When living with a chronic or terminal disease you have to talk about it a lot! I lived at the doctor’s office, I lived in hospitals, the dialogue was always about my disease. That eventually bled into all of my conversations with family, friends, people I had just met, etc. Two things happen, in my opinion, you get so used to talking about your disease that it just becomes natural to talk about it, and you become addicted. Just as someone gets addicted to a drug, or trauma, you become addicted to your “disease.” My disease, Lupus, became my crutch and excuse for everything, for all my problems. It was the reason I couldn’t do this or that, it was the reason I was a certain way, or acted a certain way…but it wasn’t. I was swimming in my own sorrow. Of course my disease is limiting, there truly were and are certain things I cannot do, but where did I draw the line… I didn’t.
THEM: Hi, what do you do for a living?
ME: I’m a yoga teacher
THEM: Oh God, I would die if I did yoga! I’m just not flexible enough.
Hmmmm… 9 times out of 10 this is the response I get when I talk to someone about yoga. Rarely do I hear that they don’t do yoga because they’re scared, don’t have enough money to join a studio, don’t have time, or because they think yoga is weird. This is ALWAYS my response: “That’s exactly why you NEED to do yoga. Yoga helps you become flexible, in your body and in your mind.”
So, let’s talk about this. How can yoga help the inflexible become more flexible, on and off the mat.
It has been said that we have anywhere from 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day and it could even be more. That’s insane! Our brain is beautiful, magical, wonderful, powerful, and its also…a liar! Think of all the silly things you think about during the day. “I’m fat, I’m stupid, I’m not good enough. I’ll never get this job, he/she will probably never call me again. My dad called 3 times, I bet something horrible happened to mom.” You know exactly what I’m talking about. We drive ourselves completely insane…over NOTHING! Some of these things are important for our survival; “Don’t touch that it’s hot, you probably shouldn’t walk down that dark alley alone, it’s dangerous.” These things keep us alive and safe. So how do we weed out the unnecessary thoughts and hold onto the ones that matter. Can meditation help?
Victims of the past. How often are we actually living in the past vs. the present? I’m guilty, I know I am. I work very hard to take from the past what I need to be a stronger, wiser, better person, and let all the rest go. I try to let all of the things that are no longer serving me disappear from sight. This is so much easier said than done.