Avoiding Avoidance

Often my practice is one of avoiding avoidance.

For a large part of my life I struggled with massive anxiety. Growing up in a chaotic home didn’t give me much space to breathe, so it’s not a surprise that I have chosen practices that create space by using my breath as the mode of expansion.

But when things get gnarly, my first inclination isn’t always to breathe and make space. It’s sometimes to hold my breath shrink. To reach for my phone, to over exercise or restrict my food, even sometimes I will want to reach for a bottle of wine (I hardly drink, but the impulse is real)...to override those urges has been an often difficult and very devotional practice.

And once I override them, then to replace them with something healthy and consistent...that has been the greatest challenge.

Anyone who tells you that a practice of healing and elevation is easy is lying. Devotion/commitment takes work. There’s no easy way to override a disregulated nervous system. There’s no easy way to override trauma responses. There’s no easy way to rewrite ancestral lines running through you and the beliefs, patterns and indoctrination that has been imprinted into your system for 13 generations.

But there are ways. Delicious, exciting, pleasurable, curious ways that deepen and enlighten your entire experience of being alive. And we call those ways our “practice” and we get to show up for our practice with devotion. So whenever I want to reach for something that pulls me away from myself when I *really* need to be in that intimate space of allowance and openness, I take a moment to remind myself that life is so much better within the loving embrace of my practice. That shrinking serves nobody, least of all myself. I return again to my breath and my ever expanding heart.

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