I tried Yoga about 5 years ago. It looked like the kind of thing I wanted to like. Wasn’t necessarily the kind of thing I thought I would like. But I wanted really, really badly to like it. I may have approached it the wrong way. It seems to me that it’s something that may work very well when you need it. Actually, when you NEED it. Or when you are really open to it. But what it ended up doing for me was really piss me off. All that “relax…clear your mind” stuff. The more I knew I should be relaxing and wasn’t, the more upset I got. And the mind started to spin about being upset. The inside of my head can be a bit of a cluster sometimes.
Anyway, six months ago, yoga would have been totally out of the question. But some things have changed dramatically since that time. Now, when I sit outside and I listen to the sounds of nature, I can say “life is good” out loud and not feel like a total fraud (my neighbors may think I am a little weird though and I am OK with that). I’m not sure if other people go through a stage when they decide that it’s time to work on themselves. But what I found was that I was at a place where I knew I would not be happy staying. I was doing things and making decisions based on negative things instead of positive things. And I was letting the little stuff REALLY get me down. I think I mentioned that last year pretty much sucked for me all the way around. It was the little things that I focused on that kept me where I was (like that cell phone commercial, I’m pretty sure the name of the place was Suckicago). That’s really obvious now, but not so much then. It’s like punching yourself in the face and then wondering why you have a black eye. Duh, Heather. Humans can be idiots.
Anyway, I won’t explain what’s been going on in detail, but it involves a lot of reading and thinking and talking and really challenging what I thought I wanted in my life versus what I truly need to be happy. And a lot of reminding myself that someone driving slowly in front of you will not be important tomorrow. Or that not getting all the resources you want for a project will have no bearing on your long term career. And that tossing it around in your mind like towels in a dryer is unproductive and self-defeating. The things we let become “important” by letting them occupy are thoughts can be ridiculous. Being aware of the ridiculousness is a good first step. Step two is putting it aside and living in the moment (which I plan on doing right after I get rid of the last traces of this hangover…little too much Chardonnay by the pool yesterday). I’ve found that doing that is like giving yourself a gift. Those moments don’t last that long, but they will. So that is where the yoga comes in right now. I am starting to believe that things come into your life when you need them, not at the control of anyone but the universe (sound crackpot-ish? I would have thought so but I’m becoming a believer). Or at least they make themselves obvious to you at the right time. Yoga to Heather: “Girlfriend, you need me right now. I’m going to teach you to calm your mind.” And I am finally at the point where my mind thinks that’s a possibility.
I’m even thankful that my cage got rattled, believe it or not. Anyway, I guess in some ways, this is a follow up to the few vague posts about Suckicago (as it will now forever be known….it only gets one word now, no further elaboration). I like to name things. It’s 4 syllables; it’s over.
Next? This is the story of how one obsessive type-A learns to love yoga and chill the hell out.