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Flexibility (June 11, 2022)

This week has been an exercise in practicing what I preach, for sure. Who read the title of this post and assumed I was talking about physical flexibility? As many of you know, that's not much of an issue for me. I'm hypermobile, so reaching my toes and the like have never been of much concern to me. However, I am not always as mentally or emotionally flexible as I would like, and that's what I am actually referring to here.

I got thrown a curveball this week, in the form of a DVT (blood clot) in my leg. Besides the fact that it seemingly came out of nowhere and scared the heck out of me, it also canceled my plans for my long-awaited vacation this coming week. I did my usual thing where I freak out and get mad and whine about it for awhile, and then I got to work figuring out what the upsides were. The part of this process that made me particularly happy is that I moved from the first stage to the second stage so quickly. Over the years, I have learned that this is how I deal with major changes or disruptions, and I am okay with that. I don't actually think there is anything wrong with getting mad or stressed or upset about things like this. It's natural. What I used to do, however, is stay in that place for a long time, long after it was useful. Long after it was me feeling my feelings and when it just became obstinance - as if I was just going to refuse to be happy or even accept the situation.

I truly believe that yoga has helped me on this journey. I mean real yoga, all of yoga, not just asana. Yoga has taught me how impermanent things are, how changeable life is. I have mentioned before aparigraha, and here is a perfect example of it in action. Aparigraha is the yogic concept of letting go. Letting go of expectations, letting go of things that must change. Some practitioners believe that it refers to letting go of all emotions, being completely detached from feelings about expectations. Personally, I do not subscribe to that. As I mentioned above, I believe in sitting with your emotions, allowing yourself to feel angry, or scared, or frustrated, or even cheated. But I also believe in letting go of those emotions once they no longer serve you. It is a practice, for sure. I am not always able to let go of things when I should, and it is something that I am working on. But when I observed myself in this situation, it became clear to me how much I have improved in this area. Wherever you are on this path is ok. Like anything else, it's a personal path and practice. But it felt important to share my own story with you here.

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