The Challenge

I’m well into the week of the Camel and some days I’ve indulged in a long Camel-centered practice, breathing length and openness into my shoulders, exploring the relation of my triceps to my shoulder girdle, using them to open more fully. (More on that in another post!) Some days I’ve had 5 minutes there of Sun Salutes, 10 of standing and busted out a camel in between.

I’m reminded through all of this that what camels do is store water. So, am I storing refreshing hydration for extended use, or shedding what has been stored because I didn’t digest it when I first took it in?

And I realize, the camel can’t drink until it creates room anew. It has to use its precious store of glistening droplets before it can drink deeply once more.

And the beauty of this pose is that I’m releasing and drinking simultaneously. I am storing sustenance. I am also letting go to make room. Exchange.

And the letting go can be hard. I’m through the initial terror I wrote about last year (see previous post) . And your responses have taught me that I have been in good company: many of us have stored scary and scared feelings in our guts, hearts and voices.

My new challenge is to release through all the layers of my existence. I’m finding that little – one might even say, petty – annoyances and feelings are coming to light. Feelings, judgments, ideas, words I thought I’d left behind. Ones that don’t bear repeating, but let me assure you they’re embarrassing to find tucked away. And they don’t just confine themselves to my mat. They help themselves to the rest of my day, too. Rude these little judgments are. See! There’s another of those rascals!

What is different is that while they register as feelings, they register as “mine” at first, I am finding it possible to let go of the embodied hooks, see them as “not mine, not not mine”, and not re-store them in new the clothes and layers of new judgments. Now, this isn’t a seamless process, and I’ll be perfecting it a long while. But I’m noticing noticing these packages I’ve left for my new self from all my old selves, and it’s allowing me to be more loving to all of them. And to let a lot go.

So that’s my challenge in the week of the Camel: to be a witness to my own experience, to not get lost in it, to let it do what experience does, which is to pass. And so to be able to fill up anew.

What’s yours?

3 thoughts on “The Challenge

  1. i LOVE this. it really resonated with an idea i’ve been playing with in my classes lately– creating space–physically, mentally and spiritually.
    beautifully written.

    (p.s. found you via “just breathe.”)

  2. I, too, am finding it hard to let go of the past. More than a few unshed tears—that I never realized needed to be released—have come up over things that I didn’t even remember I remembered, if that makes sense. What tenacious hooks are embedded before we even realize it, eh?

    Thank you so much for your insightful posts! I look forward to reading more about using the triceps and shoulder girdle to open more fully.

  3. Interesting synchronicity… I had my 2nd polarity session a few days ago & found a lot of >stuff< stored in & around my shoulder girdle, much of it those embarrassing little hooks you talk about. Surprising, in some ways, to still find them there! And very interesting, this notion that we must release & drink simultaneously–the two are inextricably bound, but I think we all too often try to divorce them.

    PS — I love that the first automatically generated link for a possibly related post is “Camel Beauty Pageant”. They meant it literally, but I conjured up all sorts of self-loving, shoulder-opening mental images!

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