I've know for a while that a major breakthrough is waiting for me through the mastery of breath.
But there is resistance in me - in many dimensions, including resistance to mastering the breath, even though I know that my life will be better on the other side of it.
I think I've discovered how to break through that resistance.
I examined the sources of the resistance, and I saw how the resistance was being reinforced. That was actually the more important element in the whole mix.
Oddly, surprisingly (or...perhaps not?), it was reinforced by self-judgement. This self-judgement was non-verbal. It came in the forms of...Pressure. Disgust at failure. Anger at inadequacy. Not-enough-ness.
Describing it with words is difficult.
What to do...? I felt my way into the resistance (and the judgement) and let it sit for a breath or two. Then I began to breathe into it and through it, and it began to break up and become smaller, lighter, less like dead weight.
Here's the key: I did this in a way that was "sustainable".
I didn't try to make it all go away at once. I didn't judge myself for going slowly and feeding myself along the way.
It has become clear to me that a fundamental impediment to my progress is that I push too hard. Pushing too hard means that the push isn't sustainable. Apparently, that applies on every level, from grand schemes to the innermost choices. Posture. Breath. Right Action. Truth.
I combined this realization with something I learned in yoga. Using the mind to push the body past its comfort zone into pain and exhaustion (and injury) leads to the body not trusting the mind to do the "self-sustaining" thing. And that, in turn, leads the body into resistance, which actually SLOWS progress. And resistance leads the mind into judgement. And judgement leads to stagnation.
So, I woke up this morning and did just enough QiGong to make me feel good, at a pace that reinforced itself. I look forward to feeling that way again.
Now that's sustainable.