Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wit's End

This week has been busy and stressful. From working to looking for a job to driving over 8 hours to teaching three yoga classes, I have not had a lot of time to just chill. I have not had a lot of time to do my own practice. And each day missed makes it easier to miss the next day.

Like so many people, I am a creature of habit, and when that habit gets interrupted, it is difficult to get back into the swing of things. It is easier to be tired, to be cranky. It is easier to allow external inconveniences dictate how my day comes and goes. This is where the yoga becomes extra necessary.

Today was the last straw. I sat in my car for 4 of those 8 hours this week, plus more just getting around town. I had no alone time today. I was trying to figure out logistics for a big meal tomorrow. And I was hungry. (The irony of that combination cannot go unrecognized.) When I got home, I mindlessly started eating and cooking. I walked over to my computer to read something, trying to do 4 different things at once.

Then I just stopped. It was as if the universe smacked me over the head and said, “you need to take a breath.”

So I did.

I am blessed to live alone in a two-bedroom apartment. The second bedroom is my yoga room (ready to start offering private yoga sessions). I went in there, and I sat . . . and I breathed. My mind was whipping around, but the breath began to take over. I began to slow down. Five minutes later, I felt better. Everything, as usual, was working just fine.

This crazed situation is not uncommon. The habit of frenzy takes over easily, and it is difficult to break away. When I see other people having days like this, I can be a voice of reason. I can, and often do, look at people and say, “take a breath.” The faster people are moving, the slower I usually say it. But when it is me, not always so easy.

The breath, as we know, is always there. We forget about it, but it does not fail us. And when we remember it, we are ripped out of whatever frenzy, and even for just a moment, we can stop. We can put life into perspective. Breaking that habit, stopping it, literally confuses us enough to force us to stop and reevaluate. When we cannot run on auto-pilot, we must stop and think, and usually we realize how caught up and distracted we were.

It really is that simple . . . and it is really, really hard to do. There are so many stimuli, be them family, friends, electronics, driving, plans, fears, hopes, everything.  Why pay attention to the breath? It is always there. It will exist even if we ignore it, so what is the point of paying attention? All those other “things” require our attention, or they disappear, right?

But can we pay full attention to any of them in our frenzied state? Can we experience them? Can we enjoy them? When we learn to appreciate the breath, we learn to appreciate all of life. Appreciating all that life has to offer, from an inhale to winning the lottery to children to whatever makes each moment special.

And then when we are at our wit’s end, we can always come back to the breath and remember that we can always appreciate that moment. For when we breathe, and consciously breathe, everything else simply falls away. Then we can reenter life more focused, more open, and more prepared.

I usually like to finish a post with a question of sorts, but instead, I am going to end this one with a dedication. May all of you who have crazy days allow the universe to smack you and wake you up. May you find the joy in your breath to bring some peace and calm to your frenzied days.

Namaste and blessings!

No comments:

Post a Comment