holding tension.

There’s a lot of tension out there lately.

Maybe you’ve felt it, too.

I’ve been noticing how I carry it around with me,

How it feels in my body, where it lands.

It’s not pleasant.  Like steel wool.

Uneven, unpredictable.

Taking a few breaths to note any tension you might be feeling.  Scanning the body to notice any areas of tightness, any pushing or pulling.  Starting with the top of the head, forehead, neck and shoulders, area around the heart, belly, hips and sit bones, legs and feet.  Returning back up to the chest, to the breath, and just taking a minute or two to breathe and be right there where you are.

There’s a misconception that the practice of meditation and mindfulness will eventually lead to one’s suffering going away, that if we just become expert practitioners we won’t experience struggle, our itches go away.  

Victor Frankl wrote: “Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Take a few moments to give whatever you’re feeling, whatever you’re carrying around, space--rather than letting it take up space, make the choice to give it space.

Taking a breath and feeling your heart open.

*

The more I sit with it and create space for it,

The less afraid I become.

Holding this tension with compassion and empathy,

I can respond to it, to the itch,

without needing the promise of relief.

My relationship to it changes.

Invite yourself to spend the last part of your practice time just creating space for whatever it might be pulling or pushing in you.  Turning to face it with an open heart.

*

Breathing in, the space inside me opens.

Breathing out, I can respond without fear.

 

Amiee Peri