Today in yoga, my instructor began the class with explaining how her brain just wouldn't shut off and that yoga is one hour each day she can invite her brain to focus on less, mainly body placement, breathing, etc. I think my head was going to pop off I was nodding so profusely.
I have never been one of those people that understood the comment, "I am not thinking anything." My brain is like the stock market, ticking away with thoughts so fast it can be difficult to catch them. In the past, I had to teach myself to stop before speaking because it would come out jumbled from trying to keep up with my brain. It took years to realize I would interrupt people in order to get my thoughts out before I forgot them. Literally my brain is on full blast all the time. Relaxing is actually a struggle for me. Shocking, I know.
Yoga has opened up a whole new life for me. It has allowed me to give myself permission during each class to block out all thoughts and just feel. I feel the breath going in, filling up my lungs, my lower abdomen, my lower back part of my back, relaxing my hip joints, pushing through the back of my heels, then back up again. None of this requires thinking. None of it requires judgement, pressure, anxiety or revisiting parts of my day. It is completely and utterly me. Inside and out.
I am not sure if I will ever be able to truly meditate. I am sure I could train myself as I am a "mind over matter" kinda gal, but honestly just being able to shut my brain down for one class has enabled me to realize I can be that fun loving person in even in the worst of moments. I can be kooky, bubbly, friendly and still get work done. I can have tough conversations with my team members and still be relaxed and smile. I can get into stressful situations, handle it and then walk away, leaving the situation in the past.
What amazing freedom.
I have always envied people like my sister, who can get into bed at night and simply flip their brain off as if their entire day was spent meditating. As a young child, I knew what she had done and it was way worse than my wrongs. (lol) Yet, here she slept, peacefully.
Now I get it. Nothing is so important that it should interfere with your sleep, happiness and overall peace with life.
I am still in training. There are days I want to punch people in the face, which actually could be considered an improvement because long ago I couldn't imagine wanting to punch someone, now I know right away. And I counteract that feeling with something else; being aware. I have days where I am tired, at wits end and struggle, but they are becoming fewer and farther between. I am also noticing a change in the way I react to others and their comments and feelings. I know that they are solely theirs and I can only control my own reactions.
Yoga has taught me I can have a million things going on inside, but it doesn't have to control me. I control it. By simply breathing. Breath in, move, stretch, adjust, breath out, tilt, turn, push, breath in. Work is the same concept, but I get paid. (lol) It doesn't (and shouldn't) be stressful. I love my job and I am so good at it.
Such simple lessons, but it can take a lifetime to work.