“Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go.”
As I was practicing yoga this morning two words stuck with me that I knew I wanted to grow from: flexibility and the art of allowing. Many people believe that doing yoga is an exercise to tone the body into better health and better flexibility of the muscles and tissues that make up our individual bodies. However, that is just a small portion of what the art of yoga really is. Yes, yoga has helped tone my body and has become a great form of exercise, it has also helped me become more flexible physically. Yoga is also teaching me how to become more flexible in places that are far more important than the outside of my body: my heart and mind. I will be very honest. I am not a very flexible person. There is a very sound reason as to why I am not flexible: chronic pain. I manage chronic pain naturally and have a routine I follow each day in order to manage pain without pain managing me. I spent a decade of my life with chronic pain consuming my entire life. I lived, breathed, and felt pain inside and out for every single day of what could have been the best years of my life: my teen years and my early twenties. I was in doctor’s offices or getting operations while my friends were on their phones planning what to do for the weekend. I probably spent as many hours in waiting rooms as I did college classes. My life could have been defined as: “hurry up and wait for a cure.” After coming close to just ending my entire life I found what saved me and that was the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where I learned how to manage pain naturally. I have a routine I follow daily that helps me in so many ways manage my pain without a cure or medications. I am living as opposed to barely surviving. I had to let go of the idea that I would find a cure and surrender to the fact that I could live a happy, healthy life despite pain. I have had to give up a lot in order to manage pain how I choose but I had nothing when I was looking for a cure so the benefits outweigh the negatives one thousand percent.
However, there are ways I am learning to be more flexible. I am a mother and one huge lesson motherhood will teach you is how to be flexible. Our family went away this past weekend to Atlantic City, NJ for a long snowed in weekend. Yes, I packed yoga DVD’s and some healthy snacks. However, I had to be flexible. I stayed up much later than usual and ate things I would not normally eat. My schedule was totally thrown off but I was having so much fun swimming and just chilling out in pajamas in our hotel room that I really did not think about pain despite not following my usual management of chronic pain. I surrendered to just letting go and having fun making memories with the people I love. I was able to get back on my schedule yesterday and I must say what I do does work. With that said, there are ways I need to be more flexible in my mind and heart which will allow me to be more flexible in my life. Our thoughts create our reality and I would like my thoughts to be more flexible. Our mind is like a huge muscle and we can work out our biceps and triceps as much as we want but if we do not focus on what is inside our minds and hearts we will never be truly happy. I am working on being more flexible and allowing the dreams I have to come into my world without forcing them. One can work towards a dream or goal without it taking control over their entire existence. Everything I have gone through in my thirty five years has been teaching me how to be flexible: body mind and spirit and how to allow things to happen while working towards what you most desire.