Inner Mercy: Living with More Ease – An On Demand Class

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Inner Mercy: Living with More Ease
Free On Demand Class: Available to watch now.
Class Length 1 hour and 4 minutes

Are you always pushing yourself?
You CAN pause the pushing and find reprieve

The word mercy is often used as a call for relief or a letting up of pressure and pain. Mercy is often something thought of as outside of us given to us by someone else, but what about inner mercy? How merciful are you to yourself? Mercy as an inner practice allows you to take a load off, connect more deeply with yourself and cultivate a more loving presence within yourself. It offers moments of relief and ease. It opens the door to compassion and transformation.  In this class we’ll take a look at what mercy means and how to practice inner mercy in a world that doesn’t always make room for it. It truly is a key ingredient to any real transformative, self-care practice.

This class if a foundational piece to all of my work. It is this concept that has led to clients telling me they have never cared for themselves this way and did not realize how much they needed it. All of my classes weave mercy through them in one way or another. Practicing mercy allows you to treat yourself and body with greater reverence and care. Whether working with body symptoms, worry, overwhelm, anxiety, fear, anger or sadness mercy lays the foundation for more peace and confidence in dealing with it all.

Curriculum and Objectives:

  • Learn more about what inner mercy means for you.
  • Expand your awareness of the merciless pressure we often put on ourselves.
  • Cultivate a more merciful and compassionate presence within you.
  • Learn how having greater awareness of your body can help bring ease.

Disclaimer: On Demand classes are not a substitute for one-on-one psychotherapy and are for general informational purposes only.

 

Inner Mercy is Great Medicine

I was recently in a two-week intensive class for facilitators. Like most classes these days it was on Zoom. Eighty to one hundred strangers from 20 different countries were together everyday for 3 hours for two weeks straight. To say I was saturated with information would be a major understatement not to mention the deep work we were doing in the process. A couple of days in I caught myself repeating an old habit. There I was smiling and moving my head up and down feeling the need to be a “good student” and feeling responsible for making my teachers feel comfortable.  I would not have even realized I was doing this years ago. I was meeting all of these people for the first time. Shouldn’t I look pleasant and approachable? Not necessarily and maybe not at all.

After the first couple of days I was so tired. This was partially because of the nature of the class, but it was also because I was making myself appear a certain way for the assumed benefit of everyone else.  No one asked me to do this at least not that night. Culture and gender rules and roles have demanded I do this my whole life.  It was a headache to have to smile and look alert for 3 hours straight. Literally, I had a headache and my face felt tense. It was hard to relax even after class. This was a theme that played out in many parts of my life. Namely, I was to do what I needed to do to help others and show up the way that would make everyone else comfortable – everyone but me. “Julie, what would help you feel comfortable?” wasn’t even a thought or question. Fortunately, I was catching things like this faster and faster and turning my attention toward what I was feeling and experiencing. My body is always assists in this. For the remainder of the class I paid closer attention to myself. I allowed myself to turn my camera off when I wanted to be more to myself while I listened and observed. Thank you, Zoom. I also allowed myself to not worry so much if someone saw me looking bored, tired or even disturbed by someone’s comment when my camera was on.  I let myself listen with my eyes closed when that felt good. I was still tired at times, because, like I said, it was a lot of information, deep learning and practice for two weeks straight, and it was late because of time zone differences. Because of these adjustments I did not have constant tension in my face and headaches the whole time. I wasn’t perfect at catching myself, but perfect is not the point. Every time I catch myself that is growth. I notice myself. I see and feel myself. I am actually aware of my own experience. I lived for so long not even realizing the pressure I was putting on myself in enormous ways and smaller ways like I have written about here. I lived with terrible headaches and other body aches for too long.  Sure I still get them, but not nearly as often. When I do get them mercy has helped me care for myself better, gentler. Mercy has helped me have a better relationship with myself and others. Mercy is a foundational piece of all of my teaching.

It takes a lifetime to become aware of habits that hurt us, catch ourselves in the act and create practices that help us.  Thank God I discovered mercy. Thank God my body helped me learn it. Thank God I have an amazing teacher who helped me with it. Thank God I took the challenge to be more merciful.  I think my life depended on it. I feel healthier and stronger because of  what it opened up in me. When I look back on how hard I was on myself it moves me to tears. There are tears of sadness over how very hard it was to live that way. I didn’t even realize I was living that way. There are also tears of relief there is a way out.

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