when your practice carries you.

My 8-year-old was watching and I didn’t cry. 
All morning I dealt with an old demon that felt as fresh as fire, it left me with that shaky broken feeling.
And then I got some bad news. 

Definitely not end-of-the-world bad news, just regular shitty bad news, but it poured into the old-demon open wound. As the news landed on me, I stood with my very intuitive son in a very public place, and I did not crumble.  

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe in showing emotions in front of my children and feel there is great power in doing so.  But, today there was greater power in my not doing so, as the emotion flooding me was linked to the old demon and not to the salt of the news I just received.  

My chin shaking in that painful childlike way.
My throat closing, losing my breath, everything in me tightened simultaneously. 
But, I took a few breaths and held it together.

I bear no shame in admitting that I literally told myself--you can do this, you need to be brave right now. 
Not just for your son’s sake, but for your own.

I threw my focus directly into my breathing, and after a few deep breaths, the pain shifted.What good would come from crying right now about this new layer of old pain?
Nothing.
No good would have come from it. 
It would have made me feel worse, placed me too close to that spiral, that dance, with shame.
No. I love myself too much to fall to this.  

Later, when I was alone and in need of a release, the tears came. 
But they were tears of relief for having loved myself enough not to bend. 
There was a time when that level of self-compassion didn’t live in me.  
Today it was clear to me how much this training, this practice has helped me.
Giving me clarity in times when I feel most clouded. 
Giving me an anchor in times when I feel lost in the storm of my fear. 

Every day my practice serves me, today it carried me.

And, I am grateful for it. 

Amiee Peri