I had a totally crappy morning. My eldest elf was back talking and arrogant. My furry elf ate a salmon colored crayon before I could even realize she had it. The studio where I taught was freezing because the last teacher on Wednesday forgot to leave the heat on when she left. Then came my class.
I could not find my teacher’s voice and my class was equally disjointed and crummy. I was convinced that the rest of the day was also going to be crap. I wanted to crawl back into my bed and wake up tomorrow. I wanted to pull the rip cord on the day and restart. STAT.
But because I am a mom, because I am busy and because life does not normally allow us to go back to bed and start fresh at a moment’s notice, I had to move past the muck. I shared a picture on Facebook because it completely made me feel better about my class and teaching approach, and because it was funny. I went for a dreaded physical I had put off until the last minute to find that the doctor was lovely and fantastic. When I got done with my appointment I went onto my Flying Yogini Facebook page to see that in the 40 minutes I had been in that paper gown over 100 new people had “liked” my page. I had no idea why.
I still was wondering what was going on when I walked into Starbucks for my green tea and I was greeted with fresh gingerbread, for free. I started looking around for cameras. Was this switch some kind of test? Was I on a game show? How could one day go from being so horrid to being so lovely in a matter of one hour?
The answer lies in pratyahara, or shutting off the senses and going inside. Our loud lives require a lot of pratyahara. Life with elves may actually require a ton more and being a yogi or even a yoga teacher does not change that fact at all. What yoga does is give you tools to survive during those crazy times, the frustrations and the disappointments. Yoga offers way to find calm in chaos by looking for the answers and wisdom we already had.
So that is where I turned, to my practice, my yoga toolbox, and turned inside for things to change. I posted the picture on Facebook and felt vindicated in my teaching approach. I closed my eyes as I sat in my paper gown waiting for the doctor and meditated. I slowed down, shut out the ick of the earlier hours and accepted that better moments would come when I was ready. Then as if the anvils on my shoulders were lifted, I felt better. Everything instantly changed.
I measured taller than I ever had before (thank you yoga!).
I met a lovely female doctor would could be my primary care physician.
I got 100+ new followers on my Facebook page.
I got free gingerbread.
I felt energized and lifted and did not want to pull a Groundhog Day move and restart the day.
I no longer wanted to find the escape route out and decided to be more present in the hours that remained. Oh and the followers on Facebook? They came via my good friend Jennilyn over at YogaDork who shared the cartoon that started the shift I experienced today.
The Tin man looks stiff and shiny, out of place and awkward. However those of us who have read Wizard of Oz or have seen the movie know his exterior is an illusion. With a little bit of patience he finds his way to that red thumping muscle he craves so, just to discover it was inside the whole time. All he had to do was go look.
We can learn from the Tin Man that instead of hoping the things outside ourselves that we cannot control will bring us joy, that the real source is ourselves. Things will suck, things will rock and how they affect us is really a result of how we act upon them. When I chose to let the funk of the morning go, I created space for the good that came in the afternoon.
The fix, the reboot button was inside me and I just needed a moment to close my eyes and see it.
Oh and I got a little bit of help from a sweet, dark-haired wizard who often rules the yoga cyber world of OZ.