Tuesday and Thursdays mornings I sit with my dear Mindful Schools friends, Jann, Grace, Christy, and Karen. We live in Tennessee, Michigan, Maryland, Deleware and New Hampshire respectively so we sit online. Seems crazy? It works! I am so grateful for them and this support of my practice.
A few weeks ago I woke up at 5 am with an awful headache and wasn't sure if I would sit with them. The urge to roll over and bury my head was strong. I dedided I would try. As I started I was feeling a lot of resistance. Meditation was pretty much the last thing I wanted to be doing in that moment. My mind was fighting me so I decided to open my eyes and watch my friends sit. I could tell they were all having beautiful meditations and never struggle with resistance. (I know, I know!) But I didn't go to self judgment. I simply allowed myself to watch without any pressure on myself to join in. Within a minute or two my resistance was gone and I was ready.
My mind went to the tantrum I had the night before. It was a full-blown-slamming things down-I wan't you to know I'm mad-tantrum. As I remembered my rage, I felt heavy pressure in my chest and a hollow emptiness. The headache faded to the background with the intensity of this pain. I sat with it, welcoming it and offering it kindness, and offering myself compassion for my humanness. I then tried to see what this rage was protecting. I had just read a book about Internal Family Systems and was eager to use what I had learned. I didn't get anywhere in terms of discovering something unresolved and yet I found a deep peace in not knowing, of just being with it. This peace permeated my being and the rest of my day.
Again and again I find peace and wisdom in this counterintuitive practice of turning toward my pain. As awful as it might seem, I can't recommend it enough!
Without the support of my friends, I would have rolled over and skipped meditating that morning. I am so very grateful for the commitment of my friends to their own practice and to our little early morning group.