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  • Qibei Shen

A struggle can be mindful too.

Updated: May 25


When I was 19, I left my hometown and never had a chance to live under the same roof with my family anymore. This summer for almost three months, most of my energy and time had drifted to tending a full house of visiting families and friends.

A part of me that was really cherishing the time I could spend with my parents, sisters and nephews. My heart was constantly vibrating with the warmth that came from a genuine love and the deep desire to connect. I know, I am so blessed.

Yet it was also a tough time for me when everyone's habits and limits were crashed into each other in a shared small space. So another part of me got silent, stressed, frustrated, confused, sad, and agitated, even a sense of losing myself at one point. Some old self doubts and judgements were extremely active as well. I was constantly judging myself for not being the best self and wasn't sure about my own practice anymore. Yikes, that didn't help at all. Did I mention there is only one bathroom in my apartment?

Though feeling a little stuck in an old way, something new also surfaced. There was more space for me to just BE with the pressure and stress, without crazily over-reacting or shutting down completely. There was more awareness for me to hold the space and watch what was really going on with me internally - the emotions, the mind chatter, the patterns. There was also some strength that snapped me out of "trance of losing myself" and brought me back into my space, so I could continue observing myself and allowing myself to be.

I realized so much of my old moldy smelly patterns of judging and doubting myself. They all got stirred up again, but, in a new way. Because, this time, I didn't add more layers to it.

Instead, I just let it be. Honored it the way it is - the tightened throat, the shakiness in my legs, the heavy energy pulling me down, and the critical voices swirling in my mind. And I allowed myself to take a step back so I could just observe it from a distance.

From there, I was more in touch with the tenderness of my vulnerability and my simple need for some safety and ease. Recognizing I'm just another human being with this same sets of human desires, naturally, a sense of self compassion and love arose within. Just allowing myself to be with all these awareness, I could breathe again and my body could relax again.

It still hasn't been easy, I admit. Because of the tension, difficulties and struggle, I was really focused on practicing more self care and working on the shadow stuff. I called on all my resources and tools to keep me above the water. Thanks to the Universe to bring forth such a rich, deep and expansive experience so I could deepen my learning and consolidate my work to a new level. Thanks to my parents, my sisters, my nephews and my son to participate in my process so I could have another chance to meet my problems head-on and continue to stretch and grow.

From the outside, I seriously struggled and overwhelmed. But inside, I was intensively exercising on mindfulness - expanding my awareness in a real and tough time. The clarity just has appeared like a gentle breeze, the cloudiness and confusion have dissipated. I am now more in alignment with myself and my path.

It was like a handful of sand being dropped into a glass of water. All of sudden, the water became turbid and cloudy. If we have learned to trust the process and have a little bit of patience, we can just allow the sand to take time to swirl around and to settle, so the clearness of the water can return.

When we consciously allow a difficult process to unfold naturally while bringing in resources and tools to grow our capacity, the clarity and openness will land.

May your heart be at home with compassion,

Qibei


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