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.