My dear Heart Talk Yoga journeyer,

What happens when you say NO to your habitual exit strategies and allow yourself to feel fully? A story of discovering authenticity and happiness on the other side of depression and grief.

Watch this video or, if you prefer, read the transcript. Don’t forget to leave a comment below and let me know how this story landed with you. Have you ever had the experience of going fully into the discomfort or pain, instead of retreating? If so, what have you found on the other side? Or comment on anything else this blog made you think about.

I love hearing form you. I appreciate you.

Transcript

My dear Heart Talk Yogini,

I’m excited to be with you again. Thank you for reading my newsletter and writing back with your insights and questions. I want you to know that it is your comments and questions that set the direction for what I share with you. So, keep them coming!

Today, I’ll share with you a real life example of what I’ve been talking about in my newsletter.

You’ve heard me mention before that the main ingredient missing from the uncommon happiness recipe is you. More precisely, your presence in this moment.

Where are you if not here? Well, it depends on your exit strategies. You may be fantasizing, ruminating, angering, gossiping, watching TV, disappearing into work, or overindulging in the food, drink, or drug department. Exit strategies are many.

Staying put is hard, because you’re facing discomfort. To be able to stay present with discomfort, you need to build resilience—not only of your mind, but of your nervous system as well. That’s where HTY® practices come in handy.

You’ve also heard me mention before that every time you make a different choice and NOT use the habitual exit strategy, it will feel dizzying. Disorienting. Weird. It will feel unfamiliar. It will feel… NOT LIKE YOU.

You may be wondering… And then what happens?

Let me tell you a story of a girl who made a different choice. Nicole is a young woman who lost her mother to breast cancer when she was in elementary school. Every year around the anniversary of her mother’s passing she would become depressed. She would feel the rising sad-ness, and would habitually use her exit strategies—work, television—anything, not to feel, not to be here. The end result would be that she would feel depressed, disconnected from herself and others.

I recently saw Nicole and she said that she was reading my newsletter and that she accepted the challenge of staying put and not using her habitual exit strategies. Around her mother’s an-niversary, she began to feel the sadness rising, she was very tempted to disappear into Netflix, and then push through a busy day of work to distract herself. But she chose differently.

She said to herself: “I know why I’m sad. Let me go right there.

She took out the home videos and her parents’ journals. She took a day off from work. She stayed home, watched the home videos, read the journals and cried, and cried, and cried.

And the next day, she felt lighter. Unlike in the previous years, she was not depressed. She was open and tender, she was in touch with her sadness, but she was also in touch with herself, and with the loved ones in her life. She did not shut down by shutting off access to her real emotions, to her real experience. She chose differently. And she felt so much better since.

I saw her a few days after her mother’s anniversary. She was radiant. There was so much more HER in her. She seemed so much more comfortable in her skin. But that is not all—going “all in” into her true experience and staying put—has unlocked her action in the direction she had been thinking about for a while. Not only that, she began receiving help without even asking. Doors she hadn’t even knocked on were opening for her. By unblocking her true experience, by show-ing up to her own life fully in the here and now, she lifted the blocks from the flow of creativity, laughter, and enjoyment of life.

I’m so proud of Nicole. She was a student in my e-course a few months ago, and she’s been using Heart Talk Yoga Heart Talk Yoga® tools since. She built the necessary resilience to be able to do something that she was not able to do before. And I saw an instant transformation—I saw her expand beyond what she thought was possible and what she dared to dream and go for. I saw her life bring her instant validation, instant proof that she is moving in the right direction. That she’s in alignment with her mission.

I hope this story inspires you to not use an exit strategy and stay present with your experience today.

I look forward to reading your comments! See you next week. Until then, stay in your heart.

Valerie

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