Are You a Puller or a Pusher?

edgeYesterday I went to a Core Flow Yoga class.  My first in a long time as I’ve been hung up by my health condition.  I’ve been feeling stuck in an inertia lately and I know I need to move….move my body, move my emotions, move my ideas…move!!  So I pushed myself into a flow class to get the juices flowing.

Historically I loved Flow Yoga.  I craved the vigorous, sweaty nature of the class.  I loved being in tip top shape and pushed myself to and past my limits constantly and twisted into pretzel shapes my body was not yet ready for.  I’d adopt the cultural mantra and do more…and more…harder…faster…better.  So here I was once again  face to face with my old habits in a hard core class.  This time I was learning my new limits and exploring my new edge.  I feel like I’m having to learn how to live life with a brand new set of physical limits. Having a PICC line kinda forces you to honor that limit, particularly in a Yoga Flow class.

So there I was surrounded by hard core yogis and my intention was gentleness.  I wanted to find my edge and pull back from it, not push past it.  Let me tell you it takes more courage, more bravery and more vulnerability to pull back and do less than it is to push past.  It was like I was being challenged to see if I can be self-honoring in the company of others who are doing more than me.  Do I compare myself to others and push myself past my edge or do I honor where I am and just own it?  Can I accept where I am, as I am or do I feel the need to do something more to feel good enough or successful? So there I was having an internal battle on the mat and I let myself bow down into child’s pose and out of the vigorous flow.  Success by self-honoring.

Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when we are meant to push past our edge, otherwise we’d never evolve.  But there are moments too when we are meant to pull back from it and be gentle and graceful with ourselves.  It’s tough getting over an addiction to over-doing, and over pushing and I see women struggling with this all the time with our busy lives, full of responsibilities and schedules.   As I challenged myself to take a child’s pose instead of a sun salutation, I was awe struck in how much this pose was like a mirror to life.

How many of us do the “sun salutation” of laundry, cleaning bathrooms, volunteering, etc. etc.  instead of reclining into a “child’s pose” and resting or restoring our inner natures.  It takes some balls to rest.  It takes a warrior… a goddess… a queen to assert herself and say I am at my limit and I need to pull back.  And I don’t need to do something to be successful or worthy.  I am worthy for being, just as I am in this moment.  Yet we crave success and validation on the outside, because we have always been celebrated and validated in our doing and achieving.  Our worth and value is thus recognized in our accomplishments in what we do.  But it’s dangerous when we place how we feel about ourselves on external aspects or activities because those can be taken away in a moment, believe you me.

I’m not sure there’s anything more honoring and self-loving than listening and giving voice to your edge and limit.  This is what we should be celebrating, a woman or child who uses her voice and sets a limit.   Or a person who reflects, creates, writes or finds stillness.  Let’s celebrate and value the worth found in Being.  It is what is forever there, even in the absence of our doing or external success.  When we honor our needs and limits, we are allowing ourselves to fall into the arms of Great Mother Divine, supported, loved and feeling nurtured just by stepping into the energy of Being.  The heart erupts with gratitude as tears stream from our cores.  That is us uniting with the Divine…the art of self-love.  That is where we find true self-worth and value, by valuing and honoring ourselves and our edges.

And so it is…

Journal prompts…

How you can you pull-back from your edge?

What does that feel like to you…pulling back?

Please do share your thoughts and feelings.

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4 Comments on “Are You a Puller or a Pusher?

  1. I personally feel like I do a bit of both. I’m okay with resting in child’s pose because sometimes I need that to rest and or regroup so I can push through the next series of poses. My ego is alive and well ( I laugh at myself for this ) I get a rush when my poses deepen and I become stronger. I happy for people wherever they are in their practice I mean after all they did show up to honor thief space.

    • ” sometimes I need to rest and regroup so I can push through the next series of poses”…. Love that! That’s so symbolic to life isn’t it!! Thanks for sharing and I totally agree, there’s honor in just showing up to the mat..,the mirror…and looking :).

  2. While reading this I felt like a month and a half ago I was in the exact opposite situation. I’m usually a pusher and it was like I came to full stop. There is definitely a balance needed between pushing and pulling. I started feeling so much anxiety because I felt like I wasn’t moving forward, so I pushed down full throttle and threw myself into too many commitments. Luckily one of them was yoga! It made me really evaluate what I was feeling. I think I’m finally finding a balance between pushing and pulling. Thanks for the post! It helped me connect some of the dots about how I’ve been feeling 🙂

    • I can relate…. I can swing into the extremes too. I actually feel like i have a while other blog post to write about that exactly and how when we live in one extreme we will fall to its exact opposite to compensate. So glad you found yoga and are diving deep with it 🙂

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