Bikram Challenge Day 19. Class count 18.
I’m not even going to lie. I’m tired. I gave myself permission to take the day off. Partly because of the double I did yesterday and with only four hours of sleep between that and work, I felt my body was not rested. Also it being Tuesday morning there was no 8am class, so my only option was to wait until 10am so I just went home. I turned the AC on, cuddled under my covers and went to sleep.
I awoke, 3 hours later, drenched in sweat and not knowing what day it was. The worst thing about working overnights is constantly having to figure out which day it is, what time you fell asleep and what time you should be waking up. I had had a nightmare. I couldn’t shake it and I couldn’t go back to sleep.
I am stressing myself out. Living in the anxiety gap where I just worry about the future. I am not sure why I keep doing this, it’s like an equation in my head that I know I have the answer to, but need to show my work first. The answer is “it will all work out” because it will and it always does.
I have no idea what’s going to happen my last few months in Chicago. I have no idea what’s going to happen when I sell all my things and move to the other side of the world. I have no idea what is going to happen when my 365 days are over in Australia and I have to leave. I have no idea where the hell I will go, I have no idea where I’ll want to call home.
As if anything I think right now will have very much effect on what I do then. You can never plan the unplannable. A part of me wants to quit. Quit my job, quit my life, quit working towards moving to the other side of the world. I just want to crawl under the blankets and call it a life. I’m done. I give up trying to beat the mediocrity.
Then I think of me, in a sweltering hot room, zeroed in on my own eyes with my head up, chin up against my tightly stretched out arm while my other other arm strongly reaches back to hold the arch of my foot and raising it up and as high over my head as possible. For two minutes I stand with one leg locked and unwavering into the floor. Standing bow pose which requires balance, focus and intention.
The more focused I am with pure intention of balance am I able to reach my foot up to the ceiling. They say “find yourself” in the mirror. On some days, to me, that means look at my eyes. Some days during standing bow I look at the thigh of my standing leg. It’s big and curvy, outlined like a rough drawing of an impressionist hurriedly trying to capture the magnificence of the female form.
I can smile knowing this is my body working together, in its perfect form to stay strong and united in a pose. I can feel when I’ve nailed the pose because I have complete control when bringing my leg down. The slippery sweat means nothing because it’s not about hand to foot contact but rather how that pose came from inside. It was the focus from my brain that sent waves into my body telling it we could do this.
The ideal ‘mind over matter’ scenario, where the mind does not always win. Some days I fall out of the pose prematurely. Some days I’d like to hold it longer than the set allows. I notice that I always seem to do better the less I prepare for it. If I go into the pose thinking “we’re gonna go higher than we did yesterday” then it’s almost certain that I will fall out before my standing leg even locks. If I go into it not thinking or hoping for anything but rather just keeping with my breath and basically mindlessly following the movements, it serves as a block from thought and leaves nothing but presence.
The rest of my life isn’t quite like that. Perhaps one day it shall be, however there is way too much racquet going on in this head of mine for that sort of solitude and focus always. What I have realized during the creation of this post-which has taken me several drafts because I didn’t know where it was headed until I got to what I feel is a point- is exactly that… The point. I had intention (to write a 19th entry in my 30 day blog). I didn’t have a focus, except to share with you (1) I skipped a class (2) I’m living in an anxiety gap (3) What that means to me, right now. Then the balance came from setting my intention – finishing a blog, and the focus – what I wanted to tell you. It bridged together to show you exactly how what I’m learning in bikram helps me to live my life in a more organized fashion. Even on days I don’t go to a class.
I feel better already. I think I therapied myself during this blog. Focus doesn’t mean on the end point. It means holding steady to get to an end point, whatever or wherever it may be. I constantly tell myself not to preoccupy my thoughts with Australia for several reasons, but mostly because I will miss out on my last months in Chicago if I’m not ever-present. I have set my intention to the universe, my focus trembles with insecurity and doubt. The balance – secretly knowing I’m going to have the best time ever.