When I believe my thoughts I am anxious.
When I connect with reality, I am at peace.
I have known this for a long time,
and now more than ever it holds true.
It is so humbling to admit that all of my training
couldn’t prepare me for this reality.
Yoga is fun and neat when you’re sitting in a room
with 30 people, learning how to teach people yoga
in a thriving studio on a normal day.
No one prepared me for a Pandemic.
No one told me how it would feel
when I couldn’t see my students anymore.
No one explained what it would be like
to go into a store and find empty shelves.
No one described the despair I’d feel
contemplating bringing my children up
during a widespread economic collapse.
After so many years of encouraging my students to breathe,
I find myself holding my breath.
After teaching my students how to stay present,
I find myself feeling anxious about the future.
After guiding my students into deep relaxation,
I feel anxiety alive in my body.
I remember that this will one day be a memory.
When this is all over,
I’d like to be able to tell the story about how I realized
I could just fully relax,
how I spent my time creating wonderful things
and then the Pandemic was over,
and I could look back on the quarantine
feeling proud that I stayed strong…
I guess I better start breathing
and staying present,
just like I’ve been teaching all these years.
It’s up to me.
I choose how I go through this.
I choose my response.
The old habit may be to panic,
catastrophize and focus
on what could go wrong,
but this habit isn’t helpful.
It isn’t life-affirming,
It doesn’t enable me
to offer my gifts to the world.
Why not breathe?
Why not practice gratitude
for what could be
an incredible opportunity
for awakening, for transformation?
Why not envision
a realm of infinite possibility?
Let’s collectively create
a brand new habit called:
awakening to our blessings,
offering our gifts in service
to the greatest good!
When it all can change so quickly,
when it all can be swept away without warning,
what exactly can we count on?
When we know that life is full of challenges,
unpredictable ups and downs,
sudden turns in the road
and no guarantees for our happiness and success,
what can we really look forward to?
I’m starting to understand
how our life philosophy matters,
how if we can expect and embrace challenge
we place ourselves in the driver’s seat…
Our mindset matters.
If we can make up our minds
to view every life event as an opportunity,
a chance to change, grow and evolve,
we will have no shortage of peak moments.
Today is the best day of my life.
Today is the day of my amazing good fortune;
no matter what happens
I choose to make this so.
I reach the end of the day
feeling deep gratitude
in every cell and fiber
of my tired body.
I gave my all today,
body, heart, mind and spirit.
I touched the lives of my students,
witnessed their transformation,
by the opportunity to bring value
to their lives through my work.
It took me a while
to see that I’m the one
who needs to value what I do
if I want others to see the value.
For so long
I relied on an external validation of my worth.
I’m seeing that
as long as I validate myself,
I don’t need anyone to do it for me.
Gratitude washes over me.
I have no more words.
It’s a struggle,*
but only because
it’s always been a struggle.
If I can change my mind,
if I can see a different way,
this might become
This is an opportunity
to slow down,
to the rhythms of my body-mind,
honor the self
that tries so hard to be good.
Can I love her
when she wants to scream?
Can I love her
when she is tired?
Can I appreciate
everything she has been through?
Instead of doing
what I’ve always done,
can I try something new?
If nothing else,
has given me an opportunity
to come home to myself
if only for this moment.
I want to find the Self
in all the swirls of emotion,
in the body aches and fatigue,
in the loneliness—
and I want to love her fiercely.
*Ladies out there, give me an AMEN if you too find yourself accosted with darkness and mood swings in conjunction with your moon cycle. It has been this way my whole adult life. What helps you manage to make it through those days of darkness until the sun breaks through the clouds again?
And guys out there…when your ladies get this way, have you found a way to help them make it through, or do you run in the opposite direction? I mean…it is INTENSE, after all, and hard to understand the sudden changes in temperament. My recommendation: buy her some flowers, run her a bath, make her some tea, and tell her you’re there for her and that you love her no matter what.
Doors opening to opportunities,
and my efforts blend in
with the wind, the rain,
and those who can help me.
I can’t tell anymore
where my thought ends
and reality begins.
What I see is a story in my mind.
Am I seeing rightly?
Let me go back to original thought,
and behind that,
the experience of awareness
prior to the self
that analyzed it.
Where am I
in all these layers of consciousness?
Things are never as bad
as you think they are.
are constructs of our mind;
they originate in our thoughts
but aren’t necessary the truth
of this one expansive now moment.
Something challenges you,
and instead of calling it a problem,
why not say instead
Ah! An opportunity to grow!
It’s all about your mindset.
If you choose a problem mindset,
you’ll feel stuck, embittered, frustrated,
lost, annoyed, impatient…terrible.
If you choose a growth mindset,
you’ll rise to the challenge,
feeling empowered, inspired,
open, motivated, bold…awesome.
So, where do you stand?
Problem, or opportunity?