Shake out the Truth

The truth will out they say. I believe it. We are so good at lying to ourselves, or at least I am. I have a very hard time lying to other people, but to myself, I am so good at convincing myself of alternate realities, seeing only what I want instead of what is right in front of me. My mind always wants to be right because somewhere along the way, I learned that my body was couldn’t be trusted. I couldn't, or wouldn’t, trust what it was saying to me about anything. It’s a long list but it includes people, ideas, relationships, situations, spaces, jobs, to name a few.

But, the truth will out.

I still notice those tendencies of trying to suppress the truth. Every time I do, though, the truth revelation is explosive. It’s almost like my body is screaming in every way it knows how, “why didn’t you listen to me? I’m always on your side. I’ve been trying to tell you this for ages”.

Inside of our bones is such wisdom. Part of our current culture says that it’s not cool or it’s not strong to listen to the wisdom embedded in our bodies. It saddens me so deeply because when we cut off this connection to our bodies, these things we have for our whole lives, we sever one of our foundational relationships; the relationship to self is the one which defines the way we relate to others. We tend to place such importance on data and quantifiable results. Intellectual curiosity and growth are valued above all else. Don’t get me wrong. I love reading. I love learning. I love knowing. But we put so much more emphasis on the knowledge outside of ourselves instead of that which is inside. Why can’t it be both? Can you imagine a world where we were all taught how to be more kind, more compassionate, better listeners and also given tools to keep intellectual curiosity alive for a lifetime? The mind gets stimulated in all avenues of traditional learning, but what about the intuition, the gut, the body?

Shaking the truth out of ourselves is about listening to our bones. The mind will tell us all kinds of stories that alter reality. But the body will never lie. If you give it the opportunity, it will tell you everything you need to know. So how do we shake the truth out of ourselves?

Are you trying to be too busy? I am an expert at this avoidance tactic. Really though. I excel at filling my schedule to the brim with tasks and obligations, things that I genuinely enjoy, but filling it none the less until it overflows. I don’t have to sit in silence with my self, my feelings, or my body which is waiting for a moment, any moment, to tell me what’s actually up. As my main squeeze Usher says, “The truth hurts”. Ultimately, whenever we are confronted with things we don’t want to hear, the coming to terms will not be without a little hurt. So to avoid that hurt, we keep ourselves busy, running away from the truth that is already living inside of us. When was the last time you let yourself just be? No agenda. No distractions. Just you. That kind of check in time, where the weight of the world is not on your shoulders, is often the space where wisdom can speak. When you notice yourself being so busy you can’t breathe, give yourself a little nudge and ask the question: what truth am I trying to avoid?

Rest constructively. If you are keeping yourself too busy, one of the first things you’ve got to do is schedule in time for constructive rest. Thank you acting school for another gift in learning to be a whole human. What does constructive rest mean? It’s definitely not a nap. You can have the lights on or off. I would suggest lights on so that you aren’t too tempted to fall asleep. Lie on your back, taking the soles of your feet to the ground wider than hips distance apart. Tent your knees against one another. From here, you can cross your elbows over your face, like a little tent, and just exist. If what you are trying to do though is get back in touch with the wisdom embedded in your body, try closing your eyes and placing your hands on your body. Trust the first instinct you have. Our hands gravitate to the place that is trying to communicate something to us. Pause. Be with yourself. Listen to the subtle whispers of truths waiting to come out. No secret, but I am an incredibly emotional and sensitive person. When I give myself time to be after way too much busy, I usually cry. It’s after the tears that I finally come to understand in my mind what’s already known in my heart. So if the tears start to flow or you start to laugh uncontrollably, no you are not crazy.  These are just some of the ways we release tension to ready ourselves for the realness. It won’t happening instantly, especially if you’ve just spent the last week, month, year(s), avoiding. Consistently giving yourself constructive rest time though will help to unblock some truths hiding deep inside of you.

Literally shake it out. I took a yoga class the other day and the teacher turned on a fun song and said “dance. Dance off of your mat. Go explore”. It was so dope. What made this moment special was that it changed the entire energy of the practice. Instead of trying to “get things right” because we were all yoga teachers, we were coaxed into listening to the truth inside our bodies. Especially when you’ve done countless hours of training and teaching, it can be so hard to get out of the mindset of learning and memorizing with the mind. Get out of your head and into your body by moving it around without inhibition.  Turn on the best song you can think of and move in the craziest way possible. For me that includes a ton of shaking, like I’m trying to shake off the muzzle I’ve put around myself. When it’s over, give yourself a moment. Put your hands on your body and wait for it to speak what it needs. Notice if what you most want to do is avoid and run and go back to busying the mind. See if you can have the courage to stay.

The truth is uncomfortable. Most of the time, the truths that we run away from will instigate change. If we spend our entire lives running, can we say that we have lived at all?You already know. It’s already inside of you. Have the courage to listen because the truth is asking to be released.