Updated: Aug 10, 2021
La calma e la virtu dei forti.
I asked my friend about the meaning of the script tattooed across her left thigh. She explained that it was an Italian proverb: “the calm is the virtue of the strong”.
She told me how she drove to the tattoo shop during a particularly turbulent time in her life, living with an abusive partner, and how that tattoo had been a release for her.
The calm is the virtue of the strong.
What a beautiful sentiment, I thought.
But how do we really find la calma in our lives?
One way is through the practice (and practise, and practise… and practise) of meditation. Both science and the Dalai Lama would agree.
I’ve tried my best over the past month to work on consistently meditating, and the results have been quite surprising…
It’s no secret that meditation is really, really good for us.
Even just a quick Google search lists hundreds of benefits of meditation, including increasing in self-awareness, learning how to manage stress, and reducing negative emotions.
I personally liked the fact that I got to just lie still for ten minutes!
When I meditated as part of a Yoga sequence, the relief that I could feel in my body from the stretches was instant. I think we underestimate how much unnecessary tension is stored in our bodies subconsciously.
Yoga brings this out in a gentle way.
After four weeks, my biggest takeaway was simply learning how to breathe. I found myself taking a moment to breathe in other areas of my life and this is something I truly want to expand on moving forward.
Meditation can be very challenging at first.
At times I found it difficult to ‘come down’ from the fight-or-flight mode my body was so used to living in. There were also days when my mind was too distracted to fully relax.
Thankfully, I did find that even when my mind was wandering, the physical act of breathing and stretching still had a positive effect on my mental and physical state.
In every healing practice that I have used, there is always an element of pain that arises.
I know now that this part of the process is healthy and necessary, but it can still be heavy to deal with.
There were times when meditation was particularly confronting for me.
When the mind is quiet, it has time to reflect, and not every memory we have is a positive one. In fact, many of the emotions we need to release are the heaviest.
When this happened, instead of trying to stop the emotion, I felt it.
I was angry. I was frustrated.
And then, I let it pass.
It felt like the calm after the storm, and I think this is where we begin to find our strength.
This Blog is a part of the Broken to Brilliant Blogging GEMS program, read other blogs from survivors about mindfulness yoga:
Read more about the Blogging GEMS Program
Thank you to:
Andrea Bolding for supporting survivors with iRest Yoga
Teresa, In Soul Yoga for supporting survivors with Yin Yoga
Harshi from Hum Healing for supporting survivors with with medicine drumming