I would like to take a moment to thank New York City's street inspiration for always being exactly on point.
The best way out is always through.
Or in other words, FEEL YOUR FEELINGS, my friends!
Talk through your shit in order to get through your shit!
I learned this lesson early on as the youngest daughter in a family of three girls. Conflict arose as often as you'd imagine. Probably more. (I know, my poor dad in a house full of female energy.) Feelings would constantly get hurt and doors would slam shut so hard the entire street would shake. I can't tell you how many times I hid in my room and then tried to run away vowing to never speak to my family again. It got pretty dramatic (teen girl problems).
Fast forward fifteen years to present day. Here I am closer than ever to my parents and best friends with my sisters. How the hell did that happen?
I believe that the peace my family has is a result of always KEEPING IT REAL with each other. Sure, we screamed like hell and it was not always pretty, but it was HONEST.
Doors were slammed, yes, but there was a reason my Mom didn't put locks on them. She consistently opened those doors right back up and forced us to sit down, look in each others eyes and have the dreaded family meeting, talk-it-through, therapy sessions.
They sucked. We hated them and didn't ever want to partake. But we had to. Because Mom said so. And I used to curse her for this but today I am thankful. I am thankful because I was taught how to handle the less-than-ideal situations in life that will inevitably arise. I am thankful because it is precisely why as adults, my family is still...well, a happy family.
Negative situations tend to breed negative emotions and if we don't deal with our emotions, that negativity parks itself within us. Doubt, bitterness, resentment, fear and insecurity grow from this place. We can keep ignoring these feelings and emotions. We can plaster on a fake smile and pretend that everything is roses. But that, my dear ones, is pretend. That is not reality. That is not high consciousness. And that simply, does not work.
There will ALWAYS be conflicts (big and small) and things or people we don't necessary like or want to deal with in life. Painful things do not disappear by ignoring them. They go away by consciously facing them head on and with eyes wide open. Plowing through, maneuvering and solving conflict is the most vital action essential for growth within oneself and within ones relationships to others.
Everyone has trash. There are two ways we can clean trash up.
We can sweep it under the rug. And when more trash comes, we can pile it on top. And when more trash comes after that, we can keep piling it on and eventually we create a mountain. The rug concealing the mountain might be super pretty and clean itself, but the trash is still present and rotting beneath the surface. And that is gross and far messier than when you started.
The alternative? A load of trash is dumped on you. Analyze it, inspect it, dig through it, pick it apart but don't be tempted by the rug. Brush that shit into a trash bag where it belongs. Then walk on top of the pretty rug as you take that bag out to the curb and send it away.
Wash your hands clean, you're good.
We practice this in yoga. I see it nearly every class I teach, for instance, when I put students into deep hip openers. As humans, we hold stress in our hips and this results in tightness build up. I always teach a pigeon pose variation to help release this tension. And I keep students there for several minutes - purposely. It never fails, a minute or two passes by and the class starts to fidget and look around desperate and agitated.
BKS Iyengar first said, "The pose begins the moment you want to leave it." So I encourage my class to sit still. To observe what thoughts come up in moments of discomfort and to ask themselves - why? I ask them to keep the mind calm by focusing on the breath. I tell them to feel whatever it is they are feeling and release whatever they need to release. There is no need to run. There is no need to pretend that the pose isn't difficult. Soon it will be over and you will have grown because you will have gotten through it.
In yoga, the pose begins the moment you want to leave it.
In life, the work begins the moment you notice you want to run and hide - but you don't.
The healing begins when you stay present and honest and focused forward no matter how ugly it looks.
The best way out is always, always, always through.
My Mom was right. And so are the NYC street signs.
Plow through, my loves. You'll be better because of it.