“Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with
everything except tears.”
Gregory David Roberts sums it up beautifully in his book Shantaram. Most people at one time or another hit a point of complete heartache, pain so deep it vibrates through your entire being. It is common to bury these feeling of pain deep inside our physical bodies, harboring it, keeping it safe, and hiding it from the world. Our bodies carry every emotion, every thought, every expression that passes through us. It is our life vessel. When Mr. Roberts says ‘sometimes we cry with everything except tears,’ he is directly referring to the physical sensation of sorrow and pain. Where do you hold it in your body? How can you cry without tears? Everyone is different—how does your body cry? A great way to release pain is to sweat. It’s our body’s way of crying. Sweating is our body’s way of releasing tears and shedding sorrow. Movement allows the human form to acknowledge the presence of pain and to release it. Running is my way to release the baggage that I harbor inside. Running is my way to be closer to God. Running sets me free. Yoga sets me free.
I am an advocate for seated meditation. It has extraordinary power in bringing awareness to your thoughts, reactions, and emotions. Silent meditation empowers the individual to recognize that we are in control of our own happiness. I highly recommend it to everyone, especially in circumstances of feeling frantic, erratic, or emotionally charged. Take a moment to sit in complete stillness (as much as you don’t want to). Five minutes will make an incredible difference. However, despite my strong belief in sitting meditation, I also believe moving meditation is equally as liberating. Physical engagement allows the mind and body to release simultaneously. Movement of the body allows the gunk—pain, anger, guilt, remorse, self-hatred—to be physically released.
Recently, my theory was solidified while I attended a Shakespeare workshop in the city. I found myself completely unable to connect to my character. I was emotionally indifferent and closed (an actor’s worst nightmare). Suddenly, as I continued to work on my monologue, my teacher prodded me in front of the class, pushing me to my limits and making me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. A rush of emotion came over me. It felt as if it was rising up from months of being compacted and dismissed. My monologue came out in a blubbering fit. The tears did not end when my characters plight did. I cried for an hour. Suddenly, I realized that while my sitting meditation helped me to stay balanced in my daily life, I was in control, more mindful, and keenly aware of my surroundings. I had not given myself permission to release pain. I believe in (and strongly encourage) crying, sighing, moaning, screaming—it exposes the raw emotion. Silence is only part of the solution. For the majority of the population, those of us who have not attained the blissful awakened state of Samadhi, our life balance comes from a combination of things, all which allow us to fully realize our human form.