Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crying is So Darn...Predictable

I'm not a crier. When I do cry, I like it to be very, very private, and I like to "get it together" as quickly as I can.

Of course, with Marcy, this is completely different. She is my safety and my support, and she has witnessed more rivers of snot than I would like to remember.

We've had a bit of crying here at the training. To be brutally honest (which I always am) first? This totally put me off.

I thought, "Come predictable," followed by a judicious roll of my eyes as I turned away from all that...embarrassing emotion.

Then. (As if you don't know what is coming.)

Far into Monday, there was a moment -- brief because I got it together -- during a relaxation after some intense movement, that there were a few tears. Tears I had no understanding of. It's not like the movement brought back some memory or brought some specific feeling into my was just a few tears, seemingly out of nowhere.

I wrapped my arms around my head, a clear indication to others that I had no interest in being approached or "soothed."

Then a couple of images: me, very small. Short dark hair. A dress from when I was about five. Knee socks. Skipping. Dancing.

Okay. But still, get it together, I commanded, and I obeyed.

"I don't want to be one of them." I told myself.

Then today (Tuesday).

Holy crap.

We had a different teacher, a male, for our afternoon, open-to-the-entirety-of-Kripalu YogaDance hour.

He was powerful and much more toward the dance end of the spectrum.

I was a puddle.

He used some (old) Michael Jackson that made me go into a zone and I was nailing it. Everyone in the room disappeared and it was just me and Michael and movement.

Two women (and another later) -- whom I respect here -- walked up to me and told me some things. Some wonderful, affirming, life-giving, water of life types of things.

Then we went into a standing relaxation and more tears came. I fought them. They kept coming. I was so happy that I couldn't process it fast enough.

I moved to an out of the way get it together, of course.

Regardless of this need of mine to have major boundaries with my emotions, there is something massive shifting in this Chick. Massive.

How about you? Have you ever felt so happy that you bawled uncontrollably? What made that happen?


Jackie said...

YES!The first time I saw the kind of art I want to create.It was so moving in the core of my soul. I am happy for you!

Tess said...

I could have written this post myself in terms of being determined not to cry in public and your comment about being predictable and looking down on it.

And then... for me too, in a very intensive Enneagram workshop as it happens, when I was undergoing my own Enneagram training to be a teacher. Almost exactly the same sequence: resistance, a few tears, a few more, a puddle.

For me, it was about seeing the interconnectedness of everyone there, even those I heartily disliked. Seeing under the skin, as it were.

curiouscrow said...

As a child many of my real needs were not met. Many of them. As an adult, whenever I got those needs met for the first time, or I gave myself what I really needed as well as immense happiness I would - and still sometimes do experience a relief of grief. This is normal and healing. But of course I speak as 'one of those people who cry'. There's nothing wrong with crying and I wonder why you feel shame over this?

WrightStuff said...

If we weren't meant to cry then why were we programmed to do it? Let it out - it's natural release, does you good (though you probably don't feel that fantastic while it is happening!).
It is a pleasure reading your posts of your experience this week. Thank you for being so open and sharing them with this community. It sounds like you are probably going to get everything you hoped for, and a whole lot more, from this course.

Emma said...

So you've managed to do all this Kundalini yoga without crying a lot? Wowza! Kundalini yoga is am almost guaranteed why-am-i-crying-but-i-am-crying activity. :)

I'm so glad to read how this week is going for you. SO exciting!!!

Tracy said...

I sometimes find myself crying during Nia classes, not quite sure why most of the time, music sets me off sometimes, pure joy at dancing too. I'm one of those "ashamed to cry in front of others" people too. But crying makes me feel so good sometimes that I'd like to overcome that crying shame!

Wild Roaming One (WRO) said...

Do you realize how much humanity you showed towards others and yourself when you let yourself cry just then? wow...just wow Christine.

I'm a cryer, public or otherwise, always have been. it's so cathartic for me, no matter where I am, and I can't figure out why I do am I'm also a full-blown communicator. So there's many times that I've cried as a release of happiness I can't even count them. And no shame here...It's just what I do.

Much love to you as you shift and emote!

WRO xo

christine said...

yes, I cry when I am happy and feel joy. The last time I cried like that was when my boyfriend and I REALLY talked about getting married and then he asked me.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Let me clarify a few things. :)

First, I am totally making fun of myself in this post.

Second, I am hugely emotional person in general -- hugely. I express myself very clearly; you can read every single thing on my face; I barely have any kind of social editor. For good or bad, that is the truth.

Third, I am definitely working on the crying thing -- have been for many years and I have gotten much better at this one, particular form of self expression.

BUT, fourth, that does not mean I will ever be comfortable crying in PUBLIC. I get more comfortable with other people doing it but it is something that I think of as very private. I don't think I'm alone.

I think that when, as a child, your parents USE you for their own emotional needs, that public displays of extreme emotion can feel ... dangerous and contrived. As if, like your parents, it's just a show the person is putting on.

LET ME EMPHASIZE that I am not saying that this IS the case but that it FEELS like this to those of us who have had bad experiences with emotionally abusive people.

yogamama said...

Ah, the Kripalu tears. It's almost their trademark. Have you had the Kripalu nightmare yet? Wait for it... Good luck with your training! (We used to call Megha "Tigger.")

