This week the amped up, anxiety-ridden, windy-as-the-opening-scene-in-the-Wizard-of-Oz autumn season erupted in my face, or shall I say my thoughts, yet again. I won’t go into too much detail, but last night, I started to do what my husband and I like to call “tell stories.” Yep. This is where we do that all-too-human thing of fabricating an elaborate story in our minds that is totally based on absolutely NOTHING (or one small event that hits the play button on an elaborate made-up movie of the mind). This story was based on the trillions of little assumptions and the connecting of millions of fabricated dots which then caused me to get all bent out of shape, wired up, and entirely cray-cray, literally throwing my body into full-on fight or flight, holy sh*t the mammoth is coming for me mode. All because of a story. Not even a real one, mind you. It sounds so ridiculous when I can objectively explain this behavior, doesn’t it?!? However, so many of us operate on these made-up assumptions so frequently that they’re all we know -- a life of made-up stories of the mind, instead of a life that’s lived in the very real now moments.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this ability to make assumptions is a wonderful thing that has allowed us humans to survive this long. For example, “the leaves are turning colors; last time the leaves turned colors, it got really cold afterward; I probably should start to hunt and gather to prepare for winter so that I don’t die if and when it gets cold again, which it probably will based on what happened last year…” right? Can’t argue with that beautiful part of our evolutionary phenomenon. However, when our whole reality becomes a mental construct, it keeps us from dancing through life in the present now, and we totally lose the ability to see and think straight. It makes us insane.
Ekhart Tolle so eloquently explains this through his metaphor of the duck with the human mind. The Sparknotes version goes something like this: when two ducks fight, they fight and when the fight is over, the ducks move on. Now, if they were humans, post-fight, one of the ducks would keep carrying on with the fight in his thoughts, like this: "I can't believe what [that other duck] just did... He thinks he owns this pond. I'll never trust him again. I know he's already plotting something else to annoy me with." While the two ducks will probably never meet again, the “fight is still continuing, and the [negative] energy his body generates in response to the imaginary fight is emotion” which impacts the entire physical body, mind and spirit. Kinda ridiculous, right? But we all do it!
And what I realized most clearly, after this all went down, and my amazing sister, aka my life coach Mary, talked me off of the ledge, is that the second we start to do this to ourselves and others, we completely step OUT of the now and subsequently, step out of our POWER; seriously, how can we be the strong, calm, balanced Spirit Warrior we are if we are totally removed from reality? So, with ALL that being said, this week’s yoga practices will work to balance the airy season of autumn with lower chakra work, strengthening the legs, the lower spine, and the core, followed by asana and pranayama that will balance the upper chakras to keep those monkeys of the mind (who just love to steal the keys to the motherboard this time of year) in check.
All I can say is thank GOD for my yoga practice and how it has been able to bring me back to center today; otherwise y’all would have to come and visit me in the nuthouse this week. :)
See you on the mat! Namaste, beautiful souls.
Yoga Therapist, Teacher, Speaker, Writer, Mother