My shoulders ache.
My neck is tight.
They’re sore from holding up my tired and aching heart.
The world isn’t always an easy place to inhabit.
It can rub a sensitive soul the wrong way, causing abrasions that don’t easily heal and scars that eventually roughen up—toughen up—but it makes my spirit ultimately more vulnerable—more raw—than before.
Yet this is where the beauty of life lies too—within these tender moments that we can simply ignore and drink through or exercise over or pretend, in whatever way we choose, that they don’t exist—that they’re not happening—or we can nurture and tend to our fatigue—tilling the soils of our spirits—so that we don’t dry and whither, but bloom and rise, with new, green shoots aiming for the sunny, blue heavens.
And I do this as follows:
I cry. A lot.
I mope. From time to time.
I anger. I become agitated. I yoga my shit out.
I move through asanas and sweat inside of my fleece-lined leggings and bright yellow sports bra—until I realize that it didn’t work.
Because it’s impossible to move past discomfort without experiencing it in full.
It’s improbable, also, that we’ll loosen the grip on our problems without first picking them up and growing more than just accustomed to their weight—in order for us to find this burden light enough that it’s nothing now—we can bench press more.
So while I believe in erasing old emotional damage from my muscles through poses on my yoga mat, I also know that there are, equally, days that require my yoga mat to be the mirror of my own stillness; my own idleness; my own fragility. And nothing more.
And here’s something I believe in too: music.
I can dig inside of my exhausted heart and muster the fortitude to wade through murky, churning feelings—through the vibrational sharing of another’s own.
Without further ado, here’s music to hold up a tired heart (and a playlist for days when you’re taking time off from your yoga mat):
You’ll likely notice that these songs aren’t all feely-good-pick-me-up-and-rainbow-smile anthems.
No, these are melodies that will hold you, though—right where you are. They will cradle you inside of the current feeling where your heart resides.
Because what’s truly burdensome is pretending to be someone—or somewhere—we’re not.
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”
This article was first published by elephant journal.