Though we are still sitting in the liminal space between seasons, we are starting to see true signs of Spring in our little pocket of Wisconsin. Small buds of green resurge from the frozen earth, the air has a new thread of hope woven into its chill, the sun lingers in the sky until it receives turn-down service, being tucked in by the clouds, past 7 PM. And much like the red-bellied robins awakening and cultivating their nest for their loved ones, Team Heart is carefully selecting and curating the beginning offerings for The Heart Revival. One facet of our community model is that our teachers will collectively hold a theme for each month or season to focus on. No matter the time of day or teacher of the Sadhana (practice), you will receive an offering of teachings that are all rooted in the same set of truths.
April’s theme at THR is “Give Yourself Room to Bloom”.
Oh, bloom! Exhale. Yes! We really - really - look forward to Spring here in the midwest. New life, new air, new perspectives. New abilities, new possibilities, new growth. (New color!) We all want to grow, and we all want to thrive. We all desire to feel the joy and brilliance of the flower in bloom. But what does ‘room’ look like?
It could be a location - a place, an environment, an open area.
Maybe it’s the permission to expand or grow.
Perhaps, even, the time.
Oh, yes. Patience.
A common mistake of ours is that we are always in a rush to bloom. Why? Blooming looks good and it feels good. We enjoy looking into the red tulip above just as much as it loved being embraced by the camera lens. We want to express radiance, focusing on the positive. We want to demonstrate and validate our worth, and these wants are entirely normal. We’re living in a society that is hyper-focused on fast tracks of succeeding, achieving, and surpassing. One check on the list of endeavors-to-accomplish and onto the next. And the next, and the next, and the next. And what we’re finding is that these societal patterns can sometimes sneak their way into our personal perspectives and expectations. Suddenly it’s no longer about what the world is actually asking of you, but the world that you are asking of yourself.
“This is the only massage I’m going to be able to receive for a while, so I better relax during it.”
“It’s been over a year since I lost my friend. I need to be further along in my healing process.”
“Why is this asana so hard for me? I’m warmed up, I shouldn’t be struggling so much.”
“Ugh! Overslept again! I know better, I should do better, I should be better.”
“I have to finish this project today. It’s been sitting here way too long.”
“It’s finally spring, the sun is shining, and I should be too.”
The subtext of all of these messages to self is “I should be blooming”. The undercurrent of dialogue that we have inside our own minds often set the tempo of our breath and the color of our experiences. Introducing patience to our self-talk can have an incredible impact on the entirety of our well-being.
The first step to creating room, to cultivating patience, is to notice.
Start by taking stock of the type of language that moves through your mind. Pause. Identify the pace and the tone of the words.
If you notice yourself in detrimental self-dialogue, feel the rhythm of the heart, and the rhythm of the breath. What you’re experiencing is valid. The asana is challenging today. You overslept and the plans for the day will shift. The grief still lingers. Reflection of your situation does not need to dissipate. But giving yourself patience within that introspection changes the approach to the situation. It allows you to be whole, complex, and cared for within your experience.
Patience may sound like:
“This asana is challenging right now. Maybe something within me isn’t ready for it yet.”
“Wow, I’ve overslept twice this week. I must be really exhausted.”
“I recognize that I’m feeling sad about my friend’s passing.”
(The subtext changed to “I’m giving myself room.”)
Patience is an open-hearted offering. It doesn’t have a timeline or a schedule that you are expected to uphold. It doesn’t require you to be the tulip bursting open and upright, nor the firebird soaring across the sky.
Give yourself this gift. Meet yourself with patience, and allow yourself to be a baby bird. Sing to your soul with language that supports your being, rather than criticizing it. After introducing this large and imperative action, you might start to naturally draw in additional resources and habits. You might tuck yourself into your nest early. You may set yourself up to have integrity in finding the most nourishing foods to energize you for the day ahead. You might begin to create bookends of time before and after appointments, allowing yourself to breathe freely before flying over to the next item on your to-do list. You might even find yourself quiet enough to listen to the messages of each feather of your being.
Our tasks won’t fade away with the last bits of ice, but the way that we treat ourselves as we work toward them may evolve with tender compassion and care. Notice, feel, and gently proceed. You’ll observe just how sweet it is when you give yourself the time, the patience, the room to be.
The Heart Revival Center for Belonging invites you to arrive just as you are. To be in your being, in the fellowship of community, as we all slowly, slowly practice patience. What does “Room to Bloom” mean to you? In which capacity would you like to invite patience into your life this April?
Learn more about Brenna's teaching schedule and her journey HERE