I am sometimes a practitioner of yoga. Admittedly I mostly love the comfort of yoga clothes, but it is a feel-good, healthy, and helpful practice, which I mean to be more committed to. At this point, I’m still in the phase of meaning to make it more of a priority.
An interesting phrase that caught my attention the first time I went to class is “lean into the pose.” The gentle voice of the instructor added that we are not to overextend, but to find our tolerance for the current configuration of our bodies, and “lean in” or “relax in.”
I’m not the first to co-opt the phrase to talk about leaning into the stresses and struggles of everyday life. It’s a great way of talking about the importance of embracing the hard facts of our messy lives. Of leaning into, instead of wasting a lot of energy resisting, that life is often:
It may seem obvious that we have to face life’s difficulties, but in fact we often try to deny, or nip in the bud, the messiness and pain. We would rather not face the awkwardness of straightening out a misunderstanding, so we avoid that person for the rest of our lives. We’d rather not risk that we might get taken advantage of so we guard our hearts and our cash a bit too much. We don’t want the messiness of controversy, so we keep quiet when we maybe should speak up. We don’t want to admit our limitations and weaknesses. I get that.
But running from difficulty is a race we won’t win. So, it’s best to lean into it.
Oh, and by the way, leaning in is not a solo sport. We’re in it together.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday when we explore facing difficulty as one of the Practices for Life. The music will be great with a great Carrie Newcomer piece, and wait for it . . . a Bruce Springsteen tune you don’t want to miss.