Sunday, May 8, 2011

Adapting to Extremes

Some weeks are crazy: exciting, stressful, emotional, upsetting, or busy... and some weeks are all of those things. This week was one of those weeks. The week began amazingly: On the weekend I went to an awesome Anusara yoga workshop with John Friend; went on an beautiful beach walk with a good friend; got "free hugs" from adorable young boys on the beach; and came home tired on Sunday night to dinner cooked by my husband. My heart was as stuffed as full as it could get.

Then there was Monday. Obama announced to the world that bin Laden was dead. My entire self felt full. But I wasn't really able to define the feeling--it was confusion about all of the responses I was feeling, a nagging reminder that bin Laden was not the entire anti-American movement, mixed with some sadness for the lost of a human life. Whatever feeling that might be called, it didn't feel good. And watching American reactions from Australia, as well as being one of the only Americans in my workplace and fitness environments, I felt extreme pressure to comment on the whole situation and to respond to the numerous questions I received.

The rest of the week seemed to follow the same pattern--intense highs and lows with tremendous levels of stress on top of the other extremes, with an injury thrown in for good measure. Maintaining my sanity throughout the week seemed to be secondary to just making it through the week at times. I felt proud of myself for making the small windows of time to get on my mat, but I also felt frustrated and unbalanced. My yoga practice was minimized to gentle yoga for short stretches of time to compensate for both the injury and the minimal time I had to devote to it this week.

I think that was the key to the "success" of making it through the week, though: adaptation. Even though it was, at times, unwilling adaptation, I adapted. And that's something we all have to continue to do: grow, change, accept, repeat.

On the Saturday ending this week of extremes, I woke up exhausted and unwilling to try to do anything. I didn't want to work, play, relax, or be. But I did a little hard-work-adapting, made it through Saturday, and on to a Sunday filled with love. Today (Sunday) I reconnected with an old friend: we met in a park and then came across a Buddhist festival where we created lotus lanterns out of paper. After we finished gluing the paper petals on the paper base, we were invited to write a wish on a piece of paper and to hang it from the bottom of the lantern.

Putting together the layers of the lotus lantern with my dear friend felt like the perfect ending to my extreme week. I think my lotus lantern wish will be for continual, but perhaps slightly easier, adaptation. And I'm manifesting it out to the rest of you--I wish that your adaptation is also continuous and that you are accepting of the changes you experience. That's a hard sentiment to fit on my slip of paper attached to my lantern, though, so I'm writing and wishing it here. x

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