When Life Turns You on Your Head – Relax and breathe, for life’s challenges can be your greatest teacher if you remain grounded in yourself.
Last night I dreamed that aliens came to take over the Earth. I want to laugh now, just writing that, revealing it to the world at large, but in the dream world, it wasn’t a pleasant experience to go through.
The most profound part of the dream that struck me upon waking is that as I was trying to board a rescue ship to take us somewhere, (I don’t even know where) and as it was lifting off, I was scrambling to get on, but I was too late. It started to go up and so I frantically grabbed hold of something and was hanging on for dear life knowing I couldn’t maintain this struggle for long and that I was going to have to let go. I got my legs wrapped around a pole and was hanging upside down, the pole under my knees, kind of like how I hung on the monkey bars when I was a kid, and I was struggling to stay on this fast moving ship through the cold night air. That is when a voice told me commandingly, yet lovingly – “relax and breathe and you will be OK”. Once I relaxed I was able to stay on that ship and I was able to enjoy the stars above me and the cold crisp air on my face, drying my tears of desperation, feeling my hair whip as I watched my home on the Earth grow smaller and smaller the further I went up.
This dream was a gift, a metaphor for my mundane life in the present moment. I have a lot of changes happening in my life right now. In less than 2 years we have increased our family of two humans and 7 four-leggeds by three more humans, and are fortunate enough to house 3 generations under one roof. We are raising a very independent minded toddler, while at the same time welcoming home my stepdaughter who will be living with us while she goes to college. We are also in the throws of starting a new business, which includes adding new people with new ideas into the fold and everything is just in flux right now. It is hard to keep a handle on everything as the life I once knew has transformed into something bigger and better. I am extremely blessed in all of this and yet it is a palpable change signaling that my life will have to adjust along with it.
This dream, aliens aside was a representation of the feeling of losing control in a fearful way, and then morphing into losing control in a freeing way. How do you make that transition from something fearful to something freeing? Why, do as the Universe tells and relax into it. Stay grounded by breathing and relaxing into new changes and developments, while maintaining your center.
This message from my dream was affirmed by a New Moon yoga practice I did this morning. Today is Monday and I like to honor its namesake the moon, by doing a flow that relates to whatever phase the moon is in right now. We are just a few days out of the new moon and that energy is still present.
The new moon flow that I did was by Anita Goa who has a wonderful series called the Sunday Sessions, where she often shares flows that honor the moon cycles. Today’s practice was challenging, but all the while she encourages us to let our breath ease us into those difficult positions and that by letting the weight of our bodies relax, it is easier to further melt into the poses with ease. This flow for me was about meeting challenges openly and allowing those challenges to teach something new, helping me move along in my journey.
This is why I do yoga. Yes, yoga is sometimes physically challenging but it is more than often more mentally challenging and changing your perspective is often harder that changing your physical position. Sometimes I still hear the voice in my head that tells me “you can’t do that pose!” or “you’ll hurt yourself if you try!”. But I find more often than not that if I remember to breathe instead of holding my breath, which is a fear based reaction, my body follows suit and I can get there. Sometimes I need a little help, like the wall today supporting my headstand practice and sometimes I can fly free, like in wheel pose. But each teaches me something. The headstand teaches me that accepting help to meet a challenge doesn’t lessen its meeting and the wheel teaches me that I can change, and something I couldn’t do just a few months ago, I can do with ease and enjoyment…if I just breathe.