My hubby and I were in a conflict the other day. It was one of those everyday conflicts that pops up in the seemingly “everything is ok”. It caught both of us by surprise.
As my stress levels raise, naturally my ability to regulate my emotional state becomes a bit more compromised. My sparkle filter fades and everything I experienced as a young girl – mostly the bad and ugly – come out like fire barbs to the people around me.
Maybe I’m being a little dramatic about my weak-minded emotional state, but hey, I’m sure if you asked my hubby or my older kiddo they will likely agree with my dramatic representation.
So, back to the other day. I wanted to control the situation that occurred wherein my hubby had some concerns over my mama bear decision making. I mean he was questioning my most prized asset – my mama bear skills!
So, my growling tooth mama bear came to the surface before I even knew what was happening. Then suddenly the voices of those that raised me came through my mouth. I wasn’t screaming, but I certainly wasn’t using what I would call “kind communication” either.
My hubby called me on it. In that moment he requested I speak another way and the shame poured throughout my body.
“I should know better than to speak that way, Athea, you aren’t fit to teach about all this yoga, mindfulness, and mindset stuff….,” then the self-deprecation inflamed even more.
“Oh, wait, I’ve been down this road thousands of times, STOP,” I gently told myself. So, I eased into the discomfort I was creating. I recognized the intergenerational patterns of unhealthy behavior that still lay deep within me.
My next thought was this, “I transformed all this stuff, why am I still holding onto this unhealthy way of being sometimes?”
I apologized to my husband and explained that I was doing the best I could in that moment given my stress levels and my desire to control the situation. I was in full mama bear protection mode.
Well, like any superhero love partnership would do, we talked it out, held hands, finished our dinner, and enjoyed the rest of our date night together.
But, I continued to reflect. I realized that some old patterns began to surface. The things I thought I let go of were still there, just dressed in different attire.
As a yogi (one who follows the path of yoga), I recalled some sacred scriptures to help me through this little conundrum.
Pantanjali, of the Yoga Sutras, talks about this very issue. In yoga, these patterns of behavior are called samskaras.
Samkaras are the impressions of our mind from past actions and experiences – they can be positive and negative. We all have them. And, it’s the negative ones that cause so much damage in our current life and relationships.
That is… until we take control of them and transform them. We do this by training our mind using yoga, mindfulness, and mindset practices.
Here’s the other crazy thing, samskaras don’t disappear forever. They lie dormant within the deep recess of our mind.
And, they will appear out of nowhere like a well-disciplined military sniper in a war zone trying to drop your sparkle down to the ground.
While yoga practices help us transform many of the most gnarly behavior patterns, like when we hear the worst parts of our parents come from our mouths when we are parenting our own kids or disciplining our own students at school or engaging in a hot debate with our partner, they will sometimes bubble back to the surface with a vengeance depending on countless circumstances that can trigger our inner grizzly.
I’ve been in a growing grizzly kind of season in my life.
With a new marriage, bringing two families together with all of our own dormant (and some not so dormant) samskaras, topped with the fact that both my hubby and I faced extremely hard circumstances both personally and professionally this past year, it’s been quite the love adventure in this mixed bag of superhero love adventures.
It’s always in these tough samskara-type moments, the storms of life we like to colloquially say, that I learn even more about myself and how I want to show up in my family, for my students, and for you, those reading this, the ultimate supporters of the work I do.
My inner grizzly is slowly going back to hibernation. Thank goodness! And, I know it’s not gone forever, which is mostly a good thing.
It helps me continually see and refine my inner strength, my inner sparkle, and my inner voice that is attuned to always speaking the truth.
If your inner grizzly is bubbling to the surface, don’t push it away. Acknowledge it. Befriend it. Learn from it. Breathe it’s warrior like air into your heart very intentionally.
Then, in order to transform the behavior patterns that can cause the most damage in our life and relationships, invite your yoga and mindfulness practices in even stronger to kick its butt!
Even when it feels like it’s not working, it’s working. Stay the course.
Keep practicing and you will continue to transform your most undesirable behavior patterns, and your inner work will have a transformative ripple effect on everyone in your life.
Free Back-to-school On-Line Mindfulness Spa Session With Me!
And, if you need a little extra help training your inner grizzly as the new school year starts, join me and other educators by heading over to this >> link << for a free on-line mindfulness class (think sparkly de-stress spa session with me) coming up in September.