Kelly Salasin said...

the first time i cried like that, inexplicably, was at kripalu, in my very first yogadance class--it was a saturday, the drums started, and all of the sudden i felt a wash of grief that i had to hold onto or i would be "one of them"... the next day i returned to the last 15 min on another KYD class--and this time, there was no holding back, i folded in the 6th chakra into child pose and simply balled... that was the day that i took home the purple flyer about becoming a KYD teacher, 4 months later i surprised myself again and returned to Kripalu to do so... the rest is history, my story, 2 and a half years ago... thanks for the prompt and welcome to the tribe!

Kelly Salasin said...

after reading your follow up comment, i'm inspired to share this piece i wrote on facing fears... it was first titled, "courage" but now it's "body bag" thanks again!
cut/paste link

zenfreckle said...

I often feel the tears coming during a yoga practice. I too do not like crying in public and usually try to regain control. This has led to me almost being able to let them go and often I will not be able to even later when I am alone.

Then there was this one time...I had done a week long intensive with a teacher who delves deep into the practice, there were lots of back bends, and again the need to cry but no tears. A day later i am in a movie theater and something on screen triggers a release. I sobbed and sobbed uncontrollably and loudly in the theater. I was embarrassed but unable to stop.

I think it is great that you are allowing it to come up and out while you are able to maintain your sense of security.

Congratulations on finding something that moves your soul!

JanetDavies said...

Yes, I used to do it when my children were young and they would make something for me for my birthday or Christmas. Especially if I knew that they had done it completely on their own and not because a teacher or a leader of some kind told them too.
Yoga and dance can sometimes bring that on too. Embarrasses me at first, then I let that go. It feels like a lot of energy gets moved that way. We might all be much healthier and happier if we could let that happen any time we feel it.
Thanks so much for sharing this!

Linda-Sama said...

I cry when I hear good chanting or when I chant at a kirtan.

I took vedic chant classes in India and I asked the teacher why I cry. She said because chanting cracks open the heart, because the vibrational tones of the chants touch the heart. she said because there is a sadness that needs to come out even if they are tears of joy. and because the throat chakra is between the heart and mind so when it is opened by chanting, there is union of the heart-mind.

all our emotions are held in the body so why wouldn't movement such as dance and yoga bring emotional release?

revel in it, christine.

The Painted Mat said...

I had never cried in a yoga class before, but after my first Jivamutki Yoga workshop with David Live and Sharon Gannon, I lay in savasana with tears running down the sides of my face. The emotion was overwhelming! I was finally with the two teachers I admire most AND I had completed their class!

mmaaggnnaa said...

Hi, Christine -

I really like how you have put words to your relationship with crying . . . "Regardless of this need of mine to have major boundaries with my emotions".

I, too, feel the need to cry in private and to "get it together" as soon as possible. I had never thought about it as a need to have major boundaries with my emotions. I really like that. Thank you!

- Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

svasti said...

You know, I cry all the time. Hate crying in public too. But if it comes, it comes.

Used to be a much bigger issue for me until someone I met once gave me a completely different view on crying: "Oh, yeah, I LOVE a good cry, try to have one regularly. You get so much sorted out when you can just cry".

Can't tell you how much that helped me.

Of course, PTSD meant that for the longest time I wasn't in control of any of my emotions AND it was impossible to pull it together.

So I had to learn to just give up the control, because it wasn't helping me anyway.

Its funny how you have this criticism of yourself and others being "predictable" - crying after dancing. How could you not cry, really? I think that's much harder to do. I mean, you're moving your entire body in a multitude of ways, opening up pathways that might've been dormant for a long time.

Yoga and dance are kind of made for letting the tears run free.

I've bawled uncontrollably after amazing sex, after massages (Lomi Lomi and hot rock style), after/during yoga practices, in kirtan, and during puja (ypgic ceremony). Sometimes I know what its about, others not. But usually I'm surrounded by people who completely understand and tell me not to worry at all. Just let it flow. Because the more you bottle it up, the more that still has to come out some time!

Glad you're having such a wonderful time!

Lisa said...

The absolute, transcendent beauty of the 1812 Overture and Beethoven's 9th (Ode to Joy) will bring me to tears every time.

And, ditto what Svasti said...I will cry uncontrollably (from some deep primordial space within me) after amazing sex!

I've cried in yoga. And often while chanting Lokha Samasta Sukhino Bavantu (May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free) at the end of class.

Please, dear Christine, *just*let*go*. Those tears can cleanse you beyond imagination or explanation.


Stacy Hurt said...

well crap! I'm reading all this & thinking NO! NO! NOT ME~ I don't cry in public, ever. Not ever in front of other people, ever. And yet lately in my life; things are seeping out, stupid dumb things will make me tear up *and why are tear(ripping) and tear (weeping) spelled the same???* and I'm no yoga and/or dancer.
And yet... Lisa's chant immediately wrought tears.

Does anyone else have this sort of irrational fear that the if they start crying now, over all the horridness (and joy) life has bestowed; the loss, the loneliness, heartaches etc... they will never stop. What if the 'huge' thing moving is not a good thing to wake up? The loss of perceived control and fear that while you are in the puddles & tidal waves of all this emotional meltdown that men in white coats are coming? The feeling of breaking apart at your core? I guess I should read up more on what Yoga is & is supposed to do. All this time I thought it was only for stretching your body and staying in shape.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

my son ~ feeling joy and pride for him.

claire bangasser said...

I would say any time I get in touch with something deep and beautiful, I get teary.
I find that with aging -- two decades ahead of you, I think -- tears come even faster -- and in some social situations, normally 'free' from emotions, I do feel like an aging fool...
But then, I was told long ago that tears are 'liquid love' and a 'grace.'

Liz said...

I am crying while reading this post...thank you, Christine...