Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 5 - And...

I woke up feeling better after a bout with a flu yesterday.  I took practice this morning.  It was lovely practicing by myself in the upstairs room at the shala with warm sunlight pouring in and the bright green and gold Buddha painting on the wall behind me.

Feeling better, I was able to take more notice of what was happening inside me and not just on my plate.  That is one of the great things about cleansing.  It reveals a lot that we don't often like to face.  The lack of calories leads to a lack of energy, which causes you to slow down.  In slowing down, we begin to perceive things more clearly.  For me, this time around, this is bringing up a lot of sadness. 

Two examples of this came up yesterday.   We were at a meeting to organize for the Yoga Stops Traffick event coming up on Sunday.  There were several people at the meeting whom I'd never met before.  There was also a person there who I see quite infrequently.  I always feel awkward when meeting new people.  I'm not sure what to say.  I'm uncomfortable starting conversations.  I feel alienated and want to hide in my turtle shell.  This I already knew.  It was easier for me when I was a big drinker and could play the role of the "life of the party" but now that I'm not that any more, I'm not sure what role to play.  I feel very unnatural.  None of this is news to me.  Then, something revealing happened.  A woman showed up late with her dog.  I felt every fiber of my being change from scared and reserved to excited and engaged.  I wanted the dog to be near me and to pet him and cuddle with him.  And then I realized how my attitude towards people also makes me a little bit sad.  I had never really thought about that sadness before last night.  It was interesting to see it so clearly as though the statement was always "I'm shy and reserved..." and was never quite complete. Last night I was able to complete that sentence with "...and sometimes that makes me sad."

The other example was more intimate.  My best friend was going in to have her baby.  She and I both left Boston around the same time two years ago.  Since, I have seen her once in Pittsburgh. Both of our busy lives make it difficult for us to connect sometimes.  When I read on Facebook that she was going in, I realized that's how I would learn about her baby, too.  I wouldn't get a phone call.  It wasn't like with her first baby where I was able to go see them in the hospital after work.  There is a distance there now that's both physical and emotional.  Again, it was something that I realized for a while now.  But the event really chrystalized for me that sadness which I had been avoiding.

So, at this moment anyway, in this cleanse, that's what's coming up for me.  It's interesting to see what happens when you have the clarity to complete your own thoughts.


I'll end with a less narcissistic story.  I was on the phone today with a colleague.  She just came back from a ski trip.  Rushing in to work yesterday, she tried to pass someone coming up the stairs from the subway.  She slipped and broke her pinky finger.  When telling me about it, she said, "I learned an important lesson here.  That extra minute I would have gained is just not worth it."

I have several athletic acquaintances who have had similar accidents.  Nothing happens to them when they are focused and absorbed by their sport.  Then, they injure themselves doing the mundane.  It's interesting to me how similar other athletic activities can be to yoga when they are done in that way, almost meditative.  Also, interesting how it's important to carry that state of being into your day to day life.

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