Last week I was on overload. I made a mental shift about how exactly to place my corporate writing job in my life. As I start to hammer out my first book I find that by the end of the day the last thing I want to do is log more hours on my laptop. So, I decided to put myself, and my writing, first. This was a huge step for me. I am one of those people that generally does not want, in any way, to disappoint others and because of this I tend to put others needs way before my own. I am sure you know what I’m talking about because I think this is how most people operate in their day to day lives.
But with this newfound commitment to myself I found there seemed to never be enough hours in the day. I was running from one situation to the next and my mind was constantly nagging at me to get it together while at the same time wandering from one possible outcome to the next. By Wednesday I felt like I needed to find some extra time to get things done. And that’s when the ego mind really kicked in. “You don’t have to stay for the next yoga class after you teach today. Who’s it going to hurt? Just think, you can catch up on some writing, run those errands that are definitely not going get accomplished this week, sort through your winter wardrobe, spend extra time with the dog, get some house cleaning done, and contact those people you need to get in touch with. You know it would be the best thing for you.”
And that’s when I made the best decision for me. I came out of teaching the morning class, looked at the teacher at the desk ready to check in students for the next one and told him to check me in. In fact I told him to bar the door and not let me leave. It was more imperative than ever to take that class. Having practiced for awhile now this was not the first or last battle I would have with this part of my mind, but what I know for sure is that when you feel stressed, running out of time, and generally overwhelmed, you need class more than any other day. Maybe you need to take two classes.
“But,” you say to me,” wouldn’t it have saved you the time you needed to no longer feel stressed?” And I say to you, “Possibly, but not really.” I might have gotten everything done, but the way in which I accomplished these things would not have been done with the flexible, relaxed part of myself that doesn’t get easily rattled. What’s the use of getting things done if I’m doing it with the crazy part of my mind? And as I see life starting to shift since I put my writing first, don’t I want the same for practice and my overall wellbeing?
You are always telling the Universe what is most important to you. The time you invest in something lets whatever the activity or thought is, expand and find presence within your life. So, if you are always investing in stressful thoughts and activities, you will receive more of these things. If you are investing in your health, your talents, your friends and family, and the positive thoughts that go with these things, this will then have a profound presence in your life. To make it clearer, as you concentrate and pay attention to the thoughts, things, people and activities that bring you peace and happiness, the thoughts, things, people and activities that bring you stress and angst contract and take up a smaller space in your life, if any space at all.
And for me, when I stand in the hot room as a student instead of a teacher I feel like I’m operating from the best part of myself for the rest of the day. The situations that normally create anxiety don’t affect me in the same way. The people that may rub me the wrong way are regarded with compassion and kindness. And my work in the world seems to flow easily from me. But for some reason when I need practice the most my mind resists it. It wants me to be part of the crazy.
In fact, when I sit back and reflect on this, I think resistance is one of my most impactive teachers. When I start resisting something, anything, I start paying attention. It doesn’t really matter what it is – it could be a yoga class, writing a blog post, pursuing a new opportunity, trying my hand at a new experience, hand stands and inversions of any kind….really anything. If I am resisting it I have to examine why I am figuratively digging my heels in the sand. Is it fear? Usually. Now in the case of the yoga class last week it was the fear that if I took the time to practice I might find myself in a space where others would think I couldn’t handle it all when the writing projects didn’t come back to them at lightening speed or I would disappoint those who depend on me when the errands did not get run. Other times it’s fear of judgment from others, failure, or simply not being enough. But the key is to recognize what is creating the fear and making the choice to proceed forward anyway – unapologetically and free in the confidence of your own Self.
And always, always choose to take the yoga class or sit in meditation. If there is resistance it’s because you need it that day more than any other.
Remember always to be fearless. Be bold. Be You.
Love the blog? You will love the book! Follow my yoga journey and the accomplishments of five of my students, as well as, recount some of the most popular blog posts in my first book: Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi.