Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Doing Our Best

It's been a little over a month since last I wrote.  How life can fall apart so quickly?...

Shortly after my last post, Steve got laid off from his job of 20 years.  It was really unexpected.  My art career has added to our income over the years, but it was Steve's paycheck that we used to pay all of our bills.  So began the single most stressful period of our lives.  We weren't sure if we would lose our house.  We began a frantic search for apartments and jobs.  Everything I thought I knew was turned on its head in one fell swoop.  I felt adrift, afraid, depressed, full of anxiety, angry, ashamed, and oh - did I mention stressed?

To make a long story short, it looks like we'll be able to stay in our home.  Steve is now working a graveyard temp gig, so at least that's something.  It's not like we've seen a dime of unemployment in these 5 weeks either, thank you very much government.  I've picked up as many shifts as I possibly can at YogaWorks.  I feel like I don't have more than two minutes to rub together on any given day now.  I race around town going to work or to Teacher Training and then try to fit in my homework whenever I can.  At the end of the day I collapse into bed, exhausted.

Through it all, I've tried to show up on my mat as often as I feel able.  In truth, my practices have been fairly lousy.  I can't focus.  I feel tight and achey in pretty much every joint.  My body feels leaden as I try to move through sun salutations and then it only gets worse after that.  Plus, I miss the 6-days-per-week schedule I used to hold.  At best, I'm able to carve out 3 or 4 days for practice.  I realize that's better than nothing, but I still feel like crap.

Truth be told, I think I've been a little angry with yoga during this time.  No... now that I'm writing this, I realize I've been A LOT angry with yoga.  I assumed that my commitment to yoga should somehow allow me to sail through this time with nary a scratch.  I thought I would feel serene and centered and altogether detached from the gale that raged on around me.  Why?  Why couldn't I do that after devoting so much of myself to yoga?  If not now, then when?  Doesn't yoga owe me at least a modicum of groundedness, damn it?

Slowly though, I began to realize that yoga has helped me.  Maybe it isn't in some grand, undeniable, in-your-face fashion, but it's been there all the same.  I guess true to it's nature, yoga has worked on me and for me in much more subtle ways.  Yes I get on my mat and my body feels heavy and lethargic and tight.  But I do my best.  And my mat has been my refuge in which to do that.  For that single hour I have to give, that rectangular piece of rubber becomes my sanctuary.  It is my safe harbor in a stormy sea.  My arm balances might not be Olympic-caliber, but my mat allows me to be just who I am on any given day and then calls it perfect.  The only judgement there is my own and by showing up, I've begun to release some of the weight that I've placed upon my shoulders.  I can only do the best that I can and, in yoga at least, that's all that matters.


  1. What a great line: "The only judgement there is my own and by showing up, I've begun to release some of the weight that I've placed upon my shoulders."
    I can so relate to needing to do that! Yes to more and more weight falling off!