Invite Your Gremlin For Tea
Last weekend we wrapped up our second YTT intensive. We dove into themes of transparency and deep listening to others and ourselves. Both are vital, however, I believe first we need to take a clear objective look at how we speak to ourselves so we can have a healthy relationship with what shows up in our inner landscape. From there we can hold space for others to show up as well.
Sitting In The Fire
Yoga teaches us that if we put in the work, we can reap the transformative power of Agni. Agni refers to the element of fire—both the literal fire that provides heat and light and the internal fire we carry. This internal fire can show up as a comforting campfire where you can stay with the sensations, or show up as a flaming forest fire that may be too intense, too hot, or too challenging and your first instinct may be to run away.
Agni teaches us that to change our inner world, we need to sit in the fire of transformation.
It’s almost guaranteed that anytime we are called to make a change, we will be met with resistance. That resistance will come hammering in like a cosmic 2-by-4 asking you, “Are you sure about that?”. Are you sure you want the divorce? Are you sure you don’t want another drink? Are you sure? Are you sure?
That interpretation is created by a voice inside our head... some call it our self-saboteur, our inner critic, or what I refer to more often as our gremlins. These gremlins shine a light on your fears, while creating beliefs and stories that aren’t true, yet convince you that they are. It’s your internal dialogue which can play the role as the bully or the manipulator or both. These voices will convince you that your life is fine, and will continue to have you play small to stay comfortable in your familiarity.
The perspective I choose to take on my gremlins are that they are my defence mechanisms—a part of me thats looking out for me in a tripped out world inside my head.
It’s likely that some of those voices don’t even belong to you, they were formed from the perspectives, beliefs, or opinions of others. They may be so ingrained that they’ve left an impression on you and as you grow as an individual you may find yourself being challenged by those voices. The longer you stick around and listen to your gremlins, you will likely bring up old wounds, old stories or old ways of being. Sitting in the fire will ask of you to take a deep look at what shows up when they show up — which means you may find you’ve been creating excuses, obstacles or entire narratives to avoid getting uncomfortable.
Welcome It All
I believe that the world is just craving to be seen and heard. Our gremlins are that part of ourselves that are seeking attention, just wanting to be heard. When we can welcome all parts of ourselves, we diffuse that fire. By welcoming your gremlins into your guesthouse (inner landscape) for tea, you create a safe space for you to unveil hidden truths that may have not been evident before because you weren’t listening closely.
Welcoming your gremlins may be just acknowledging it's presence, and sometimes it may be a deep dive into the mental chatter and observing the narratives that are created. This is a powerful practice.
Understanding and taming your gremlin(s) means to examine your life with a level of detail you’ve never tried before.
Mental Health is something I used to struggle often with. This is one practice that has helped me shift my own inner narratives for the sake being in a healthy relationship with who I am in every aspect.
May you use the following questions as journal prompts to get to know yourself better. May they create some friction and fan some flames, so you can too sit in the fire. For the sake of seeing what shows up when you pause and listen.
Explore Your Gremlin(s) with these inquiry questions:
What emotions are challenging for you to be with?
What have you been avoiding and what is the result of that avoidance?
When does resistance show up and how do you respond?
What do you care enough about that you would be willing to sit in the fire to see what lies on the other side?
Can you be in relationship with your gremlins for the sake of transforming your fears, wounds, hurts and stories into fuel?