Do You Avoid Triggers or Tackle Them Head On?

Recently, I needed to remind myself of the quote by Vienna Pharaon, “Avoiding your triggers isn’t healing. Healing happens when you’re triggered and you’re able to move through the pain, the pattern, and the story and walk your way to a different ending.”

This quote about mindfulness can probably be applied to almost any situation, but it seems most relatable during this unsettling moment in our history. We are fortunate to live in a time where mental healing is emphasized just as much as physical health. However, mindfulness can still be difficult to find—without getting a little help from a glass of wine or pint of ice cream, that is.

Kidding aside, I do find it hard to sit with the triggers and move through the pain, because I try to avoid triggers so that I can remain calm and present for others. There is a constant inner struggle between keeping the mind calm and moving through the pain.

When I’m on the mat and I’m in a difficult bind trying to breathe through the pain, all I can think about is my next breath. In yoga, we purposely put ourselves in a bind or a very strenuous situation so that we can practice getting out of it. Over time, we build enough strength so that we are able to come out of our binds with ease.

A few months ago, I accomplished a half moon pose without the assistance of a block to keep me balanced for the very first time! I have always needed a block prior to that instance. But over time, I learned to face my trigger head on and kept trying to move through the pain to get stronger each time until I was able to accomplish a difficult pose without any assistance.

The point is, I always thought I needed someone or something to keep me balanced and calm when working through my triggers. But I’ve realized that the power lies within and that I’m strong enough to pull myself out of these difficult situations or triggers. By doing so, I can walk my way to a different ending, because I’ve built up enough strength over time to prepare myself for this difficult time in history.

And yes, wine and a pint of ice cream help me along the way. After all, I’m only human.

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