I made it through the weekend that I was dreading. It's amazing how easily it is to come completely full circle. I learned just so. much. cool. stuff. Enough weird new age-y living and healing stuff to fill 10 blog posts. Those will wait for other times but just prepare your self to get totally blown away. It's really amazing how the yogic traditions can work their way right into the Christian beliefs that I've had from birth. But I have a lifetime to do more research and then talk about what I've learned and what it means to me personally. Today I just want to tell you about the weekend as a whole.
On Friday, I was in a super bad place. I woke up feeling sucky for so many reasons but my overactive mind had worked itself into a lather over the worry that I was going to be hot and miserable for the whole weekend. I had a fairly average day at work but because I was so upset over other things, I turned it into a bad day. Our weekend was being held at a studio that is only about a mile away from work (however, a long drive from home) so on my walk there Friday night, I called Adam and pretty much just lost it. I was still crying when I rode the elevator up to the studio.
As soon as I stepped off the elevator, I saw one of the teachers I know that was taking an advanced training and her group was meeting up with ours for the yoga spirituality lectures. She promised me that we wouldn't be too hot and that the weekend was really cool. And deep down, I knew that if I just took a chill pill, the weekend would be awesome and that I would have the opportunity to learn a great deal. My mind is hard to reason with when it becomes attached to an idea (the idea that I was going to overheat and feel claustrophobic) and it took a lot of convincing by her and others to let go of my worry about the whole situation and to open my mind and heart to new things.
We started the weekend with a really cool chant that basically translates from Sanskit to English as "May all beings every where be happy and free and may my words, thoughts and actions contribute to that in some way." Can I tell you how much I love the Sanskrit language? It's so flowy and succinct and just fun to let the words roll off out of your mouth. I love all the Sanskrit posture names and I love chanting in Sanskrit because in my mind, it's like singing an easy, more memorizable (you like that word? me too) version of a church hymn. And to me, there's not a lot more that is beautiful musically than 90ish people singing together. We did a lot of really cool chants over the weekend.
Life is teaching me so many lessons right now, including the very important one from the weekend, which I take as to loosen up sometimes. It was hot at times in the room, but it was never unbearable or something I couldn't handle. It was a long weekend and at a studio far away and out of my comfort zones, but I had someone to drive me there or take me home every day. Adam worked really hard on the condo all weekend and we did a bunch of errands and work together when I got home on Saturday. When things need to get done, we can work together as a team to make it happen. All the things I was so upset, worried and worked up about ended up being fine and it wasn't hard to tackle each thing as it came.
One key thing that I took away from our lecture on Friday night was the idea of doing a gratitude journal. When Adam and I were at Target on Saturday night, I bought myself a composition book and told him about what I was going to do and asked if he wanted to do it too. Basically, what we plan to do is write down a few things each day that we're grateful for. One of the girls in class on Friday said she's been doing hers for 6 years! That is amazing discipline. From doing it for the past two days, I will say it's hard. It's very hard to limit yourself on only writing down three things! But I want this to be a sustainable habit for both of us, so it has to be a five minutes or less type of thing. Each day, I've found myself reflecting on probably 10-20 things that I could write down and that's only thinking off the top of my head and not really going through my day and making a true inventory. The point of it, for me at least, is to identify and realize each day that I have more to be thankful for than to curse in my life.
It's nice to have a moment in time (even if you are being kind of forced) to sit down for awhile, learn some new things and reflect on what you already have and what you can give of yourself to others. I knew the weekend would be a valuable tool for me, I just had a lot of trouble getting over the personal humps I created for myself.
I got this picture from my friend Lisa's Facebook. Despite our complaints about having to go so far away from home for all our classes this weekend, we were rewarded with this as our view:
Chicago downtown skyline from the south