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Walk This Way

How do you “go out”? Out of a relationship. A friendship. A job. Life itself. These things are happening around us all, much of the time, really. The last two weeks, in some way or another, directly or indirectly, these things have happened to me. Around me.

With integrity is the right answer. But how can this lofty goal be reached? How do you fight the urge to go out without saying things you don’t mean, without being petty? Without being passive aggressive? Or just passive, with no reaction at all? Do you go out swinging and punching? Shouldn’t you fight for what you want? When do you just say, okay, yes, this thing that is ending, well it’s right for it to end, now’s the time. I gave it my all, my best, a last effort and the end is still here, so I accept this.? And in accepting, knowing that better, more compatible, more suitable is on the horizon.

Am I a big enough person to achieve this? I’ve been studying and practicing this lesson for a few years; am I practiced enough to go out the way that suits me, the way I envision myself exiting? Can I realistically choose to go out with distinction, to take the high road? A favorite yoga instructor of mine uttered these words in class this week and, I realized, they really do mean something. When you feel anger, resentment, scorned, pushed aside, insecure, enraged, hurt, slighted, embarrassed, misunderstood, confused, disappointment: it’s not just a saying, some cliché thing to say when it is hittin’ the fan. These emotions test the inner react button. So am I a big enough person to achieve this?

“When you’re in pigeon and your hips are screaming at you: Get out. Get out! This is when the pose actually begins.” This is when the challenge actually begins. This is when the uncomfortable threatens to shake you, to make you run, to make you cry, or scream or give in and give up. How do you get out of the pose? Is it quickly, sloppily, passively, holding on to the pain in your forever stretching, stretching, stretched hip muscles? Or will it be gracefully, with precision, with a “plan,” with an exhale, with ease and acceptance of the pain? Moving past the pain.

So, how do you go out? Who knew that these words spoken in a measly, little yoga pose such as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana SLEEPING PIGEON could have such a profound effect? That these words reinforce what I have been diligently studying and practicing after all.

When your integrity has been tested, saying, I did not react negatively or harshly, I thought through my feelings first and articulated them respectfully, with true intent instead of intent guided by ego. And in the end, I stood up for myself, for what I want, for what is important to me…I believe this is how you go out with integrity: with poise, with humility, with distinction.

The choice is yours to make. T.S. Eliot wrote it this way, “… Not with a bang but a whimper.” I’m rewriting it for myself: Not with a whimper but a bang.

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