Friday, December 12, 2008

Too Far

I woke up anxious today. I'd been dreaming that I was living in a more rural area, open fields around with houses dotted along a road, and Phoebe had gotten out. I was calling her, dashing after her across one of the fields. She just seemed to get further away from me.

I was tired too even though I'd slept a bit longer. Yes, I had gotten to bed rather late last night after writing and I had ached from my major stumbled while walking the train. I didn't hurt as badly as I'd feared when I woke up, but I was tired and anxious. Today my left leg hurt from the back of me heel into my lower back, the reaction to catching myself and jarring that leg.

Then onto the rush of the morning -- trying to use the Java client to answer emails and remote into my work laptop. Things weren't working right and kept stopping on me and I didn't get much done. I was then off to read for SMART, which is always fun, although my kindergartner has moved.

Had lunch with my friend DH today. Since I was coming from SMART I drove downtown and had to find parking. I brought her up to speed on the changes going on, which didn't surprise her overly much. She's very happy to know that AM and I are getting divorced so we can maintain our friendship.

I didn't get out of the office as quickly as I'd wanted. I had hoped to have a little time to spend with CK before we drove over to the house so I could change and grab my yoga gear. Between leaving late and bad traffic I got there with only a few minutes to spare before we rushed out into the rain.

On the way to the studio we found ourselves at mild odds with one another. CK felt criticized and in responding I began to feel chastised, foolish. The weight of the anxiety this morning, the work of talking to so many people this week, and the ache in my body just felt huge.

At first class helped. The warming postures and Pranayama grounded me. It was in the standing postures, after doing a series that seems to aggravate my hips hugely every time I try it, we were doing revolved triangle when JW came by to suggest a small correction to my alignment. It hurt so badly that I had to stop.

I stood with my head hanging down and felt my breath catching, my face burning, tears springing to my eyes. I had pushed too far, too hard and gone into that space where the effort, intensity and pain combined to leave me feeling demoralized, stupid, ungraceful, and wondering why it was I thought I belonged there.

I tried to switch to the other leg but immediately felt overwhelmed and left the studio for the bathroom. My breath was all at the top of my lungs, held tightly there by the feeling of pressure on my heart and belly. I put my face down on my crossed arms and felt the heat burning my face. I looked pale and worn.

I went back to my mat and tried to rejoin the pace of the class. Nothing felt right, nothing felt OK. On top of it my inner critic was noting that I should just knock it off and stop acting like a big baby. I kept trying to tell myself I was just fine, merely in pain and needing to rest. All of the techniques I use when I feel triggered while sitting zazen.

But I was crying and miserable. I felt like a little kid, in a bad way, and exposed, vulnerable as well. CK came over to rub my back and check in with me. I told her I was going to do shoulder stand while everyone was doing savasana at the end. It helped alleviate things a little, centering me a little and helping me feel my breath again.

I was thinking about what HB had talked about last night. Talking about how when we are practicing stuff bubbles up -- emotions we never had the space to feel, things we try to avoid thinking about. Maybe there's something about pushing too hard, going into the pain and exertion too far, that stirs up the muck and the feelings of not belonging, not being good enough, the-last-kid-picked-for-sports embarrassment, and the messages to behave, not cry, to stop acting like a baby.

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