Questions About Resisting Change

Day 16 threw up something very surprising and not a little crappy.

I have a crummy old armchair which sits kind of low and I got up from it to go to class and my left knee just went. It just went. It was really painful, really burning. So that was worrying. But I was already dressed and packed for class so I went to go out but I could barely get down the stairs and then once I was out on the pavement the limp was so bad I realised I wasn’t going to make it to class on time.

Not that I am scared to practice with it or around it, but I was headed for the 8pm class and I wouldn’t get there on time. If I had booked for the 6pm I could have just waited for the next one but I had no contingency.

But besides all the missing class bull – on day 16 – where did this pain come from? I do have a friend whose opinion I respect greatly who would say there are no accidents. So what role does this pain play? It stops me from going to class, it makes me feel bad about missing a day’s practice, I miss a day’s practice, it makes me self conscious, it makes me pause in achieving my objective rather than being a class and a day closer to my objective.

So, the question becomes, if this is not spontaneous, not an accident. Is it self-sabotage? This good friend of mine would likely suggest that this pain was invented by a part of my brain/mind/whatever that wants me to fail, the part of me that is resisting the change that I seem to be so taken up with right now? That I constantly self-righteously tweet about? Damn, I read my tweets sometimes and they make me want to puke.

What if I worry about not knowing who I would be, this changed version of myself? What if I don’t want to confront the change because it would force me to think about the things in my life/body/appearance/personality/circumstance that I am unhappy about and I’m not sure what would replace them? What if I found out change was actually easy and therefore had to take the rap for tolerating the unhappinesses for so long without taking accountability for them? Or worse, what if I put all this huge physical and emotional effort into this change and made it happen and my life turned out to be just as imperfect? If I’m a failure right now, after all, I know what to blame. If change and I’m still a failure then I am categorically the failure. Me. So right here in the comfort zone is safer, thanks. I’m good with the blaming and the tolerating – maybe Day 15 is as far as I get. What if changing is just too effing hard?

The truth is I don’t know. I just don’t know. I don’t know and not knowing means that this is a leap of faith to some degree. Maybe all of this is just self-indulgence and I just need to do the work, already. Jeez, I’m such a whiner! Whatever, it doesn’t have to be part of a giant life plan, the yoga is good for me, so shut up and go to class, right? All I know is that this happened at exactly the half way point and that is too big a coincidence for me.


6 responses

  1. I don’t know what to say that will warm you. But I also don’t know how to shut up, so of course I’ll say something. Well, a couple of things. 1) Ice the knee, for now. 2) Do the work, already, but within parameters that don’t make your pain worse. Your teachers can help with this. 3) I’ve had knee incidents (one during a 30-day challenge, even) where after about a day of initial pain, the knee felt better, looser than it had before, when I hadn’t even been aware it was tight to begin with.

    No matter what you decide to do, you’re not a failure. Fall down nine times, stand up ten, right? “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~Samuel Beckett (according to the Internet, anyway.) That’s why this is a challenge. Maybe, if 15 days was the best this challenge could be, and maybe next time life interrupts and you get to 20 days, you’re failing better. But maybe 30 Days is still do-able. Cheering you — no matter what — from NY, love. 🙂

  2. Pain of any kind; physical or emotional, is always a very simple sign that something is not right, not in balance. My unsolicited guidance is to create stillness for your knee; it is asking for it. And create action for your mind; it is asking for it. When the two get what they are asking for, they will once again work together and you can be in your practice, fully. I am sending you lots of light as your knee finds balance.
    Yogini blessings!

  3. It’s not a mental issue until you make it one. Right now it’s a slight hiccup in your practice, but it’s not failure unless you let it be your excuse for not going tomorrow. Like they say, the only thing you have to do is try your best. Sometimes life happens, as Catherine says, we fall out and get back in. As your body and mind change from day to day, so does your practice. Tomorrow if all you can do is hobble to class and spend the whole 90 minutes meditating on your mat, you’re still a winner. Whether or not this is your mind trying to stop you, or just your body naturally reacting to new stresses, as long as you keep focusing in that proverbial mirror, looking at yourself head on, seeing past your weaknesses to see how very, very strong the real you is, you’re golden. You’ve got this!

  4. I’m quite staggered by all the good vibes, light and love from you all. Thank you so much. Naturally, you’re all absolutely right. I wish I could chat with each of you but am so tired! Just got home from class and need to shower and get a smoothie down me. It was a lovely class, by the way, and only a few twinges from my knee.

    Teacher used the phrase “let go of those thoughts that don’t serve you” – and of course I was able to see how appropriate that is right now and be glad I got back to the hot room.

    Love and Namaste. And thank you so much for reading and commenting.


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