In the Iyengar style of yoga there is an emphasis on creating space within the body, which in turn creates space in the mind and soul. When we create space, we create peace. There is also this idea of growing pains that occur when this process of creating space occurs. In order to create something new, muscles and joints have to move. A growing pain may occur because an area of ones body has always been a certain way. Now the practice of Iyengar yoga is moving ‘things’ around, which can create a disturbance. Although there is a disturbance in the moment, eventually the body is creating a sense of peace within. Opening up our mind and bodies to allow for whatever is within us to flow and move freely in a new space.
Here it comes….mostly everything in yoga can be applied to life. Where there is growth there is movement, without growth we are static beings. In yoga, the movement of the physical body may cause a growing pain because our bodies: whether physical, emotional, and/or spiritual, have always been a certain way. In life, the growing pain may occur because of endless possibilities: adjusting to a new job, not having a job, a marriage, a loss of someone close to you, financial difficulties, a new child, not being able to have a child, a break up, divorce, infidelity, going away to college, staying home at college, not being able to go to college…you get the idea. Every experience can potentially lead to growth. Each of these things separately can be difficult, even more so if compounded. What we sometimes don’t realize is that growth is possible, because it doesn’t always feel great, it can be painful and difficult. If we can step back and observe our lives and ourselves in a way that is loving, then we might be able to see the possibility of creating new space within ourselves. No one else is going to do this for you, you deserve to do it for yourself. If we get stuck in whatever life is handing us, we become static, there is no chance for growth to come of any situation. If we are able to stop and observe what is happening around us and within us, it might be easier to see the possibility for growth.
I try to apply this way of being in many areas of my life, but today I’m going to talk about it in regards to marriage. I think it is something that people don’t really talk about (only to your closest friend, or sister/brother). God forbid we point out our flaws! We all know that everybody has challenges in some areas, but we rarely, if ever hear about the growing pains. I believe it’s important to be said, because we grow up picturing this fairy tale wedding (or at least I did) and at its completion we will have it made in the shade! Somehow life beyond the wedding is blank, (except maybe the number of children you would like to have, if any) because we will just be perfect and happy after we say “I do”. I was never truly aware of the idea that marriage is work. Coming from a family where my parents were divorced, I didn’t really see the dynamics of a healthy marriage first hand. Even if my parents did have a healthy marriage, I don’t know that it’s really something ever discussed. We unconsciously learn patterns from observing people (mostly our parents/guardians because that is who we are with the most as children) all around us: communication style during a time of conflict or just in general, general patterns of behavior, and behavior patterns in times of conflict. These patterns are observed and learned but rarely discussed (I would love to hear from someone who had a different experience, seriously). But when you think about it, they are things that would be really helpful to discuss and learn about others and ourselves!
You hear people say “marriage is work” but I never knew what that meant. Well I’m not married a year yet, (2 more months to go!) and I can tell you it is definitely not perfect. I am the happiest I have ever been, yes, but not because I am living a fairy tale. I’m happy because my husband and I have the same desire to always pick up the pieces and learn from our mistakes, to be honest with each other, ultimately to always be good to each other, even when maybe we aren’t our best selves. At times it is not always easy. At times it can be aggravating, thoughts might go like this “I can’t believe he said that, I’ve been slaving away here, what the hell is he doing up there?? or this is the way it is supposed to be done, what is wrong with him, what is he thinking… is he thinking?!? uggghhh, I can’t stand it, can’t he just relax??? (possibly some other choice words here…..I’m sure you can fill in your own dialogue)”. But these are moments where growth can occur. For me, a lot of growth has been learning to accept, just because I think or do something one way it is not the ONLY way, or the “right” way. (well …. no but seriously). It doesn’t end when you get married (or at least for us it hasn’t) we are still learning about our selves and each other, I believe there is always something to learn from any situation. I’m amazed at how much I have learned about myself this past year that has helped to make me a better person and a better wife. Do I always follow those lessons?….no, but at least I’m aware of them, and there is always the option to clean up any mess I might have made! Experiencing growing pains here and there gives us the option to move forward, to create a new space individually and together, to help us realize the best way to share a peaceful union. When we create space, we create peace.
In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.
I feel it is necessary to add a small disclaimer here: My intention is not to come across as saying “you have to argue in a marriage (or any relationship for that matter) in order to grow together”. I hope this post is not received in that way. My hope is to be realistic and open, to portray to whoever is reading this, or even to the world in our daily lives, something that is true. I’m not saying this applies to all types of situations, there are some situations where we have to step away and take care of ourselves, if it becomes abusive in any way. But this is not what I am speaking of here.