I am Content Just as I am...
Free Breathing Retreat Tonight! // 11.8.21
Monday Morning Mettā
A new + beautiful way to experience Mondays.
I am content just as I am. May I be content just as I am.
I Am and May I. Two ways to experience and ask for contentedness. When saying is being, say “I am.” When faith in yourself isn’t enough, ask for “may I.”
When you get lost striving (or striving’s desperate twin, grasping + clinging), simply become. Become content just as you are. Even for a moment.
So glad you’re here.
Fun Tarot Card Reading!
Use your intuition to guide you to a specific card below. Choose the card with the crystal on it that calls to you.
At the end of this newsletter, you’ll see the cards flipped over, with a reading for each one. The card that you choose here will have your reading for the week.
Wait to scroll down to the bottom until you’ve chosen your card!
Card 1: Clear Quartz Choose this card if you’ve got energy and you need some direction.
Card 2: Blue Chalcedony Choose this card if you need help communicating your true thoughts and desires.
Card 3: Peach Quartz Choose this card if you need help forgiving, moving on, releasing issues from the past.
Free monthly breathing “retreat” is tonight!
✨Monday: 8:15-8:45pm // Free Breathing Retreat! ✨
Class Schedule This Week:
Friday from 6-7pm. Yin yoga at Sruti Yoga Center.
Tuesday: noon // 1 hour
Tuesday: 5:45pm // 45 minutes Yin Yoga
Thursday: noon // 45 minutes gentle yoga
Zoom link to all classes at themobiyogi.com and DM/email Rachel for the password. All times in Eastern.
I thought a lot about fear this past week. “Good” fear and “bad” fear. All the ways we are told to “overcome our fears.” All the ways we are told to “listen to our fears.” The ways we tolerate and simply can not tolerate discomfort, anxiety, stress, and fear.
I thought about fear this week because I was scared this week. A lot.
First, let me say, I think I’m the opposite of when scientists MRI’d Alex Honnold’s brain to find out his amygdala doesn’t fire. Mine fires on all cylinders (this has not been empirically tested, I just have lived with this brain for a while, so I feel like I know). Anyway, this means I’m scared quite a bit. This also means I sometimes can’t tell if I should be scared or if I’m just habitually used to living in fear.
A decade ago, I was living in Brazil. A friend and I decided to go to a secluded island for our Thanksgiving break, an island where you need a permit simply to step foot on it, which limits the amount of tourists on any given day, and which has some of the greatest and best protected oceans in the world. So, we decided to go scuba diving.
I was absolutely terrified. I don’t like things on my face. I love water but wasn’t sure about being so deep. I had heard sometimes people’s heads explode so was wondering if that would happen to me. I didn’t sleep at all the night before and took an Ativan the day of. I was shaking…. And it was amazing. After I was told multiple times my brain wouldn’t leak out of my ears, I was able to relax, float, swim, and suspend. It was really cool.
This was a lesson. Sometimes it’s worth doing things that frighten us. And if you’re me, that’s most things.
This past week I was hiking solo in Glacier National Park. Known as the home of the most grizzly bears in the USA outside of Alaska, it was the perfect place for me to completely fall apart with anxiety. I armored up with bear spray, played gospel music on my phone so my presence on the trails would be known, and tried to only hike where I saw others hiking. This didn’t always work out, and I was alone most of the time, at a time when bears are overactive so they can bulk up before they hibernate. I was vigilant, hyper-alert, and loud, and my fear felt rational. It was not the peaceful hiking retreat I longed for. All cylinders of my amygdala were firing and I came home exhausted.
I wondered to myself, again and again, is it worth it. Is it worth it to get so worked up with fear? Is it worth spending a week way beyond my comfort zone? What am I trying to prove? And yet, I also marveled at the alone-ness of it all (something I enjoy and helps me grow), the stunning forests and mountains of the park, and that feeling of bravery that so often accompanies fear. And fun. I had a lot of fun! So is it worth it? I didn’t come away with a definitive answer.
I also thought a lot about discomfort, which is not the same as the rational fear of grizzly bears in Montana, but more along the lines of my experience traveling with a migraine on the 14-hour trip from Hartford to Glacier while eating airport potato chips for a meal. That sucks. That’s discomfort, but untreated, it can lead to fear.
I was a middle-school teacher during a time when parents, educators/administration, and society wanted to shelter kids from discomfort (I am not sure if this has changed in the four months since I’ve left the field, and I’m sure Covid has had an impact on this...). It is actually impossible to bubble-wrap yourself from discomfort, so we were always failing. The kids could feel it, the parents reacted, and the teachers were overwhelmed. This creates fear.
Discomfort is a normal part of life. In Buddhism, the First Noble Truth is that life is suffering. That’s not meant to be depressing, it’s just facts. The suffering can be big and it can be small. And the road to “end” suffering, to awaken, is not that comfortable, either. But learning and practicing how to differentiate between discomfort, habitual fear, and life-altering fear is really important. It’s something we can train ourselves to do through reflection, education, meditation, and yes, yin yoga. (Lol. I’m serious.)
In the decade since I went scuba diving, I’ve had plenty of experiences “pushing through” fear. Camping alone in Acadia. Driving the terrifying roads of St. Thomas and St. John. Embarking on a new career. Running a marathon. Running for six minutes (this was recent and it hurt). Reaching out to a friend I haven’t talked to in a while. Covid-19. Waking up some mornings. Becoming more of who I am, privately and also not.
I’ve also let fear push me. I’ve stayed in places, relationships, jobs, headspaces, bed for longer than I probably should have. I’ve said “no” to a LOT of things, and “yes” to even more, out of fear. I’ve “smalled” myself, becoming less of who I am.
And I’ve listened closely to fear. When the trail is absolutely too scary, I turn around. Every time.
I suppose what it comes down to is faith. I believe in myself enough to know what I can handle, what I can handle if pushed, and what I can’t. And I’ve formed this faith in myself by the aforementioned. By every solo trip, comfort-zone smashing activity, yin yoga class, decision good or bad, and deep breath in and out.
🌗 Moon Info This Week! 🌗
First quarter (but looks like half moon) on Thursday, November 11. We’ll do half-moon pose in yoga class to celebrate.
We Support Each Other
There are two beautiful ways you can support my work writing and teaching yoga!
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Thank you thank you!
Your Tarot Reading, Revealed!
(a lot of great feminine energy in this set of cards… take a moment for gratitude for our earthy mother Gaia!)
Card 1: Clear Quartz // The Empress. Step. Into. Your. Power! Connect with your femininity, which each and every one of us has as part of our body’s ecosystem. Find it, nurture it, be proud. Nurture your own abundance by becoming it. Walk around as if you have it all… because you do! Be it to become it, and all that. Wherever your energy lies, follow it and let it move you towards fertile ground.
Card 2: Blue Chalcedony // The Queen of Pentacles. Meditation and contemplative action is your key to having honest, connective discussions. You are a leader, perhaps a quiet one, but a leader nonetheless. Use the wisdom of all the knowledge you’ve gained until now, and have faith that it will grow and provide for you. Abundance comes up in this card, as well. As long as you are true to yourself, you will create what you need around you.
Card 3: Peach Quartz // The Queen of Swords. You have something to say. Say it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be to the person or people who have wronged you, but it deserves to be spoken or written down. As you float above the wrongs you suffer with, give yourself the gentle reminder that, while boundaries are OK, compassion is also necessary to move on.