the safe space where we can go as we are
and not be questioned. -Maya Angelou
I am so happy to be writing this back in this beautiful land of Colorado. As I settle in, I have been contemplating the idea of home quite a bit. Although I have been quite a gypsy throughout my life, my home space has always been an important refuge, the space where I return to rest and rejuvenate from teaching and traveling.
The ‘ache for safe space’, within and without, has been a primary impetus for me in developing Partner Yoga. I have had a deep yearning to discover ‘how do we experience safety and acceptance, within ourselves and with each other?’ – especially if this was not our experience during formative years. For me, this is the human journey back to wholeness.
I am coming to see how much of our experience of feeling safe in the world is a reflection of the degree to which we feel safe within ourselves. Paradoxically, it also comes from how willing we are to experience feeling unsafe, or any uncomfortable feeling that presents itself.
Everything that arises within us is simply asking to be experienced, not questioned or made wrong. In being willing to open to the full range of human emotion and experience, we are able to recognize our wholeness, the part of us that is beyond what we judge as good or bad, right or wrong.
For those of us who feel deeply, this understanding can be terrifying and liberating at the same time. We come to see that our feelings, no matter how intense they may feel, are simply messengers with information to share. If we feel terror, we know that we are also capable of great joy. Being willing to feel everything opens our heart like nothing else.
I recently asked a friend ‘Have you ever experienced feeling so overwhelmed by feelings of bliss and joy?’ Not enough, she wryly answered. I shared how enlightening it was for me to discover that I felt equally afraid of intense feelings of bliss as feelings of terror.
Realizing this has somehow made it much easier to welcome everything that I am experiencing. I can see how the more friendly I become towards my own discomfort, the more I expand my human capacity to feel and more importantly, how it is truly a gift to be able to feel so deeply.
When we immerse ourselves in a practice that invites up to open deeply, we get to feel things, sometimes very intensely, as this women reported after attending Level I:
This was a very deeply touching, heart opening, and emotionally stirring experience for me. I experienced a kind of bliss I have only experienced during my deepest meditation, especially during the sacral connection exercise I did with Elysabeth.
It was an exhilarating and soulful satisfaction that comes with connecting with somebody so deeply. It was inexplicable, except to imagine that it must be our birthright to be in such joy. I also experienced a lot of emotional pain as the polar end of the high of the bliss. It humbled me, tested me, and pulled me upward to grow. It was a very rich experience. -Sayoko, OR
I am feeling incredibly blessed and grateful to be back in this beautiful land with friends that I have loved and felt loved by for a very long time. I am inspired to invite others to visit, immerse in Partner Yoga while experiencing the magic of this vast landscape.