Thursday, August 11, 2011

on dealing with lifes challenging moments

Greetings Friends,

The past week has been a difficult one and while I'm not ready to share all the details around this I would like to share how I'm coping (or not).

Over and over I've said that the power of yoga lies not in the power one has to pretzel him or herself into pretty pretty poses. To me the magic lies in the simplicity of yoga and this week that again has proven true to me.

Stay grounded.
Stay centered.
Pay attention.
Just breathe.

There were times when I was so upset. A moment of sobbing in the shower as my mind raced into the scary unknown future. I could feel pain my mind was predicting as if it was happening in the moment.

But it wasn't the future and once I could calm myself down, which usually required me saying to myself, "just breathe" over and over again. When I was able to do that, I was able to connect to my breath, and once I connected to my breath I felt the presence of peace and calm that was available to me even in a heart wrenching time.

Yesterday I received this message from "The Universe" (I'm glad she emails, might I add).....

"You knew there'd be things that would rattle your cage, push your buttons, and rock your boat, sharon. These would remind you that there's still more to know."

I've also said often that it is the dark and scary times that have so much to teach us. I still believe this to be true. There is power and potential for transformation during these wild and scary times. I will forever consider myself a student of yoga. I in no way think I have everything in life figured out and it's times like this that I see how much more work there is to be done. Yes I can celebrate where I've been, and where I am now. I can feel good for all the work I've done, for the changes I've made, yet "there's still more to know." And I'm happy about that.

Another nugget from the Yoga Sutras that I keep coming back to is replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. I'm striving to find a balance between expressing myself and my emotions as needed in the moment, but not (or should I say attempting) getting trapped in a place of anger and frustrations as that doesn't do good.

I'm also observing my tendencies during moments of crisis, which are mostly to:

1. Run away. After receiving the first of the bad news it was only a few hours later that I had found a yoga retreat outside of Puerto Vallarta and was scouring plane tickets. I have to go I thought. Clearly I don't and now is not the time to be running off to Mexico. Luckily I saw this for what it was which me running away from the problem at hand.

2. Hide. Maybe these two go hand in hand as they are sorta one in the same. I'm usually very present online with blogging, facebooking, and emailing. Not so much (hardly at all) over the week. I'm doing my best to discern the difference between giving myself time vs. simply withdrawing from the world (which is my natural tendency). I felt myself slipping into withdrawal so that's partially why I'm here now typing this.

3. Eat carbs. People resort to all different things during challenging times. Some people want to have a "stiff drink". Some want to shop. I want pasta smothered in cheese. And bread. I am happy to say that for the most part I've remained committed to my cleanse even during this challenging time. I've packed food for the day(s) when I've traveled to and from eastern KY. On Monday at the hospital my sister ate the most delicious looking brownie. My niece has turtle cheesecake. In the past I'd have buried my face in both. But I sat and ate my salad. On the way home that night I might have killed for baked spaghetti and a tray of breadsticks. But when I checked in I wasn't really hungry. At that point I was two weeks into the cleanse and I knew I had to stay on "clean: the best that I could. The one thing I have allowed myself is a soy latte from Starbucks. There are worse things in life and I feel ok with this.

Other things I'm doing to stay calm and centered include:

*Doing yoga. Today was actually my first time on the yoga mat since Sunday. My body, mind, and heart just feel so much better. I know that even as time gets busy and crazy I have to find time for yoga. It makes that much of a difference.

*Having a trusty touch stone nearby. The mala necklace I'm wearing now in the photo above. I also wore it yesterday to doctor meetings with my family. When I start to get anxious and scared I take hold of the seeds strung together from India and remind myself to "just breathe". In my yoga room I have a feather from Mexico. And rocks and pieces of coral. All of these soothe and ground me.

*Having a network of friends to call on. I can't even begin to explain how much love I've felt over the past week. Friends from long ago, friends in far away places, friends from the tree house, friends I haven't actually met, teachers, family's all been amazing and remarkable and has kept me going in so many ways. I called Sarah early Monday morning to see if she could get my classes subbed for the week. Before the day was over it was taken care of. I feel blessed, blessed, blessed in so many ways.

*Witnessing beauty around me. I'm seeing this in all forms. In the form of the patient young man valet parking cars at the hospital. As I fumbled around to get my things,clearly scattered and emotional, he assured me to "take my time, there is no rush darlin'". Beauty comes in the form of youtube videos reminding me, "all I need is love." Beauty comes in the form of a blue sky. Beauty comes in the form of matching Teva's my Mama and I are donning. Beauty comes in the form of the crying nurse. Beauty comes in the form of family coming together. In hearts being cracked wide open, and the embrace of my sister and brothers.

As I shared with my Mama yesterday, "We just have to keep clinging to the diamonds, the jewels in these very rough times." Together, that's what we're doing.

No matter where you are, who you are, what you do, what color your skin, no matter your age, your gender, your religion, your circumstance or your conditions...may you too cling to the diamonds and the jewels. May you see the beauty around you even in the darkest of times.

That's my wish for you.
For me.
For all of us.

1 comment:

CPK said...

It's strange and wonderful how even in the darkest, most constrained and terrifying times, the spirit recognizes the truth of beauty, and you begin to glimpse the meaning of courage - from "coeur", from the heart.
Then 'The light in me salutes the light in you' becomes a statement of fact.
Thank you for this beautiful post.
Holding you all in my heart,