Just had an epiphany after a friend who has rheumatoid arthritis described how comparing his physical situation to other’s or what was (vs what had been) took him down during most bikram classes, I was trying to explain why I don’t have negative emotion in yoga anymore, even when I have the worse day.
I do have pain every single time I go to bikram. Average going 4 times a week. I need to reach the edge, go to the pain, and not further, this is where the real work start, where I can help myself. And every single time, I feel energized after my practice, full of joy and life.
Now I know why. In all aspects of my life if I start with the what-if-and but, I guess I might collapse, cry all the tears of my body and some. Like many of us, I do face adversity, I have my share of trauma. It doesn’t come easy. To the point that some people wonder how I manage, how I get through. And still… I go strong. I was back in the hot room 10 days after an open shoulder surgery, 3 days after hospital release.
I focus on any micro improvement. Any little ray of sun. The opportunity to grow. To quiet my mind during each bikram class. To get into my skin and feel this joy to be alive. To be thankful that things didn’t go for the worst (yes, could be way worse!).
This crazy satisfaction to know I’m not anymore the scared patient only taking RA drugs and thinking she can do nothing for herself, crying over her lost life.
Being the patient negotiating with doctors and nurses at the hospital, requesting the best care possible for my whole health, asking them to work as a team for me. Being the crazy patient doing bikram poses 4 days after a big shoulder operation, in my hospital room.
This is power. This is strength. This is joy. This is also being vulnerable, facing what is, with low expectations, and working with it, whatever fear comes up. This is shining.
A friend, well more a chosen sister really, told me that day I was the toughest person she ever met. I believed her, and that was totally new to me.
This is the way I keep going, standing strong, rooted, head in the sky and feet firmly on the ground. It comes with a lot of joy and freedom. Try it!