about a year, and today I finally allowed it to open and move on.
I fell down a flight of stairs 14 years ago. I hurt my back in the process. It took about a year to heal.
In 2005 I hurt it again in a yoga class. It took quite some time to heal. And about a year ago I was in a yoga class with a master yoga teacher and hurt it again. I would classify him as one of the best yoga teachers in todays day and age. He brought yoga from india to LA. He taught Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty yoga, who ended up opening Yoga Works and started the whole Yoga movement here in LA. He is a fantastic teacher. One of a kind. And I've always felt blessed to study under him.
On the other hand, his hand is quite heavy on the hands-on-adjustments. Typical ashtanga adjustments where they use their whole body weight or even sometimes stand on you to adjust! I did not know this. One fine morning in his class, he came over, and gave me the strongest adjustment ever, and my back went out. I was in a gentle forward fold, and the intensity he used for it was way out of line.
I wasn't even able to stand upright. My pelvis was stuck in a anterior tilt. Nothing took the pain away. I was down on my back for weeks. I was furious at him and my circumstances. As a yoga teacher we only get paid when we actually teach yoga! After a few weeks of not being able to move much, I started limping to class and taught leaning against the wall. I was in a tremendous amount of pain.
Of course in the past year I would randomly ran into women who have had a similar experience with this same teacher! And then to hear they haven't gone back to say anything, caused me to be more upset.
Needles to say, I knew I needed to go back to his class and have a conversation with him.
I knew it is something important to do for myself. To say. Hey, that was NOT so COOL. You hurt me. You were unconscious and hurt me. Are you aware of the fact that you do this to students? Can you be more conscious and aware so others don't get hurt like me? Can it be that if I voice how I feel to him, I might protect another person from having a similar experience like me? Can I help protect students by shedding light on his weakness, just like he shed light on my weakness in my body?
I wasn't ready to speak to him right after. I knew that I would attack him, probably rip his head of at the time! Wow, where did that anger came from? I felt so righteous at the time. To hold on to the anger, and feeling victimized. I was furious. “HE did that to me!” “It's all HIS fault!” I stayed stuck in that energy for a whole year!! I can't believe it, but its been a year since that incident happened. And today, on this fine day, he walked past me in the yoga studio. I looked at him, and said.. “Can I talk to you?” I knew it was time to heal.
He didn't expect to see me there. I took him by surprise. I felt OK to talk to him, yet a lil nervous. I told him my experience, and what happened on that day, and after that day. That it hurt me tremendously. I told him that I know I have an injury I am working with. I know accidents do happen. And I just really needed to express how I feel. It felt important to do so. He acknowledged that he did what he did. Now that I didn't expect at all!! I didn't expect him to take responsibility for that! Sometimes the other person can be in a lot of resistance or have an inability to hear, which I was preparing myself with, and would be OK with.
He stood there. He was present. He listened. I didn't blame him. I just shared what happened for me.
I also thanked him for showing me a weak spot in my body. A place I am checked out, or numb. I know now I need to bring more awareness into that area anyway. So the gift of this experience is to now focus on a part of my body that has been screaming for my attention.
And then there is this simple truth. Why did I wait so long? Why did I chose to stay in the pain for so long? Why did I hold on to it for so long? What was that all about? I had to sit with that today. And here it is.
I felt hurt by someone outside myself. I was in a vulnerable space. I trusted him. I was open. He came and hurt me. In an effort to protect myself from this happening again, I chose to hide under this pain. See, if I can hold on to this story, then I get to keep my heart closed. I get to hide under this story and pain. And so I can use it and say, hey, this happened. I'm not letting anybody close to me again. So it was my escape route. It was my way of staying closed of to the world and the people in it.
And in this process I hurt myself by sitting in the discomfort and the pain for so long. Wow. Is this pain really worth feeling 'safe'?
What does it mean to be a woman in this world? We are strong and wise. We can protect ourselves. We can stand up for ourselves in a loving way. We can express to another how we feel, even when it may cause conflict. It's our birthright. We simply must. It's not about blaming. It's about honoring our feelings enough to give them a voice. To say I am worth speaking up for. The alchemy already happens the minute you speak. Whether they receive or not. That part is not important. The magic happened the moment you choose to express.
As I was talking to this teacher, I felt an opening in my low back. Energy started poring down my left leg. Vibrations and heat. Underneath the energy I felt the sadness and the anger that got stuck there. Can it be that simple? I can let it go now. I'm letting it go...
The process of coming into my power as a women has been so very interesting. My soul re-incarnated into this world, asking for power. I have earned wisdom and ecstasy/samadhi in other lives already. This one is power. So at birth I was stripped of my power and my identity. I got dropped into a environment where I felt invisible, and powerless. It's been a beautiful process to walk myself whole. To remember who I am, and feeling my power within me, and it growing bigger year in and year out.
A power that scares me sometimes. I'm learning what it means to carry power, light, wisdom, and intuition. And balancing all those with the heart energy. Knowing the power I have will not hurt, manipulate or abuse another. The power I have will not take over and spiral out of control.
The most difficult realization is knowing the more I stand in my power, the more I will attract people. Being in authority, being a teacher, and leader comes with a lot of responsibility. It will take me in directions and places I can't control. I can't hide or be small in that place. The place I'm so familiar with. And so it's been an interesting study to watch myself grow into the women I have always been, remembering that part of myself in this life.