NO MUD, NO LOTUS
Welcome to the debut of RED LOTUS NOTES! I’m so grateful for this space to share information and my contemplative thoughts.
One of my decades-long favorite quotes, and one which I often use in the studio with clients, is “No Mud, No Lotus.” Why do I use it? Because some, when they arrive, feel so stuck in the mud of suffering that they cannot see beyond it. They cannot see the light that can rise out of the darkness of suffering–their own light. It provides a visual and a truth for a new way to view this precious human life.
Many people want to run from themselves, from suffering, in whatever way they are able. They use food, alcohol, drugs, sex, sugar, overwork, over exercising or other ways that distract from the gut-wrench of unbearable feelings and sensations that arise with unhealed trauma.
Running is not growth, it is stagnation. It is staying stuck. And yet sometimes running is necessary to survive when life doesn’t feel safe. I understand. However, by truly realizing that the lotus flower can grow from the mud, we are able to understand that the running can stop or slow and we can grow. Learning and practicing tools such as pranayama (breathwork), asana (yoga postures), mindfulness techniques, and meditation are invaluable to moving forward and healing. As is receiving kindness and compassion from another human being.
Most people are afraid of suffering.
But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow.
There can be no lotus flower without the mud.
−Thich Nhat Hanh
We all suffer, we all experience mud that can nourish our roots for growth. Without the mud I’ve experienced in my lifetime I would not be writing this now, I would not be living the joy of my vocation, or experiencing the moments of gratitude that arise each day. It is possible to embrace our suffering, to say thank you to it, and to find peace in knowing it is impermanent. We have a choice.
Practicing gratitude while embracing my suffering has changed my life in a multitude of positive ways. I learned the practice from my grandmother, but did not fully begin to realize its magic until my 30’s. Gratitude is one of our most powerful tools for peace and joy in the here and now, and for forward movement in all aspects of life. And, it’s free and accessible in each moment and with every step.
This human life is a gift! All of it. Befriend the mud, find gratitude and move forward. Imagining perhaps, in the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, “With every step, a lotus flower blooms.”
Lastly, know that I am grateful for each of you that have found your way here, for the mud and the lotus, the sun, the moon, the trees, the birds, the stars, the earth, for each flower and every drop of rain, and even for a heart that feels beyond my preference sometimes. No mud, no lotus.
CEO | Teacher | Speaker | Trauma Educator | Researcher | Program Author
Kintla Yoga, LLC
© 2016-2018 KINTLA YOGA, LLC | Logo and Website Created by Lily Burns - Owner of BLOSSOM