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Monday, July 25, 2011

Grace, gratitude,and the parking spot

The current heat wave is hard to handle. The earth is thirsty, the air is oppresive, tempers flare, fuses of all kinds blow. Our coping mechanisms are challenged-my car air conditioner has not been working through this(drive I-95...challenging, hell yes!) The heat does things to humans, it stirs up the crazies out there, and out they come. Makes for an interesting, and yes, challenging encouter. I had such yesterday. Interestingly enough, the theme for my yoga classes this week is grace bringing us to gratitude that leads to contentment is we allow ourselves to live one breath at a time. You see, as I drove to teach a prenatal class, I arrive at a red light, in front of me is a stopped car, normal, right? So wrong! The driver isn't moving, the light has changed. Horns blow(yes, mine too!) He sticks his head out the window and says something. I say "the light changed." He says "can't you see how close you are to my car, my blinker's on"  I say "  Sir, my car is about 4 feet from yours, I can"t back up, there are cars behind me" (breathe, be calm, grace) Apparently he felt he was entitled to the parking spot a bit behind me on my right-even though he would have to back through me and the now growing backup of cars behind me! I  put my hands up and say "whatever", not wanting to get into it with him. At this point he gets out of his car and comes towards me loudly saying "excuse me, excuse me.." (breathe Maureen, breathe) I say "I am going to 911 if you don't leave me alone" and he retorts "go ahead" as I put up the windows in my un-airconditioned car and get out the cell phone(breathing, hoping I don't have to dial)  the light changes, changes again, no one is moving, horns blare. I dial, my hands are shaking. A good samaritan comes up from behind me and tries to request he move and explains that I can't back up for him.. The light changes several more times as she suggests that he simply drive around the block. The light  changes again....and he decides to drive on. Whew...gratitude! I thank the samaritan, turn the corner and find a parking spot and collect myself.  As I walk into the studio, I find contentment-for still being in one piece, that I tried to be gracious and responded instead of reacting to adverse circumstance, gratitude for the samaritan, grateful for every breath.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Letting go of the rock!

Picture a rushing rapid.  White water all around. Right in the middle of the torrent is a boulder. Hanging on for dear life there you are...your fingers are slipping, as you struggle to hold on with a death grip....did you ever get that feeling about life?  We really are like the drowning man hanging on to the rock. We are afraid to let go, afraid to surrender to trust. We hold on to so  many things with that grip, clutching tight to old patterns, people, the job that"defines" us. The ego creates this hanging on-our good friend the ego  just doesn't like change....but the only thing that is certain in this life is change! It's inevitable, like the moving of the swift current. Talk about a struggle. It is tiring just thinking about it. But instead of struggling against the current, if we just choose to let go of the rock and flow downstream into the current of life, and allow it to happen, and see where it flows we don't drown-we become buoyant. The current of life allows us to swim supported once we surrender to it and brings us right to where we are supposed to be for us. I used to hold on with a vengeance! (The inner control freak dies hard!) When I came to yoga, I was in a dark night of the soul. My father had passed after a long illness, the job of 17 years ended,someone close to me struggling with addiction, the milestone birthday was upon me.Quite a load to hold onto. I was struggling to keep a grip on what I thought was my life.  At every turn when I fought-to try to keep the job going, holding on to my dad, trying to fix the addict. Because I didn't listen, the universe literally was giving me no choice but to let go! So I did. Not the easisest thing to do, let me tell you! At first in my practice, the control freak wouldn't teacher's favorite remark to me at one point.."let go of your head!" You see, by holding on, we  create internal and external tension.But here's the secret...if you let go, you really won't drown. Release, slip into lifes current, and let it take you, all you have to do is ...SWIM! You won't be sorry.....let go of the rock!