All I can say is wow what a week this past week has been! I’ve just finished an experience that I’m not going to forget.
What was that experience?
I was an assistant for a 10 day yoga therapy training. Together we were almost 40 people. Some of us attended in person and other people attend online. I was one of the online assistants for this training.
It started out so full of promise. We were excited to be able to have at least some of us gathering in person for this training. Like so many other people, we’ve been spending the past 18 months doing trainings online and it was really exciting to get people together in person again.
The learning experience that we got from the past 10 days was not one that any of us expected though.
I’m still processing all that happened and I likely will continue to process it for some time to come. Sometimes journaling and writing out my thoughts helps me to process what’s happened. So, that’s what I’m doing here.
I was a witness…
I witnessed courage. I witnessed pain. I witnessed harm done to others. I witnessed growth, shift and change. I witnessed grace and laughter. I also witnessed a process that will need to continue so that all of this shift continues to happen.
I saw others raw in their process of awareness and acceptance. I helped to hold the space for them so that they could move through their own processes. I also witnessed my own process as I accepted my own part in this experience.
Intention doesn’t negate harm.
I learned that when harm is done, intention doesn’t negate the impact of that harm.
This was hard for me to accept at first. If I’ve done something with good intentions, I’m not really a bad person right? Well, even with the best of intentions, you can cause harm to others and your good intentions don’t negate the fact that you’ve harmed someone else.
Yes, over the past week, I harmed someone without intending to do so.
I interrupted someone in order to explain an exercise that we were doing. I did it in a way that triggered someone else. My intentions were to help guide them in the exercise but that doesn’t negate the harm that was caused by triggering someone else. For triggering someone else in this way, I am truly sorry. That was not my intent and I’ve learned that how I handle this in the future can go a long way in helping someone else heal from being unintentionally triggered.
My learning came at the expense of others
This is so hard to admit.
My learning and that of the entire group over the past 10 days has come at the expense of others. I really wish that this had not happened like this. I know that these life lessons could have occurred in another way. I also know that none of us will forget these life lessons because they were handed to us in such a way that they are now part of our bodies’ life experiences.
So, what happened?
I won’t go into all of the details. Who said what & when doesn’t really need to be shared. What I do need to say is that harm was caused because as a group we didn’t respect one another fully. We acted in a way that didn’t support everyone.
An incident happened. It was handled poorly and the repercussions were huge. Harm was caused. Past trauma was relived by many and new trauma was added on top of that.
Yes, in the end we all learned from this process but that learning came at the expense of others. No one should have to suffer so that others can learn a lesson. As I write this my throat constricts and tears come to my eyes. My body is still processing all of the lessons from the past week and I know that I’ll continue to absorb them for some time to come.
You can’t avoid all of your triggers in life!
You’re going to get triggered. I know that. Life is going to happen and you can’t avoid all of your triggers. Someone will say or do something that is going to recreate a past trauma for you. You’ll remember a past event that was harmful to you in some way.
It’s going to happen.
I also know that I’m going to accidentally trigger other people in the course of my day to day life. I can’t & I won’t walk around trying to avoid triggering other people because we all have different things that trigger us and it’s impossible to predict them.
However, what I’ve learned over the past 10 days is that when I acknowledge my own actions, I can start to help others heal from the harm that I’ve caused. When I trigger someone else, I have tools that I can use to help them. I think I already had those tools through my yoga therapy training. Now, I have a new awareness around using those tools.
Some learning experiences hurt.
It’s been painful for myself and for others over the past 10 days. This learning experience has hurt in a deep way for so many of the people in this group. While I’m grateful for the growth in myself, there’s a small part of me that wishes it didn’t have to hurt so much.
Some of life’s lessons are thrown at us in such a way that we can’t help but learn from them. These lessons change us in ways that others don’t always see, but they do change us from the inside out.
Does this mean that we should hide from these life lessons?
Absolutely not! Be aware of what’s happening. Accept it and then make the choice to deal with it in whatever way is appropriate for you.
Life lessons might hurt us, but they are given to us so that we can grow into a better person. It’s often a painful experience but it’s one that has to happen so that you can be better versions of yourself. The real problem is when we ignore these lessons and continue to harm others!
These yoga therapy trainings can be intense and they always have a way of making me face something in my own life. In that regard this one was no different. I’ll continue to show up & learn even when the learning is difficult. In the end, I am a better person for it.
So, thank you for witnessing my process here. I’m still raw, but I am integrating it all. Remember to be open to these lessons because you just never know when one is going to show up in your life.
Hugs to all of the people who were a part of this brave space over these past 10 days. May you all heal and be stronger for it.
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!