I do not do yoga.
As a massage therapist, I know it is kind of part of the gig. But I can’t.
It freaks me out. Holding poses for an extended period makes me panic. Whether I am in a big anonymous class or in a tiny studio with just three other students and the most gentle instructor imaginable, it is always the same. Open heart. Teary eyes. And a small voice crying out in the silence, “Are we done yet? Are we done yet?” I ignore her and…panic. More tears.
People tell me this is good. That it means I should do more yoga. That I am working something out. I ignore them and make a mental note never to discuss this topic.
Until now. In a yoga studio. Artist Date 64.
My friend, and clairvoyant genius, Debbie Taitel, is conducting a post-Valentine’s exploration of the 4th Chakra, the energy center of the heart.
I think I am safe because it is a meditation workshop and not yoga. And I meditate. I have for 12 years.
But I am wrong. The panic is there almost immediately. Stifling.
Debbie first mentioned the workshop to me a couple of weeks ago, during one of our clairvoyant sessions. As I watched my heart tentatively open to hope and the possibility of love for the first time in what seemed like a very long time – for an almost bachelor, a man from my childhood, living nearly 700 miles away. (Artist Date 62)
Last week I told him I “couldn’t do it.” (Artist Date 63) Whatever “it” was. Seemingly falling head over heels over head for one another. He asked how realistic it was. I didn’t care. I wanted to find out about us. He said he did too. But when I sensed his wavering, come-here-go-away, and when the excitement in my stomach turned into a knot, I said “no.” And we somewhat sadly settled on friendship. At least for now.
I thought that with this grand gesture of self-love and adult decision-making, my feelings would go away. I was mistaken.
He has been dancing in my head for a good portion of the day and I am surprised.
So it is a relief when Debbie asks us to invite anyone “grounding” through us to please leave for the duration of the workshop. I ask, but he remains. Or I keep him near. I am not certain. It is the pink elephant in the room I have been told to pay no attention to.
I am embarrassed. Ashamed. I assume the shift is easy for him. But I do not know this.
I am consumed by the thought that I do not want to write about this. Especially as he regularly reads my blog. I feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. I want to run. Just like in yoga.
Debbie asks us to ground ourselves and I see a climber’s rope shoot out from my 1st Chakra into the earth, its metal claws digging into clay and dirt. Debbie saw me do this once before – during one of our sessions. She found it clever. A good way to shake off the too many grounding through me.
But today it feels unstable. I want an oak tree growing out of my ass, downward into the earth. But this is what I have.
She asks us to create roses in our mind. To fill them with past hurts. Unrequited loves. Loves we either did not or could not return. And to destroy them.
I see the International Rose Test Garden in Portland. My ex and I visited here one winter when he was interviewing for jobs. The bushes are clipped. Dead.
My eyes get teary and my nose flares. I feel like I am on the verge of big, heaving sobs. I see my ex husband. My mother. My father. The first boy I took my clothes off with.
I see my first real boyfriend. And J – perhaps the love of my life, me with a dick. Mr. 700 Miles.
I feel Debbie lay a box of tissues on my thigh. I am afraid to move. That I will come totally unglued if I do and land on the floor, a throbbing puddle. I feel white energy leave through my heart and it is over.
I destroy the rose, stripping it naked, petal by petal, while those around me engage in more violent scenarios – skeet shooting or blowing them up.
In the final meditation, safely shrouded in golden light, I loop my own energy over and over through my 4th Chakra, my heart. I feel nauseated. A wave slams into my gut and through me. If I were standing it would knock me over.
Debbie smiles. This is the energy I put into the universe, she explains. The kind that makes people “run for the hills.” I nod, as do most of those around me. It is the love energy, meant for me, mistakenly turned out and overwhelming others.
I think about the old idea I still carry around sometimes, that I am “too much.” It is quickly displaced by the realization that I no longer feel like running. Not from here. This place or this pose.
Not from this love. Not from myself.
Not too much.
4 thoughts on “Artist Date 64: Not Too Much”
I enjoy your writing so much. Your perspective and openness is breathtaking! But most of all, I am not alone in my challenges in life. Ty.
Thank YOU, Mary! For reading and for witnessing. Thank you for reminding me that I too am not alone.
Funny, I never knew we had so many common interests…. Or perhaps we both have been on the same journey just different stages in time Leslie.
I like that. Same journey. Different time. Something comforting in knowing that it all really is the same journey that we are on…change the names, locations, the lens. But in the end, all about being utterly, imperfectly human. BTW, Mary, is that Mary from Pronto! 608?!!