How often do you resist the call to dig deep, go within, and feel the pain?
How much are you giving to the effort of avoiding the discomfort, to keep the control, to retain a sense of safety?
Are you afraid to let go?
Afraid to surrender?
Do you trust yourself that it will be okay?
I was mega confronted with some of my personal demons yesterday in a Saturday morning Soulcycle class.
Actually, let me tell you a little story about Soulcycle.
I actually HATE cycling.
Like, HATE IT.
I’ve walked out of countless cycling classes because I just freaking hate it. No reason why. Just do.
So last year when I was gifted a Soulcycle class, I was definitely open to the experience, but also felt for sure that I was going to hate it.
And actually…I had the opposite experience.
I’ve been wanting to write about Soulcycle for awhile and I guess the timing just wasn’t right.
My first Soulcycle class was in Washington, DC, and I was five minutes late to a class and literally had no idea what I was walking into. I had pictured just a regular cycling class in a brightly lit workout room, bouncing around to some cheesy pop radio shit.
When I ran into the studio, I was quickly escorted into what appeared to be a flashback to my raver days.
I couldn’t see a single face, only a sea of bodies all moving to the rhythm of this beautiful, dark, crunky, song that immediately filled my body with bliss.
Oooooh I am in the right place.
I felt like I had just been transported to some magical underground wonderland.
A sea of nameless faces.
I clipped in and started moving.
I had no idea that this class was more about the inner journey. And since I had been having a rough couple of days leading up to that class, as she spoke these words of truth and power, I began to sob.
And so there I was on this bike, in a sea of faces, sweat dripping down my body, having a fucking existential crisis as I allowed myself to feel all the pain that had built up in my emotional body.
I finally felt safe to let it out.
I was in the dark.
I was unrecognizable to those sitting around me.
And so I released.
One thing that’s always confronted me in Soulcycle classes is a feeling of being trapped.
It’s the same feeling I get when I have a panic attack.
I work through it in every single class and it’s one of the primary reasons I go to Soulcycle in the first place.
Because I know and understand that the only way to heal something is to feel it completely, and so I go into that class each time, welcoming in any fear and discomfort that may come up, physically and emotionally.
Well, yesterday was a doozy.
First of all, it’s like 110 degrees in the shade right now in Austin.
And I didn’t realize that the new teacher that I was excited to check out, well….she’s kind of a badass. (Lauren at the DATX location - check her out!!!)
And I knew I had some anxiety and stress to work out.
So I clipped in and began the ride and immediately felt all the feels come up.
I felt trapped.
I felt nauseous.
I was HOT.
I felt tired.
That inner voice inside was like — noooooooo Kelly, I DON’T WANNA DO THIS TODAY.
She was begging me, please….let’s just stay comfy and safe.
One of the reasons why I love the price tag of a Soulcycle class, is that it holds you accountable to actually showing up for the class and sticking it out through the entirety of it.
So I took some deep breaths, kept sipping my water, and committed to the journey.
I asked myself, “What is actually going to happen if you lean into the fear? If you surrender to the anxiety, the heat, the pain, the nausea?”
And the answer I got was, “It will dissipate.”
Right on cue, the instructor began speaking to us, reminding us to focus on the music and let the beat transport us.
And so I surrendered.
I felt the discomfort.
I felt the pain.
I felt the panic.
I allowed myself to feel trapped.
I made peace with the idea that there was no way I was getting out of this room until the class was fucking over.
I surrendered to it.
You see, when you give yourself permission to go deep and FEEL your fears, to shed the layers of guilt, of shame, of panic, and you take a chance that even IF you feel it all, and it feels real and true, that you are STILL going to be okay, and then from that place….?
You begin to trust.
You begin to feel safe.
Because you know, that no matter how real it gets, no matter what comes up, that at the end of the day?
You are safe.
You are supported.
You are loved.
And the Universe has got your back.
The reality is this. My two biggest fears circulating around in my mind yesterday were a) the possibility that I may vomit during the workout and b) That I would pass out.
Now here’s the thing. I’m sure somewhere, in some Soulcycle studio somewhere, those two things have already happened.
And so what? You puke, you make an ass out of yourself, people talk about it for a couple of days and then whatever, life goes on. Or you pass out and you are surrounded by 50 other people who aren’t just going to sit there and not help you.
So for me it really boiled down to trusting that I was safe, but also trusting that I was FULLY supported, not just by the Universe, but by all of these strangers all around me.
And so I rode through it. I sweated it out. I cried. I allowed myself to be overcome with these big, scary fears and emotions and just get my gaze locked into my eyes in the mirror, and kept reminding myself over and over and over, you are safe, it’s okay to let go, you are safe, it’s okay to surrender to the fear.
And then, as it always does when you allow yourself to dig deep, the energy began to shift.
I found myself freed up to enjoy this sense of euphoria that was quickly coming over me, and then enhanced by Lauren putting on a song that she said reminded her of summer, and I am desperately trying to figure out what song that was because oh my god it was so blissful and I felt chills all over me…
And then the instructor began dancing in the front of the room to the song, so freely, with so much joy, with so much playfulness that I immediately burst into tears. And I thought of the rally that I had ridden by on my way into downtown and I thought about how all the fucked up shit that is going on in the world, and how in the midst of it all, here we all were, just riding together, and experiencing bliss, and feeling grateful, and just joined together in this beat, this synchronicity, all being strangers and having that be absolutely okay. We didn’t need to know each other’s names, we didn’t need to know anything about each other except that we were IN IT together, and that what we were doing in there together, and for ourselves, and what we were committed to in that ride together, and for ourselves, was exactly everything we knew to do, to elevate all the bullshit going on outside of that room.
We had escaped.
We had elevated.
We had bonded together a shared goal. A shared journey.
And each of us, collectively, faced our own demons and worked out our own fears and doubts.
And we each felt the energy shift, as we rode to that beautiful song, and felt our hearts expand with love and appreciation.
So really, I do in fact, hate cycling.
But Soulcycle isn’t about that at all.
For me, it’s about facing my shit. My demons. And learning how to trust.
It’s about releasing all the built up sadness, the grief, the shame, the rage, the hurt, in a safe space.
It’s about redefining my party days. About putting myself in almost the exact same atmosphere but with a healthier outcome.
It’s about feeling that sense of community.
It’s about holding onto hope.
It’s about knowing that we are going to be okay. No matter what’s going on for us individually, or collectively as a planet.
We are going to be okay.
So if you are avoiding feeling ANYTHING right now, and you’re afraid to go deep and you know that there is great healing for you there, but you don’t wanna, and you’re scared, I just want to remind you today…
You are safe.
You are held.
You are supported.
It is safe to trust.
It is safe to surrender.
IT IS SAFE TO FEEL.
Allow yourself to release.
Allow yourself to be present to what is going on.
All of it.
And then feel it, release it, and trust..
YOU ARE SAFE.