I left my desk this afternoon feeling completely overwhelmed. The week out sick and then the short week last week for Christmas plus the absent co-workers has wreaked havoc on my workload. On the drive home my mind is racing with thoughts of all the work I left un-done and all the work waiting for me at home.
I open the front door and that feeling of being overwhelmed intensifies. The kids are off from school this week for Christmas break so you know what that means. The house is a mess. Christmas presents everywhere, sink full of dishes, the trash overflowing. Let's not even talk about the dirt from the plant that got knocked over on the floor or the fact that snow and salt have been tracked in all over the house.
Just when I'm ready to blow my top I remember that it's Tuesday. Tuesday means yoga! Ahh.... okay. I start to breath a bit deeper and I set to work on cleaning up. I'm aware that when my surrounds are out of control so are my thoughts. As I start to put things back in order, my thoughts seems to settle down. Funny how that works.
Once I've brought at least some order to the house I head off to yoga. The simple act of unrolling my mat makes me feel calmer. Tonight's bhavana was gratitude. Not just the easy gratitude like for the fabulous ipod I got for Christmas or for the fact that my little one tried to help me by making my bed for me but gratitude for the challenges in our lives. Gratitude for the lessons the Divine so generously places on our laps.
My head hurts. Was it the beer I drank last night or was it my resistance to feeling grateful for the challenges? I don't really know. Maybe a little of both. But slowly, the soothing sound of my teacher's voice, the music, the warmth from the fireplace and the sound of my own breath begin to soften me. I let go of the tension I brought with me to class. I let go of the thoughts and I move with my breath.
By the end of savasana I can honestly say that I didn't want to leave. I wanted to curl up in front of the fireplace and sleep for a month. But we all know that the real yoga happens when we get off the mat, right?
Can I hold on to that feeling of calm and peace as I head home? Will that feeling still be there tomorrow as I sit down to the mountain of work on my desk? How will I reinforce this sense of letting go? By practicing more yoga of course.
I realized today that I hadn't practiced in days and I was feeling the effects. The effect was that feeling of being out of control. My workload was out of control, my eating was out of control, Christmas spending was out of control and I even drank wine several days in a row without even thinking about it until tonight.
Okay..... it's time to regroup. Tonight's yoga practice helped. Going to bed early tonight will help me get up early tomorrow morning for sadhana. When the thoughts of the work waiting for me tomorrow begin to dance around in my mind tonight I'll use my mantra. Not to push the thoughts away but to give my mind sometimes else to think. When I start to feel overwhelmed tomorrow.... I'll remember to practice yoga - I'll breath deeply, I'll repeat my mantra and I'll take one task at a time. Keeping my thoughts under control will help me keep my surrounds under control. With my thoughts under control I can focus more clearly on the task at hand. With the task at hand complete, my thoughts will be calmer. Funny how that works.
I know I know but sometimes I forget and when I remember, then I know. Yoga Sadhana is the key to holding on to this feeling of calm and peace..... Om Namah Shivaya!