I lose my things. I lose my mind. Everything must stop until I find my hat, glove or shoe. In the midst of a monomania tear through the closet to find my Brooklyn Nets cap, I got a strange feeling to call my student. She had been in turmoil lately. This mental text message seemed urgent. I made a mental note to call her. I continued my search. When I finally picked up my phone., she had called. Such events no longer startle me: yoga helps me listen to the inexplicable and notice people’s energy shifts.
We all have the ability to use our minds and bodies beyond our expectation but yoga amps up this ability. Although I have no idea what half the buttons on my dashboard do, the mad scientist in me delights in pushing buttons just to see what happens. I experiment on my mat. I share what I learn with students. Lesson number 3,686 is that not experiences are comfortable.
Last week I failed to listen. I found myself in crazy events spiraling more and more to disaster. I did not panic. I awoke early, I did my morning practice focusing on warrior 2, I did my meditation, and I wrote in my journal. When I finally stepped out into the world, my sense of calm was so strong that I traveled on a rail. I stayed calm and peaceful no matter what. I stood my ground.
I have grown accustomed to the centering rituals of warrior 2 held until my quads mutiny. I no longer question why strong legs instill calm. The discovery moment came when a big shot lawyer who regularly argues in front of the United States Supreme Court told me that my assertiveness and calm helped him make cogent decisions in the madness that faced us. He could not have been so strong without me.
“Who little ole me? “, I thought. “But I am a retired, lowly scrappy Brooklyn housing court attorney and you are a legal god who just argued in front of the Supremes last week.”
Could it be that I had skills and buttons on my dashboard that he, for all the dignity of the high court, had not used or even pushed. Could there be value and pulling my tiny 5’4 1/5” body to its full height and standing in mountain pose while unscrupulous opposing counsel got inches from my face so I smelled the rancor of his ashtray mouth. I felt spit droplets landing on my face. Could it be that calm in the wake of inappropriate comments made by a bully attorney about menstruation has value? Had my yoga practice added to the calm strength?
I would have elected NOT to feel rage and helplessness and frustration had I the choice. Yet those off road conditions lead me to discover the four-wheel drive button and ferocious traction when chaos swirls around me. Warrior 2 made me mentally strong and better able to serve and help those in need. I told my student to find the buttons on her own dashboard. She looked skeptical and decried her situation. I smiled and told her this was a gift that some people never receive. I told her to keep trying. The gift of learning to be scrappy and brave comes from standing in warrior two over and over. Growth isn’t always comfortable and that is okay.