I had a situation this week where I didn’t act…well, like a composed, meditative teacher of yoga should. I have a hugely supportive circle of loved ones that despite my faults continue to tell me that, “You were right. They were wrong.” I still felt disappointed in myself. I should have had more composure. I should have risen above my own emotions.
As I write this, I am realizing that what transpired was probably the best way it could have gone. Someone was angry towards me for something that wasn’t my fault. I tried to talk reasonably, but the conversation was going in circles. She was blaming me, and I was blaming her. I could feel this ball come up in my throat. I was about to unload in anger….or breakdown in tears. Neither option would have ended well. So, I just turned around and walked away. Most people would agree that extricating yourself from a volatile situation is probably the best thing to do, but I can’t help but feel that there is some gold standard, textbook behavior that I was supposed to do. I had failed. I laugh a little about it now because I even meditated AND did my morning breathing practices that day. Everything should have gone right. Right?
In the following days, I felt very embarrassed of myself. Yesterday, I started experiencing horrible lower back pain. Sitting, standing, and laying down gave me no relief. I went to a yoga class hoping it might help the pain, but I found I couldn’t do much. I couldn’t do any twists or balance on one leg. Damn, Upward Facing Dog was impossible. My muscles felt weak. I was short of breath. Something felt very…off. I was grateful to finally get to the end where we could be on the floor and stretch. The teacher then read from Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart. It’s a book I’m familiar with (it’s popular among yoga teachers), but I don’t own myself. I’m laying in Half Pigeon, and she begins to read the meditation for September 16th:
“At some point in the journey, we may become tired, weary, and confused. Homesick. All the mountains, the scenery, the food, the people, the experiences just don’t do it for us anymore. We want to go home. What am I doing here? we wonder. Nothing worthwhile is happening. Yet another part of us knows the truth and whispers, Yes, something is happening, something worthwhile. “
I immediately turn into a blubbering pile on the floor. Many truly wonderful things have happened since our move, but there have been negative experiences too. It’s easy to take that negative altercation with one person and turn them into a poster child of everything wrong about a place. I cannot just forget about all the worthwhile experiences I have had due to one unfortunate experience. I can even see how the bad experiences were for the best, and I only interpreted them as bad because it didn’t fit my ideal of how it should have went.
After that class and an afternoon nap, my back pain was completely gone. It could have been the nap, Half Pigeon pose, or just having a good cry that made my back feel better. I acted in the only way I could have at the time. This has given me a sense of relief. I don’t know what my future holds for me here in New England, but I take much comfort in that it holds something for me. Something worthwhile.