Weather the Storm
Life is a mysterious thing. It’s a rollercoaster, there are highs and there are lows. You can’t have one without the other and you can’t predict when they will come.
Love is also mysterious. We know how amazing it feels but we also know how painful it can be. But most of us do it anyways, because it’s worth it.
You can plan all you want, but life has a way of taking charge that can change your plans in an instant.
This week, I’ve experienced all of this. It has been a wild ride and it’s still going. It’s always going, that’s life.
Let me give you an example:
On Wednesday I was planning to write my yoga teacher training exam. I prepared my notes and carried my binder and laptop to work so that I could go straight to the studio and have plenty of time to write. I was planning to leave work around 4:30pm and get to the studio at 5pm which would give me about 3.5 hours to write. Around 4pm work was really busy and I still had some deliverables to complete before I could leave. I didn’t end up getting off work until 6pm. I got to the studio at 6:30pm, already flustered that I only had a couple hours left to write, and couldn’t get my laptop connected to Wi-Fi to download the exam. I tried a few things to get it to work and then gave in to the fact that it just wasn’t my day to write, so I went home and worked on my exam demo instead. Needless to say, Wednesday wasn’t my favourite day this week.
Then comes Thursday, the day that I had to teach my exam demo. My first full 30-minute class. I was prepared but I was also nervous. What if my music doesn’t work? What if I forget my sequence? What if people don’t like my theme? You know how it is, letting all that fear get in the way. But not for too long, I told myself I was prepared and I would just let it flow, and it did. It felt so good. It was nice to have my fellow students and Taylor there to support me. I then had my last coaching session with the coach for the yoga teacher training program which was such a good conversation, and then I went to one of my favourite restaurants with two very inspiring and amazing women who I can’t wait to collaborate with! Thursday was amazing. I walked to the subway after dinner, around 9pm and it was still bright and warm, a beautiful summer evening. I couldn’t help looking up at the sky and being thankful for an amazing day, especially after the mess that was Wednesday.
Today is Friday, and as life would have it, it was the worst day of my week. I woke up feeling good, still riding the high from yesterday and looking forward to having a relatively relaxing day working from home. Then I got a phone call from my mom around noon and everything changed. She told me that my dog is not doing well, she’s been having seizures and was at the vet this morning getting tests done. It didn’t sound good. I’m happy that she told me but it still doesn’t make the news any easier to bear. I’m worried about her. The rest of the day was rough, I was upset and then work got stressful, just not a good combination. I ended up working until 6:15pm and then going straight to bed because I didn’t feel good at all. I slept for a couple hours and woke up around 8pm still feeling upset but physically feeling a lot better. I decided that I want to go home this weekend to be with my mom and my dog. I think that’s the lesson from this. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Spend as much time with them as you can when they are doing well. Don’t wait until they’re not.
So tomorrow I’m going to write my exam and then go home for the rest of the long weekend. I felt called to share this story tonight because I think it highlights a few really important lessons.
1. Life is Cyclical – there are highs and lows and you can’t predict when they will come, you just have to be resilient. Acknowledge the highs and be extremely grateful for them. Don’t fear the lows, but be able to face them when they come. There’s an amazing metaphor I heard once that has stuck with me. It’s like entering the ocean, you take a few steps and then a wave comes, what do you do? You can either stand firm and let it hit you and pass while you stand strong, or you can turn and run. I know from experience what happens when you turn and run, the wave picks you up and knocks you over. In life, when something hard comes your way, don’t run from it, face it, feel it, and move through it no matter how painful it may be.
2. Don’t Take Your Loved Ones for Granted – I’m not trying to be depressing here, just realistic. You never know what could happen in life so it’s important to make an effort to spend quality time with the ones you love. That doesn’t mean you need to be with them every second of every day. That’s not realistic. The point is quality over quantity. When you’re with them, be present, feel grateful for the time you get to spend together, and have quality conversations. This is one thing I think we generally lack, or maybe it’s just me. But I think we all need to have deeper conversations, especially with the people we love. Ask the questions you want to know the answers to. Be curious. Be vulnerable. Be brave. As I learned from Brene Brown’s Netflix special “The Call to Courage”, you have the be vulnerable to be courageous. Don’t be afraid.
3. Weather the Storm – even when life gets hard, there will be good times ahead. Remember that. No rain, no flowers. That was the reminder note that came with the intention bracelet I tied on at the beginning of spring yoga teacher training in April. I interpreted it as “weather the storm” and I have certainly needed that reminder over the past couple months. Even tonight as I was feeling all the emotions of today, I looked down at my wrist and was reminded that there will always be bright skies ahead no matter how dark it gets. Believe in that, have hope, and learn to find the beauty in the dark times as well. It exists. For me, the beauty is the opportunity to go home this weekend and spend time with my dog. No matter what happens next, I will always be grateful for that.