Over the last few months, I had the realization that rather than leading my life, my life was leading me. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that my life was dragging me kicking and screaming.
I felt overwhelmed by the most mundane of daily life and daunted by a never-ending stream of “crisis” that seems to lurk around every corner. My attitude frankly sucked and I wasn’t much fun to be married to or work with. Yes, I admit, this yoga teacher was a bit of a mess.
In the last month, though, I have had a profound experience of coming back to the helm, and while I know I don’t get to control my life, I do get to co-create it through my actions and attitude. As I said to my husband recently, “The issues haven’t changed. The pace of things hasn’t changed, but I’m happy and energized.”
So what did change? My own practice. I have recommitted to meditation. I haven’t been on my mat through pregnancy as I might have imagined I would – it simply hasn’t felt good. More significantly, though, I haven’t been on my meditation cushion. Being a business owner, and a generally driven person, I would find myself waking each morning to a barrage in my head – a to do list longer than the hours in the day.
I had a daily conversation that went something like this: “I really should meditate. I know it is worth it,” said voice one. “But you have so much to do and in that 30-minutes you could get x, y and z out of the way. Anyway, your meditation feels powerless right now. All you do is ruminate on the things you should be doing – all the things that aren’t done. Just get moving.”
And that was that. The second voice, call her the “overachiever” always won. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being an overachiever. In this case though, if I’m honest, this overachiever is not actually overachieving. She is running in circles, grumpy and killing my spark and joy. In other words, she is simply killing me and that doesn’t leave me with much power to achieve anything.
Jump-started by a simple long-weekend retreat early last month, I finally silenced this overachiever voice. Today marks 22 days of consecutive meditation. In just 30-minutes a day, I feel like I have been reborn. I’m excited about the challenges ahead and grateful to be where I am. Actually, I’m almost giddy with joy for no reason.
For instance, the other day, I found myself expressing gratitude that my computer was working so seamlessly. Normally, I expect my computer to work easily and I’m irritated at even the slightest slow down. I don’t notice when things are going the way I want them to go, only when they are off from the way I think they should go. This silly little moment made me smile. I wasn’t practicing being grateful. I simply had room for gratitude because of the deeper shift in my attitude.
The beauty of this lesson, more than anything, is how easy it can be to realign when I’m off kilter. All it took was commitment to my practice and in a few weeks presto. In with just 30-minutes a day, I have gone from desperate and tense to happy and delighted by life. So simple. So accessible. So wonderful.