This past weekend, I was up in Cartersville, Georgia, for another workshop with Lillah Schwarz about how to heal your back with yoga.
This was not the first or second time I had taken this exact same workshop. It was actually the third time, but I came again because I am working on completing my 500-hour yoga teacher training with Lillah. I always get so much out of three solid days of yoga. Afterwards you feel like you have been washed completely clean.
On the wall of the room at Yoga Etc. where the workshop was held was this fantastic quote from the author Vivian Greene.
It’s so true – we all wait, hoping that the storm (or storms plural, as the case may be) will eventually pass and that we can go on with life the way we think we ought to have it – easy, comfortable, stress-free.
Personally, I owe a lot to the stress in my life. If it wasn’t for the stress in my life, I would never have learned how to make jewelry. I wouldn’t be such a committed yoga teacher. I would not be a regular attendee at the Monday night meditation at the Zen Center. I would never have bothered to learn tai chi or kept up my qi gong practice. I wouldn’t have given my friends so many scarves and shawls that I knit myself on the nights and days when I coped by sitting with my needles. I wouldn’t have studied every form of natural healing that I could possibly want to master. I wouldn’t know so much about flower essences. I wouldn’t spend so much time out in nature going for walks.
At the same time I was pondering the quote from Vivian Greene, I also recalled a lecture I heard at the Ewomen Natural Convention in 2011 by Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I had taken my laptop computer and took careful notes.
“Most people would rather be comfortable than do the things that make them better,” Jack Canfield said.
“You will survive everything that happens to you – unless, of course, you don’t. Self confidence comes from successfully surviving risk.
“Drop out of the ‘ain’t it awful’ club. Surround yourself with positive people.”
Sometimes the negative person we have to stop surrounding ourselves with is ourself. When we complain about how hard things are or how we are unable to have what we want in life, we only end up making things that much more difficult.
Jack Canfield had every person in the Ewomen convention audience do an exercise. Each of us sat with a partner. For everything in our life that we couldn’t do, he had us change the wording from “I can’t” to “I won’t.”
So, for example, if someone thought, “I can’t lose weight,” Jack Canfield had that person then say, “I won’t lose weight.”
The difference in the feeling of those two phrases was palpable!
I am so thankful that practicing and teaching yoga has taught me how to dance in the rain. I can be in the worst mood, totally exhausted and experiencing pain somewhere in my body, but if I get on my mat I can move that energy through my body and come out the other side, tingly, refreshed, alive and new.