This weekend I committed to a very significant and serious tattoo: half back and half sleeve.
I put a lot of time into the planning and artwork that would go into this tattoo.
This was not a flippant decision.
In fact, the artist who was responsible for this work is very close to a dear friend of mine, and he traveled to Florida from Utah for the weekend specifically for this. This was a special and exciting event that I was very much looking forward to.
That said, the consequences of saying “yes” to the tattoo were not completely clear to me… until we started.
Once we began, I realized a couple of things….
First, based on placement, this was going to hurt a lot more than I thought…
Second, this would take a long time.
The short of this was that this was more than I bargained for, and I quickly had to reframe my mind around things… and realize there was no way out except through.
My task was to sit in the present with the pain… there was no hack or shortcut. Just presence and the experience.
I settled in and relaxed and found the gift in the experience. Well……. honestly, it wasn’t quite that smooth. It took a few hours and many tries, but once I stopped resisting and fighting the urge to tense up all the time, things got easier. Then, yes, I found the gift.
Truthfully, there were a few points when I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it. Tattooing around your spine and on your rib cage will do that to you. But I gained the power and presence and clarity from sitting in that pocket with my tattoo artist.
The experience began Friday night… and 43 extremely painful hours later… we finished early Monday morning. Wow.
The consequence of my “yes” in this situation was that there was really no going back once I committed. Going back meant I would look ridiculous and be getting laser tattoo removal for the next 6 months. So I sat with my “yes” for 43 hours, until I reached the other side of my commitment.
Life Gives Us Experiences That We Turn Into Lessons.
This weekend, I had a wonderful and painful experience on the power of presence. This weekend was a gift that turned into today’s message:
There is no hack
There is no shortcut
The only way is to do the work
And go through