Back to Life, Back to Reality-A Return to Yoga

I decided I needed a yoga fix yesterday. I don’t know why? Or, maybe I do. There has been tension in my house lately, shit with kids, if you know what I mean!  If you don’t, well, I’m happy for you (smirk, smirk;-)!

It was about 11:00 PM.  I was mentally exhausted from being pulled in all directions. From all the high school application letters going out; the anxiety of “waiting”, the feeling of anger and culminating with a deep sense of frustration after reading an e-mail from a teacher about one child’s academic performance in class.  Another wave came during the writing of a “contractual agreement” for my other child- a signed promise to focus more on her school work and not Justin Beiber. All the while, feeling secretly proud after watching her hustle on the basketball court, fighting with every last ounce of determination and energy she had left to win the championship game.

At the end of the day, in my minds eye, the webpage/logo for a yoga studio where I used to take classes appeared. It was a message.  I listened, and went to my computer and pulled up the class schedule.  I found a class that I could attend the next morning.

Prior to heading out the door I attacked the laundry basket. One of my most un-favorite morning duties. I decided to go and make the “clean sweep” in both of the kids’ rooms.  They will inevitably have a mound (if they manage to get it into such a pristine pile) of clothes piled on the floor. The trail of clothing in my daughter’s room led me into her closet.  There, I saw scattered everywhere, the old Valentine cards and candy wrappers from the holiday we celebrated over a week prior. I smelled a strange, putrid smell.  I glanced up on her shelf and noticed a lunch box buried under a pile of papers and the arm of a sweater. I picked up the lunch box, felt the weight and realized I would have to carry this offending item out of the room and clean it myself.   I left with one arm carrying the mound of laundry and the other outstretched in front of me, trying to keep any toxins from the impending contents of the lunch box at bay.

I deposited the laundry on the floor of the laundry room and proceed to the kitchen.  I carefully unzipped the lunchbox and discovered a bag of pistachios along with an unrecognizable piece of fruit covered with multi-colored dots in varying patterns. I opted not to touch it for fear of another viral infection.  There was also something wrapped up in foil. Not wanting to know exactly what it was, I just left it all there; continuing it’s progression to putrid-ville. I was now running late as this entire escapade put me back several minutes later than I had expected.  I grabbed my purse and keys and flew out the door. A great state of mind to head to yoga.

Approaching the highway (otherwise known as Mopac which I have renamed Slopac;-), I hit the traffic wall! Obscenities clouded my thoughts.  I knew there was likely NO WAY to get to the class on time. I almost turned the car around but decided to roll the dice.

I actually arrived at the studio two minutes before class began! I ran through the doors and introduced myself to the teacher explaining that I had been on an extended hiatus but was ready to get “back in the game”. She smiled and welcomed me to take it at my own pace. Hmmmm, I felt like shavasanna was about my pace at the moment….either that or kick-boxing.

She began with some simple breathing exercises which, I do admit, centered me. It took my head out of the game. I was present, listening and watching her every move.

We started the class opening up the spine, back bending over a block right between our shoulder blades. A heart opener, how appropriate. I think G-d gave her some Cliff’s notes on me and my life from the last few days. I admit, it was a weird sensation at first and I did push myself to get into the pose.  And, after a while, it felt good.

She spoke of “surrendering”. I thought a lot about that word:  Surrender. Who was I supposed to surrender to? No one was holding me up at gunpoint, were they? Well, after second thought……

What was I surrendering to? My body? My mind? Both?  “Let go Ellen. Let go”. When my mind becomes fixed on something, literally I wan to “fix” whatever is wrong. That’s my job, right? I read it in the Mom’s instruction manual about 14 years ago. Fix whatever is wrong and then make it right. Sometimes you realize that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him (or her) drink. I have been struggling with this notion for some time now. There are the “right” and “wrong” foods, clothes, choice of words, behaviors, etc. ALL of which we SHOULD and NEED to impose on our angelic children because if we don’t, who will they grow up to be? No child of mine would ever…..right?!?!?

Now, it was time to realize that  I was hearing this all for a reason.  Surrender not only your body, not only your mind but your entire soul. Search for that place of calm. Share with your children the virtue of calming the mind and then they can be set free. Free to grapple with what is right and what is wrong. Free to make good choices not bad.  Free to engage in positive behaviors.  This is what I came here for today, to hear those words and listen.  I am re-centered, refreshed and realigned with what is truly real.  Reality bites but surrender is sweet.

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