“I Thought Your Life Was Perfect!”

The past 2 months have been excruciatingly hard.  I’ve been on the receiving end of crap being flung at me  from multiple sources and I finally buckled under the pressure of trying to maintain my strength.  As a result of feeling like a human punching bag for many to throw their unkindness on me, I have faced some situational depression with a super-sized side of anxiety. My days often had bouts of crying or choking back tears and the sense that my body was weighted down.  I often felt terribly sad.
I went to see a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while. She is an amazing energy healer and I knew she would be able to help me smooth out the hurricane of emotions I have been experiencing as a result of these situations.  I was honest with her about what was going on, since she was going to be doing energy work on me.  I was perplexed at the surprise on her face and her announcement, “I thought your life was perfect, wow!”

The reality is nobody’s life is perfect!  I don’t care what story is being told on Facebook or Instagram or anywhere else. It doesn’t matter how successful someone is. We all have issues we are facing. When I was in my 20’s I got to go study with one of counseling’s greats, Albert Ellis.  He developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, which I taught for years. At the time of my study with him, he was nearing the end of his life. I remember being so shocked at how many cuss words this older man could cover in one sentence, but every sentence seemed so profound!  The one that has stuck with me for over 20 years: “We are all fucking fallible human beings.” True-that!
When your experiencing depression and anxiety, it’s difficult to fully embrace you are at the driver’s seat to get yourself going. One of my favorite yoga sutras is Santosha.  “Santosha, contentment, leads to happiness without equal. The practice of contentment begins with a conscious decision not to fixate on the fruit of our actions.” -Pandit Rajmani Tigunait (The Practice of the Yoga Sutras)

I’ve been practicing kindness towards myself.  I bought myself flowers this weekend.  I have treated myself to a massage.  Although I like to think I am not a crier, I have allowed my emotions to well up and express out my eyes without self-judgement. I give myself Reiki every day. I ordered myself a bracelet that says “Breathe” on it. I’ve started daily dance parties to empowering music. Yes, Madonna’s “Like it or Not” has been played so much that when it comes on the dog excuses herself to her room.

Yesterday, since the weather was nice after my morning class, I went to walk at English Landing Park. I wanted to walk along the Missouri River. I didn’t take my phone. No music. Just me and my mindful movement. On the first half of the walk I found myself walking with the current of the river. The water is no longer frozen so it is moving briskly.  Keeping up with the flow was hard. I also saw a few pieces of trees floating in the water with periodic pirouettes amidst the currents. On the way back, I wanted to stay along the water so just did an about face and covered the same track I and had already forged. Since I was no longer walking with the flow of the water, it seemed as if the water came to a standstill.  Everything slowed down. So. Did. My. Pace.

This walk was a reminder that when we get sucked into the chaos of others, it won’t end well. We will be ‘pushed all over the river’ and required to do pirouettes that maybe weren’t on our dance cards. This can welcome in uncomfortable feelings, like depression and anxiety. Slowing the pace and getting out of the water’s rushing current will allow us to choose those smaller pieces of life that we can take in at our own pace.  Yoga does this for me. When we move at our own pace contentment with your life’s perfect imperfections is sitting there waiting to be enjoyed.

Take a moment to consider: How could you fine tune your contentment? Where could you take better care of yourself so life’s imperfections don’t keep you spinning?  What life imperfections are you not okay with?
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