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We all have certain times in our lives where we feel stuck and can’t seem to find our way out. In fact, those experiences, especially when they last a while, can take us into a feeling of hopelessness. We wonder if we will ever find our way out. Pema Chodren speaks so beautifully to this from a buddhist point of view. She says in Tibetan, there is an interesting word ye tang che which translates to “totally tired out” or “totally fed up”. In my personal life, I have experienced this a lot over the last 3 years.

When we are in pain, we often want to run towards pleasure. For me, living in Boulder, Colorado, I was able to hide from a lot of the pain and suffering I had inside. I hid behind the facade of being healthy, eating organic food, practicing yoga, having a sweet home, starting a family and living a social. When a health crisis hit in my family and my life began to “fall apart”, I realized I was using all of it to run from all the pain that was underneath. I was ye tang che….,exhausted!!!!

When I became aware enough to understand that this feeling of hopelessness was actually the beginning of the beginning, as Pema puts it, I started trusting that I could rise out of this chaos that kept playing out in my life and relax into where I was. I could see the great teaching that was in front of me and that I no longer had to play out these patterns. The choice was mine and it was a moment of truth I will never forget. I realized that my perception was everything and that I could always shift my view point in every situation.

It’s a daily practice and I still going into places of feeling hopeless, especially when it impacts my personal life, but it’s less and less as time goes on. I understand what I have control over and what I don’t. I spent far more time in grief and suffering than one needs to and learned the hard way that there is always choice. I am now way more compassionate towards myself and others and am capable of rising out of the suffering when I choose to. As Buddha so beautifully taught, “Life is Suffering” and the sooner we can accept this truth, the more we can live in peace, joy and freedom.

Something that came up for me while I was participating at a retreat in Montana a few weeks ago was how focused I’ve been for so long on healing and empowering my feminine side. One night we were asked to explore the moon energy, the feminine. I sat under the vast Montana sky, gazing at the soft full moon and shooting stars. The following day we were asked to explore the sun energy during the day. I had the opposite experience. I spent time in the sun, walking, opening to it’s radiant life force energy. I felt the potent energy of the masculine, the more outward, visible part of myself and it’s relationship to the world. There were many times I felt myself wanting to hide from the light and curl up in my cozy moonlit cave but the sun was too hot and bright for that and I stayed with the experience.  It was quite uncomfortable at times but slowly, as I opened, I felt a huge healing and was able to experience the power of that light.

 

For many days following the retreat I became more and more aware of the incredible teaching I had experienced. How important that masculine, solar energy is for me at this time in my life. My comfort zone for many years now has been under that dark night sky. It’s so peaceful and calming but when I spend too much time there, it can actually slow me down beyond what feels good and then I feel disconnected, detached. As I’ve continued to open and explore this more structured upright side of my self , I notice that I feel more alive and more energy to create and offer. I’m actually having fun with being more visible in the world.

As I navigate and flow through these places within myself, I continue learning to listen; when to go in and when to come out. It makes me question who I think I am and open to the possibility of who I am becoming.