Last week I returned to Crestone to 90-degree temperatures, and because of the heat, I lost sleep for four nights in a row. I woke up exhausted and with a headache—and in no shape to teach as scheduled, (or do anything else, for that matter). Sometimes when the body gets worn down, the mind will want to jump on board and start to tell pessimistic stories. And on this day, the tug of “mind stuff” was particularly strong, coaxing me into the sludge. Instead of entertaining the mind, I just broke down and wept from fatigue.
I allowed myself to keep sliding down into the muck, where there was only more crying and suffering. I felt like I had absolutely NOTHING to offer…no energy, no lesson plan for my clients, no motivation. And I let myself just glide to the bottom of the pit of exhaustion—and finally, there, I found some rest. The only thing to do was to soak in the stillness, and that I did. Later, in the quiet, one word bubbled up into my awareness: Beauty.
And yes, everything was beautiful; the choice-less letting go that miraculously gave birth to that one simple word. Beauty took on a bittersweet flavor as I lay there without movement. In an instant, the invisible grace of life and of my situation revealed itself. For this type-A personality, the occasional opportunity to be taken down by life is a blessing…a mandatory surrender if you will, perhaps.
The resting took its course, and somehow I managed to pull myself together just in time to teach. And guess what the theme of the yoga class was? That’s right: BEAUTY. It was a joy to witness how something so challenging in my personal experience could be used to potentially inspire others. I may not always be able to immediately recognize the blessings in these periods of mandatory surrender, but it helps to remember that these life experiences may actually be the substance of our own evolution. Next time you are going through an unpleasant event (AKA Hell), maybe you’ll remember this and find some peace.