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We are not Broken


This has been a hard time of year for many of us. How about you? The change of season, politic dysfunction, the insane lunar eclipses, I don’t know, life? What’s different for me is how I am treating myself. Quite often, when shit gets hard, I go into a place of shame, blame, collapse. I often eat too much sugar, hit the consignment stores, and feel aggressive towards myself, and in particular my body. I heard a quote today, “When women feel depressed, they shop and eat. When men feel depressed, the bomb other countries.” Hmmm. Anyways.

So here’s what different.

Instead of thinking, “If only I could… I should just… I need to…” which is how I habitually approach rough patches, I’m cutting that cycle. When my shit is in my face, and I want to jump to the next fix-it, distraction, or self-help cure, I’m pausing.

I’m taking a few moments to sit with my feelings. Where are they in my body? What is the need that is being expressed? And I’m sending myself compassion. A lot of it. I’m contacting the little Hannah who didn’t get what she needed, and I’m holding her. Every day. Many times a day. This is not a new practice for me, but I’m committing in a new way. I’m fierce about not fixing myself or finding a way out, I’m committed to honoring what’s moving through me, in the moment in moves through.

Too often, we are caught up in the busyness of our day, and by the end of the day we feel depleted, ragged, empty. That’s when habitual behaviors creep in. Or that’s when we decide there’s something wrong with us, we are broken in some way that needs to get healed. Bullshit. BULLSHIT!

We are whole and by attending to our feelings, we embody that wholeness. By attending to our bodies, our sensations, we contact that wholeness. By loving ourselves as we are, perfect in our imperfections, we live it.

When do I feel most whole? When I am broken open and tender because I’ve sat in my feelings with compassion. Or when I dance and feel the aliveness and sacredness of simply being human. When do you? I’d love to hear your answers….reply to this email or on FB and let me know.

And this, my friends, is a practice. An over and over, again and again, in each moment, practice. Not the kind we shame ourselves for not doing, the kind we get to enjoy when we remember to do it! Tara BrachLama Tsultrim Allione and Pema Chodron are Buddhist teachers who teach on this topic with grace and wisdom. They are invaluable in my life. You don’t have to go into retreat to glean their wisdom; books, online courses and podcasts abound!

In the meantime, my friends, please be gentle with yourselves. You are not healing, you are waking up. You are not broken, you are whole. You are not a fixer upper, you are beautiful as you are, inside and out. I believe that about myself, and I believe that about you. Let’s wake-up to that more and more, what do you say?

Storykeeper: Hannah Kinderlehrer

Hannah’s passion is supporting people’s journey of embodiment. She has studied African, contemporary, contact improvisation, 5 Rhythms and jazz. She holds a degree from Naropa University and has a is certified through the Peacemaker Institute. She has been a student of Shambhala Buddhism for over a decade. After discovering a direct connection between dancing, meditation and happiness, Hannah chose to share that through Awaken the Dance. She also co-leads BodyAlive!: sexuality circles using art and movment for women, offers private sessions and teaches embodiment, sensory exploration and movement to developmentally disabled adults. She lives in Boulder, CO with her enormously talented musician husband and adorably edible son. To learn more about Hannah, visit awakenthedance.com

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