So I’m settling into life in my new (& old) town, and now that (most of) the boxes are unpacked and it has been several weeks, I have the space to ponder the notion of moving on a bigger scale. I remember my response when a friend asked me in my last months in Seattle how I was doing; I explained how I was preparing for life elsewhere, and yet I wasn’t there yet, and so I felt “neither here nor there.” I noticed myself beginning to pull away from making any new connections there, as it didn’t make sense to invest in projects with so little time remaining. I also noticed that while I savored my time with beloved people, I increasingly had the sense that it might be the last time I would see them, which inevitably began a distancing in some energetic way–some preparation to be apart, some practicing of having space between us. The time was different than if we knew I wasn’t leaving. Thankfully, my yoga practice helped me to try to be present, and challenged me not close up like a clam out of the fears of goodbyes. And at the same time, here I was saying I’m neither here nor there–not very present! “Why not be here until here changes?” I asked myself. “Why waste precious time when we often have no clue what tomorrow will bring? How sad to feel neither here nor there! Where the hell am I then?”
Now, on the other end of the move, I’ve also been feeling this neither-here-nor-there phenomena, as I wonder how faraway events are going and how faraway friends are doing, and have not yet found my routines here. But one thing that feels different is I’m not judging myself in any negative way because of it. It’s been dawning on me lately that the best choice I can make is to be present to the feeling of not being fully present… I can use my yoga practice to allow some acceptance and less judgement for whatever is going on, whether it strikes me as very “yogic” or not. Of course, I preach this very thing to my yoga students all the time–“simply be with what is. Satya. But alas, teachings in meta terms are not the ones that get these understandings into our bones like our own actual real-life chances to grapple and to make yoga philosophy come to life.
The benefit of practicing Satya is of course is that I can simply feel what I’m feeling (disconnected, lonely, splintered, edgy, whatever…) without adding other layers on, like beliefs that I shouldn’t be feeling that way, or I haven’t come very far if I can’t relax, and so on. In the mental health world we talk about this in terms of primary vs. secondary emotions. The work is to simply feel the primary emotion without adding secondary ones; to be sad without also feeling guilty about being sad, or to be anxious without panicking about the anxiety. The feelings we feel are sometimes hard enough without adding mountains more.
Another benefit of simply accepting what’s going on for me is that often, as a sort of unexpected bonus, I move through it more quickly. For example, as I’ve gotten okay with feeling less connected to my new home, I lo and behold have been feeling more and more connected to it. Maybe because I’m freeing up energy that would otherwise be bound in judgements of myself to now pay attention as I wander through a new part of town, or to risk saying hello to a stranger, or to invite a neighbor on a walk with me. I don’t feel my feelings and accept them in order to get through it more quickly–I don’t think it works that way–but I do notice the side effect when I become okay with what is.
Thank you Satya.
And thank you for listening!

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