The Joy and Sorrow of Being Human

Cultivating gratefulness for it all

Have you ever felt your heart constricted and tight — a physical untangle-able knot in the center of your chest? Words don’t accurately get at the felt sensation.

Not quite anxiety, sadness, fear or uncertainty. Perhaps all of them at once.

I feel them all — and none at the same time today.

There is no space.

Only choice.

I can stuff it down. Or I can sit with it. And watch it — explore it.

So that’s what I do. And I breathe, and I wait.

When we are at war with ourselves we often push away the things we need to help us heal.

I remember an older, wiser yoga teacher saying to me, when you are avoiding your practice, you likely need it most.

For years anxiety was only a word to me. I experienced it for the first time less than a decade ago, when my husband started leaving for weeks at a time on work trips. Every departure the same, this heaviness.

Yesterday was one of those days. I decided to visit a friend to pass some time, lighten the mood. More drama within our extended circle. And today I feel worse. I am caught in the energy, and the only way out is through.

Pranayama. Bonding with the Earth. Moving my body. Gentle stretching. Ahhhhh. I’m good for a while, then it’s back again.

Our human-ness is amazing. We take our bodies and this life for granted. Instead of feeling all that is moving through us, we stuff it down. Or analyze it. Or drink our way through the shit. I know because I did that for years.

Today I’m feeling. It’s all I can do. And I’m cultivating gratefulness around it.

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice. meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. ~ The Guest House by Rumi

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Each day I begin again. Thank God for that.

Thanks for reading. Did you enjoy? Please tap the 💚 to recommend it to others. Namaste …


Hi! I’m Heather, a writer and yoga educator from SE Ohio. I share daily-ish here as part of my spiritual practice, and am working on my first book, Yoga Prayers. Download the first 25 pages, A Prelude to Yoga Prayers, for a brief introduction into yoga history and philosophy — and let me know what you think!

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