Saturday, April 29

Break those Chains

glass & chain on tree at the Kroon homestead, Canon Digital Rebel XT

Something transpired in yoga class yesterday that I felt resonated with so much of what I shared in my last post.

The lights were dim, Zen relaxation music softly in the background, yoga mats arranged messily around the room, circling our yoga instructor who stood in the middle on the hardwood floor.

As we all laid flat on our backs with our knees up, listening intently to our instructions on a back bend with the help of blocks, her words began to crack and she burst into tears and said;

"I am so sorry; I am going through a really stressful time in my life."

She then put her hands to her face, wiped her tears and tried to continue with her instruction, through her sobs.

At first we all laid there on our backs, starring at the ceiling in a bit of shock. Then tears started to flow down the sides of my temples and I felt a huge lump in my stomach. I immediately felt like I was her, inside her body and her heart. I felt her sorrow, I felt her embarrassment, I felt her fear. That is what happens with an empath (More on that subject later since so many of you inquired a few posts ago).

Out of about 20 students in her class, just two of us sat up. I was sitting there, looking at her wide eyed, with my tears and empathy and another woman had a scowl on her face and fists to the floor. The other women said in exasperation;

"Please take a few minutes outside because I cannot do yoga if you're upset."

Both the instructor and I had a look of shock on our face. This other woman obviously was in a place of self centeredness. She was there for herself and the sobs of our beautiful instructor was not going to move through that.

Before our instructor walked out the door, she walked over near me on her way out the door to pick up an extra block and strap that were haphazardly in an empty space. She bent down to pick them up and looked up over at me. Her face softened and I saw that she was immediately aware that I was okay with her breaking down. I believed in it. I welcomed it.

I whispered to her; "You are so brave...please stay" and smiled.

She warmly smiled back, took a deep breath, put the items away in their shelves while wiping her tears with her sleeve and walked back into the middle of our room. She sat down on her mat, took another deep breath, glanced around the classroom with a bit of a giggle and continued her instruction with a shaky voice. I saw that her fear had dissipated and as the hour ticked on, her strength resurfaced.

While pondering that other woman's fear based response, it reminded me that perhaps not every woman sees it. That there are still women out there in this world, unbeknownst to them, that accept the chains, the expectations, the rules of how us women cannot show weakness in order to be equal to men.

But they don't see it like we do, do they? That opening up, spilling, unfolding, releasing, acknowledging, speaking our truths, is actually strength, not weakness and full of bravery.

We have much work to be done, creative sisters.

Let's continue to help break those chains.


Blogger Elaine said...

What a beautiful, sensitive post. I always get so angry with myself if I show emotion in public; growing up surrounded by boys I always felt I was a "girl" if I showed emotion. It's been a hard thing to learn it is not weak.

Thank you so much for sharing this!

April 29, 2006 at 9:26:00 AM PDT  
Blogger turquoise cro said...

Thank God you were in that class for her!!! Just a whisper and a sympathizing acknowlegement to her pain was all that was needed to get back on pace! Kindness is a real jewel! and a shared, sacred moment of time.

April 29, 2006 at 10:15:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow little sis...my tears sprang forth as i read this. I felt your strength go right into your instructor. Vessels... we are to be poured out for the one in need, hence the importance of keeping ourselves healthy (mind~body~spirit)to be ever ready to be used. It is not about us at all, it's about the one in need.
We NEED each other.

I NEED all of you.

April 29, 2006 at 10:30:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Letha Sandison said...

What a great story Den, I am SO glad you were there for her! It always shocks me when other women are un-sisterly!!!

It can be tough to show emotion to those close let alone in public, I am glad you told your teacher how brave it was of her!

We do have work to to...let's get busy!

So love you!! Miss you...let's get a vsiit on the books!

April 29, 2006 at 11:20:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Susannah Conway said...

"That opening up, spilling, unfolding, releasing, acknowledging, speaking our truths, is actually strength, not weakness, and full of bravery."

yes, yes, yes. I hear you sister, i really do. i don't think there's anything i can add to that statment above. the healing begins with each of us, and then we pass it on. kindness... empathy... understanding..

April 29, 2006 at 4:46:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Goddess Leonie * GoddessGuidebook.com said...

this reminds me of that story in one of SARK's books when she is crying in a taxi as she left her terminally ill mum. she said they weren't nice tears, they were big, loud, messy tears. the taxi driver pulled over, and she thought he was going to ask her to get out. he said instead "i am so honoured to be in this taxi with your tears. BLESS your tears."

precious indeed.

thank you for giving that woman the space to live, grieve, express as she needed to.

brandy, as in the DRINK.
strong like bull.

love you darling,

April 29, 2006 at 4:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

what an incredible experience. you and the yoga teacher gave each other a tremendous gift with your connection. may we all strive to be the ones to acknowledge the pain and invite others to do the same instead of trying to push it away.

April 29, 2006 at 5:36:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing story...I could feel the connection between you and the instructor.

It's interesting that the other woman was so focused on having the perfect yoga "experience" that she missed the power of what was happening in front of her.


April 29, 2006 at 8:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kristine said...

blessed by your experience...

April 29, 2006 at 11:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger kelly rae said...

this happened once in my yoga class. and like you, i was shocked by the response. you were the gentle, and strong spirit she needed at the perfect moment.

April 29, 2006 at 11:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Amy said...

Beautiful you. The kindness that you showed the instructor gave me chills. My heart is so full for her and you.

April 30, 2006 at 1:25:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Daibh said...

I can't imagine not trying to offer comfort to somebody in pain, let alone being crass and graceless like that "hey, you're harshing my yogabuzz" woman was.

April 30, 2006 at 3:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger nina beana said...

you you you are a kind amazing wondersoul. and if i was a yoga teacher having a moment, i'd want your face looking back at me encouraging me! your picture is right on the money.

April 30, 2006 at 3:48:00 AM PDT  
Blogger thodarumm said...

Long time lurker. But had to break the silence today. Beautiful post. There is strength in surrender. Yes, lets break the chains.

April 30, 2006 at 1:55:00 PM PDT  
Blogger ::Bek Geach:: said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 30, 2006 at 7:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

what a powerful image! A terrific message!

May 5, 2006 at 2:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love this: "That opening up, spilling, unfolding, releasing, acknowledging, speaking our truths, is actually strength, not weakness and full of bravery."
What a powerful experience. Have you considered writing an essay to publish? I love the message, and how brave of you to see the truth and to speak it to the yoga instructor.

May 6, 2006 at 7:20:00 PM PDT  

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