Stress-full or Stress-free?

I'm teaching a new class this fall called Yoga for a Stressful World. And as always, the universe provides exactly what we need at the exact time we need it. So in order to properly teach this class, I apparently needed to experience stress. And the universe provided.

I went from teaching 3 classes per week during the month of August to 8 classes per week, beginning last Monday. Now, if you can believe that anyone who has an 8-hour work week could possibly complain of stress, just keep reading. If you are already sickened by my obviously first-world problems, go ahead and change the channel. I'll wait here.

So, yeah. I had a stressful week. Stuff went wrong. In fact, some stuff went wrong on Monday, then more stuff bugged me on Tuesday. Then came Wednesday. This was my pinnacle of stress. I was bordering on apoplectic. By Wednesday afternoon, I was inviting my sweet and long-suffering husband out for half-price burgers and beers at Bistro Blanc. He instantly agreed to the plan. (While there, I sampled a brew by Baltimore's Duclaw Brewing Co. called Sweet Baby Jesus! No lie! It was a YUMMY milk chocolate and peanut butter flavored stout. Oh, yes. You must get you some.) And although the burgers and beer were delicious, they were not a cure.

I continued to whine and suffer through Thursday and Friday. I found plenty to complain about on our twice-daily walks with the dogs, as my poor, patient husband can attest. My list of perceived infractions and insults was long and egregious. I riled myself up repeatedly, had trouble sleeping at night, felt unable to meditate or calm down. It was an ugly cycle and I was wallowing in it.

Until I remembered the antidote for stress.


Have I mentioned this before? Because I have a sneaking suspicion you may have heard this word out of my mouth on other occasions.

Okay, breathing is important, too. Very important. Stopping, pausing, taking a deep breath is a great start. But then it is vital to remember all the MANY things we have to be thankful for.

Like a smack to the side of the head, I realized I was harping on a tiny handful of teensy little problems while SO many things had actually gone RIGHT during this "stressful" week. I was LUCKY to have 8 classes to teach! This meant enough people had registered for ALL the classes I had decided to offer. MANY people gave me big hugs because they were so happy to be back in class again. Although I was upset about what I perceived to be a few insults, many more people were extremely kind to me. It slowly dawned on me that I had been ignoring all the positive things that had happened during the week, while replaying each negative moment relentlessly. UGH!

But this is what we do.

Yet, every time I learn a lesson (DUH!) I think it should stick. I think I should be done, at least with learning THAT. But no. I am not done.

I have heard someone much wiser than me say life is a SPIRAL journey. We keep coming around again and again, hopefully with a little more understanding, a little more compassion, a bit more wisdom each time. I'm going to try to remember this.