40 Days of Yoga: Day 21

Ah, lessons. They never stop coming. Just when you think you’ve figured something out, the universe finds a way to show you there’s always more you can learn.

Following my post about all the space and time I’ve found in life to balance responsibilities to my job, my family, and myself, riding that high and feeling a little like Wonder Woman, the universe wakes me up with – a cold. Yes, I thought I had figured out the steps I had to take in order to feel peaceful and nurtured, and wham – sore throat and irritated sinuses.

It’s interesting – I was discussing this with a colleague today as she was observing my complete lack of stress in a rather chaotic time. I felt a little dumbfounded that I was coming down with something after all the great care I had been taking of myself. I didn’t think I had allowed any invaders, psychological or physical, to enter into my equanimitous space.

But my dear colleague, a seasoned yogi and truly compassionate, patient, and peaceful person herself, reminded me that even when we approach everything with composure, the weight of the world can still wear on us.

There isn’t one right way to do everything. There isn’t a cure-all or a way to avoid weakness. As I said before, we have to live in this world, and living in this world means that we will continue to be surprised and challenged. What we can do is not become discouraged. What we can do is continue to nurture ourselves and create a peaceful environment around us. In fact, it’s especially important when we start to feel challenged. Patience, nurturing, compassion, equanimity – these are not tools used to prevent challenges. They’re tools for how to deal with challenges. And if we use them every day, even a little illness won’t get us down.

I’ll take a moment to re-phrase what I said above and instead say we get to live in this world. It is not a burden. It is a blessing. Life is a gift, and we can create our own heaven here on earth, if we’re willing to rise to the occasion.