A few months ago, I taught a class on sitting through the difficult postures. We held CHAIR posture for an insane amount of time and then I asked the class to come out S-L-O-W-L-Y!! Very, very S—L—O—W—L—Y……………………………………….. This is tough, because all you really want to do is get out of the posture by bending forward or standing up straight. But coming out slowly really tests your self control!
Throughout class, I shared some favorite quotes like
and these famous words by C.S. Lewis
and I discussed the value of sitting in the bad times rather than following our natural tendency to hurry and push through and get to the end of our trials, whether through folding forward or standing up straight!
I had a few people who ended up with tears in their eyes, and my heart yearned in a desire to help them, love them, and give them a glimmer of peace!
I am an overly zealous, almost religious, New Year’s Resolution setter. I am careful about planning and preparing; and I am careful about making the right goals at the right time.
That being said, I try to be patient with my own personal set backs and weaknesses; setting myself up for the greatest possible outcome.
However, I have never seen a year quite like this year where June has begun, summer is about to start, and I have absolutely NO direction or perception on HOW I want the year to go or WHAT I want to do with my year! Because of my past experiences, I have felt confident, albeit perplexed, that I would come to understand what kind of goals my heart would lead me to set. I will admit, as June 1st approached really rapidly, I began to fret just a bit that this year would be a year with little change that I could account for. I apologize up front for the day by day recap, but I promise, it will eventually lead to my ‘ah ha’ moment!
First off, let it be known that April Fools Day set off a massive and complex set of circumstances that would and could send ANYONE over the edge, drive one to drink, and force one into the fetal position (not in a ‘good’ yogi way, but in an ‘I can’t bear to look up’ kind of way). To protect the struggling but demonstrate the heaviness of the past few months, I mention vaguely that we have dealt with a car accident, a vehicle explosion, financial heaviness, several ambulance rides and hospitalizations, rebellion, breakdowns, difficult decisions, filing criminal charges, and a few cases of severe identity crises! I am not playing around when I very dramatically declare we have had a HELL of a past few months! So when this week began, I was already at my capacity for normal reasoning skills and proper perspective:
May 31st came with a difficult announcement that impacted my entire household, but impacted me tremendously as I felt the weight of some of the challenges our family has faced thus far this year. Though it shouldn’t have been a big deal, I felt that the circumstances that were currently completely out of our control would ALWAYS and FOREVER define who I was as a person and who we were as a family!
June 1st came, which marked the passing deadline of a long held goal. I felt, deep within my heart that I needed to let this opportunity fly by, with no remorse or second thought. Unfortunately, letting it go today meant letting it go forever, which sent me into a nice sized 45 year old temper tantrum!
June 2nd came with an opportunity to chat with one of my adult daughters. As she shared some of her recent happenings, my heart sank as I realized that she was setting aside some of the goals and dreams that I had long been in my hopes and visions for her life and future! At the end of our conversation, I could feel myself stop breathing! In a hyperventilation, suffocating, ‘somebody help me’ kind of stop breathing…
June 3rd arrived and I got some shocking news at a routine check up. The news was not unexpected, but completely unexpected- if you know what I mean?? And my breath got even more labored and taxing. I’m a yoga teacher, I coax people several times a day to send their breath into their bellies and I couldn’t get my breath past my throat. Honestly, I’m not sure the breath was making it past my nasal cavity at this point!
And this news was the straw that broke the camels back- in every sense of that phrase. THIS WAS IT, I was done! I had carried, and struggled; smiled and supported- and I was TIRED…
I cried and cried and cried as I left the doctor’s office on Wednesday. Cried and sobbed and wondered what in the heck is going on. And then I walked into Lucky Brand Jeans for the 8th time in 7 days, and bought myself back to sanity And just for good measure, I walked right next door to Steve Madden and bought a little more sanity for good measure!
There was an angel sitting on my shoulder earlier in the week who guided me to reach out to an old high school classmate. I carefully choose the word ‘classmate’ because we were not in the same social circle at all, but through social media, her and I have reconnected and she inspires me constantly! Earlier in the week, we had determined to have a phone chat on Wednesday afternoon. That phone call literally saved my life as my breath finally started moving again! Had the arrangements not been made prior, I would NEVER have called and dumped my life’s current woes on her shoulders.
And that same angel had encouraged me to set up a meeting with my yoga mentor, a meeting I had been trying to make for months but just could not seem to get it together. This meeting unlocked my leftover tension and allowed me to sit up tall and take it all in!
As I was having both of these conversations, one thing became obviously clear… this is NOT the time for new growth at all. This is a time to just sit still and allow the journey of life to play out and wait, with absolute confidence, for the miracles to unfold! There is nothing I can do to change ANYTHING I am experiencing right now, BUT I can impact the outcome of the relationships involved; I CAN influence my example to those around me and I can CHOOSE to gain wisdom and compassion that will bleed into my family and community.
I can LOVE!
I can ACCEPT!
I can see BEAUTY even in the crap!
And I can LIVE as an example that bad things happen to good people.
As if getting my breath back was not enough, I was sent a message from a new friend! And when I read this message, I had a grand epiphany!
My heart and my spirit knew all along that this year was going to be a doozy! This IS why I could not plan New Year’s Resolutions! How do you plan to accomplish some of the things I have accomplished this year?
How do you sit down and write things like…
This year, I will learn the value of each and every day with my children, because life is often cut too short!
This year, I will learn that choice and accountability can only be learned by mistakes and often failure!
This year, I will understand that for some people the best route to maturity is long, hard, and incredibly painful!
This year, I will fly on a moments notice to rescue a child who doesn’t know she is drowning!
This year, my family will be closer because family is ALL we have!
This year, I will teach my children, through humble example, that when life gives you lemons we don’t always have the sugar and water to make lemonade; sometimes you simply have to taste that raw lemon- bitter and sour, and definitely not yummy to the tummy!
This year, I will keep moving forward! I will pray until my tears run dry and my knees hurt!
This year, because I have gone through Hell, I will recognize the person sitting next to me who looks just like me- sane, confident and happy, but I can see into her heart that her life has just fallen apart!
And this year, I will learn that when we hit rock bottom; when we honestly don’t have ONE more step in us… someone will arrive to help carry our burden or strengthen our hold!
My New Year’s Resolution’s didn’t get set until June 4th! But here they are… in all their guts and glory.
Because what I’ve learned this year is that sometimes we get to shovel the hooey from our stalls and move on…
BUT sometimes, we have to sit down in that $#&*! and wait for the flowers to bloom!
If you’ve tuned me out thus far, please hear me now…
I assure you, out of the crap,
our lives get fertilized,
and our flowers, our fruits, our vines-
grow bigger, better, bolder, and produce more goodness than if we had shoveled that $&*!# and walked away!