That Yoga class or Pilates of yours. Those 8 weeks spent on getting used to practicing Mindfulness. Your Kick-boxing program with your personal trainer. Those muscles you fatigue at your spinning class. Any stress reduction and breathing practices your therapist suggest you practice. Just like your kung-fu classes, or any martial arts indeed, as the meditation techniques your guru assigned you.
All our skills depend on practice.
It was a cloudy day when someone grabbed my neck from behind with his arm and made me aware of how stupid I had not paid attention to the locals’ warning.
I was in Valparaiso, in Chile, an afternoon somewhere in early 2008, and the colorful houses looked radiant in the lights against the ocean. I enjoyed taking photos so much that I didn’t pay attention that I was left alone at the little square in my very «gringo» The North Face jacket. It was a mistake.
From the angle my head was kept, I saw that the man, while was holding me down having grabbed my neck from behind with his left arm, had his other hand in his pocket as if he’d hidden something there. It well might had been only his fist, but I decided that I didn’t want to find it out.
«Give me your camera!» – he said firmly to my ear. I felt my body burning with adrenaline, and together with mind it quickly assessed the situation. I had practiced kung-fu a decades ago and had a few years of learning Krav-Maga (the self-defense technique of the Israeli Forces) since then, but it’s been more than a year that I had been out of practice, and my body did not remember how to fight. Especially, for that old digital camera, I had…
After some seconds of hesitation that resulted in a firmer squeeze of his arm around my neck, I handed him the camera, registering all the buzzing in my body. I knew for sure that I would fight for my jacket that had many valuable things in its pockets. I was lucky, he didn’t want the jacket. He ran off from the square with the camera and got a car and disappeared.
12 years passed by, and the lesson I learned there still remains with me, even if it is about a meditation technique, or my own TRE practice, or yoga… the body needs to feel prepared to be able to act. And it will only gain the skill when you are doing well when you feel safe, and you are not in pain. This is why you need to keep on practicing, without laziness so that when something is going wrong, you’d have an ally with you in our body.
All those therapies and techniques that you learn for keeping physically and mentally or emotionally well when you are doing well, will be your great allies when you find yourself in pain.
It is exactly when we feel the worst that we need to reconnect with the body and start to practice slowly that breathing technique, that meditation, that TRE, that conversation with our therapist, that yoga class, that craniosacral session, to give your body a chance to heal itself in the present moment.
In this way, happens what happens, you’ll have an ally in our body. Reconnect with it, and don’t let your practice fade. Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker form the USA said that the motivation is like a shower: it doesn’t last forever. This is why we bath every day.
Whatever you practice, may it bring help you to keep your balance in difficult times,