I’m feeling crummy, so I’m going to attempt keep this brief, although brevity isn’t one of my strong points, especially when I feel a need to vent. This has been a long day full of obstacles, and now I am exhausted. Of course what I call obstacles, others may call opportunities, but because of the way I feel, they certainly seemed like obstacles to me. It’s funny, predictable really, how physical illness makes every challenge seem heavy, insurmountable.
My husband has had a nagging cough for nearly two weeks now, and he kept me up with it for multiple nights in a row. In the middle of the night last night, I ended up dragging myself upstairs to the guest room hoping for some sleep, but you know how it is when you wake up enough to change your locale in the middle of the night, now your whole system has been aroused, and it fights going back to sleep. Needless to say, I was doubtful when I woke up this morning that I would feel together enough to teach a stellar yoga class. Because of my lack of energy, I decided it would be wise to teach a gentler, slower-paced class, a more restorative type class, instead of a crack the whip and show no mercy vinyasa class. I felt pretty good planning to teach a more mellow sequence, and was optimistic when I left the house in spite of the lack of sleep and feeling nauseous.
But then I arrived at the studio and there was no receptionist to check students in. And I had a bunch of new students arrive, which meant that I needed to get them registered, and I needed to take people’s payment, and I needed to reconcile the number of students in the room with the number of names signed in–when usually during this time I’m in the room meeting and greeting students, making sure everyone has their props, making sure the room is comfortable, getting mentally ready to lead everyone through some (hopefully) transformative asana and breath work. Having to fulfill both the roles of receptionist and teacher all at once left me feeling a bit flustered–and as luck would have it–on this particular day, there were more students than I had had in several weeks, which meant that by the time I had everyone checked in, it was three minutes past the time class was supposed to start, and now I had to rush around helping the new students get their props. Whew.
I apologized for beginning late, asked if we could go five minutes over, and thanked everyone for bearing with me. The class actually went quite smoothly; there were a few bumps here and there, but what else could I really expect? At one point I actually joked about how I was sleep deprived because my husband had kept me up with his coughing–and I again thanked the students for bearing with me. Letting them know that I was having a human moment helped me to feel more connected with my students, and more accepting of the inevitable rough spots in my dialogue. I really do think I did pretty well considering. After class multiple students–even the new ones–came up and thanked me and reassured me that it was a great class. I’m so grateful for their kindness and understanding and for their appreciation. It somehow made it all okay.
But then, there were multiple delays as I tried to get back home to my kids, more frustration thrown into the mix. The kids were being watched by one of my long time students who showed great mercy last week and answered my cry for help, agreed to come watch the kids when no one else was available. Whew, she’s a life saver. One of her daughters was in town, and I didn’t want to keep her from their visit, but of course one delay after another cropped up on my journey home, and I ended up feeling guilty for eating into their time.
And then, feeling sick, I plopped myself and the kids in front of the TV after lunch, because I just didn’t have the energy to take them out on this amazingly beautiful May day. More guilt. The kids should be outside playing. You should gather up your energy and take them outside and let them breathe some fresh air. Yep, guilt.
I’m feeling more ill with each passing minute; I’m not sure if I have a stomach bug or not, but I just want to lie down and I still want to meditate at least for a few minutes before I turn in. So I’ll wrap this post up with the recognition that I have a long way to go before I can bask in some genuine self-acceptance. The undercurrent of this whole day is one of not being good enough, and guilt for that. It seems healing is called for on multiple levels, some much deeper than this physical body that isn’t feeling so great at present.
And so, for my poem of the day, something about guilt, something about healing.
We cannot escape our shadow,
so why not make it dance?
If we see the shadow,
it only means we’re standing close to the light.
If we turn to face the light,
and set down all of the perceived burdens–
guilt, fear, shame, blame, anger, dissatisfaction–
What would emerge in the space left behind?
If I dropped the story,
“I am not good enough”
Who then would I be?
Have I identified with this story for so long
that I am afraid to see who I am without it?
Let me drop the story along with the burdens
and wave my arms and laugh at the sky
and let my tears fall
and for one moment of freedom,
realize, it’s all okay.