“Breathe. The Universe is taking care of everything else.”
Yesterday was a very difficult day for me meaning I had so much stress and anxiety that I allowed it to disturb my physical body causing my chronic pain to heighten to levels I rarely feel anymore. I had an appointment early in the morning that went very poorly causing many tears. My two year old awoke with pink eye (conjunctivitis) so the second my appointment was over I rushed home to take her to the pediatrician. Toddlers and doctors just do not mix well. She is at the age where she knows the doctor’s building and begins crying before we even enter the building. I brought two of her favorite stuffed animals and told her they needed a check up which actually did help a great deal. I asked the doctor to weigh the stuffed animals and check their eyes, ears, and throat as well. Kayci cried a lot and the doctor ordered the strongest eye drops possible so she would get better immediately. She advised me that I should not allow Kayci around other children until at least Friday as she is contagious. I already knew this but hearing: “stuck in the house” made my eyes fill up. My daughter’s pediatrician is very sweet and asked if I was okay which made me just start balling. Because I manage my chronic pain so well people forget I have it, which is usually fine and what I truly want but to have someone look at me with such sweet, genuine eyes and ask me if I was okay enabled me to say: “No. I am just not okay right now.” We talked for a few minutes and although she knows nothing about my life aside from the fact that Kayci is my daughter, she listened. I kept saying: “I honestly have zero right to complain, it doesn’t solve anything and so many people have much bigger problems.” She must of said five times: “Sometimes it is okay to complain, you are allowed to complain and talk to people. You have a lot on your plate right now and complaining is sometimes okay.” No, she has zero clue I have chronic pain. She knows a lot of other stuff going on in my life now but has no idea about my invisible illness. The rest of the day was just a mess. This amazing pediatrician opened the floodgates and tears were in my eyes most of the day.
I awoke this morning feeling defeated and down. Usually, I do a cardio exercise in the morning when need to get out my frustrations but stress has played a factor on my body and chronic pain so I forced myself to slow down and practice yoga. So many people have this idea that yoga is mainly about twisting your body into a pretzel or just some silly, popular exercise with words like: downward facing dog and chair pose. The poses themselves are just a minor part of yoga. Yoga is one of the greatest tools for people with chronic pain and the beauty of it is that anyone can practice yoga. People who are not ambulatory can do a practice like chair yoga. It is the lessons from practicing yoga that are so valuable to our lives. I remember years ago when I first starting practicing yoga on a daily basis at my friend’s yoga studio. The owner and teacher of this yoga studio and I became extremely close. She became a mother figure to me and helped me in ways I never thought possible. There was one pose that I could never get down and it drove me crazy because I hate when I am not able to do something. Each and every practice I tried so hard and focused so deliberately on this pose and every time fell out of it. One day, during class I was truly focused on just my breath (as one is supposed to focus on during practice.) During the flow of the yoga sequence, my yoga instructor said: “Ok now float into crow pose and hold, don’t forget to breathe.” I wasn’t even thinking about which poses she was saying, I was too focused on my breath and in the moment. All of a sudden, I was in crow pose and holding it. I got so excited that I finally got the damn crow pose down that I jumped up in front of everyone in class and yelled: “I did it!!!” I am sure I looked crazy to my classmates as jumping up and down during class is definitely not the norm but I was really excited. After class, I ran up to my teacher and said with much enthusiasm: “I did it. I wasn’t even thinking about it and it just happened.” She looked at me with her very wise eyes and replied: “Yoga is just like life, things start happening when you stop focusing on them.” That comment has stuck with me since and crow pose is just part of my practice now. Yoga does two things for me: it stretches muscles that I forget way too often need some love (especially with chronic pain) and more importantly yoga teaches me life lessons that help me in ways I never could have imagined. Yoga also forces me to slow down, which for someone like me is very important as I like to keep going and going which gets me into trouble with my chronic pain management.
Are the current issues in my life different today? No. However, I am going to change my attitude about the negative things affecting my life some which I do have control over and many that I do not. Often times it really is okay to just take a step back and just breathe, allowing the Universe to take care of what is going to happen. Today is a day for me to just let go and breathe. My little girl and I are stuck inside for the day because of the damn pink eye so it is a good day to allow my mind to settle and just breathe.