Today was day 6 in the 60 day challenge at my yoga studio, Bikram Yoga Hampden, in charming Baltimore. I actually took 2 classes back to back, that is 3 hours of yoga, knowing I will miss tomorrow’s class, since it is Easter Sunday. So I have completed 7 classes in 6 days. I told one of my fellow yogis, who thought I was crazy to do a double, that Jesus suffered more than I ever will… so I can give up a day of yoga to attend Easter mass. Bikram yoga is a difficult practice. The room is heated to 105 degrees, the class is 1 ½ hours long, and you are forced to look at your sweaty, imperfect body in the mirror the entire time, and be in silence. Bikram Choudary says on his CD of the beginners class “welcome to Bikram’s torture chamber” where 90 minutes of suffering brings 90 years of good health and a healthy spine.
Tennessee Williams said that life is a struggle, and you know once you stop struggling you are dead. I guess, at times, this is very true. As a therapist, I work with people who are suffering and struggling though difficult periods in their life. We all have our own cross to bear to life. Some people seem to endure so much pain in their lives. I have endured some pain in my own life, but am able to put things into perspective, when I listen to others. Being a therapist, makes me grateful, and it also keeps me aware that even when there is great suffering, people seem to survive. The pain passes… we feel anger, despair, but then it goes away… and life is renewed. That is until the next hardship comes knocking at your door.
I am also aware of the moments in my life that are the happiest and seem to cherish these… almost appreciating them more because of the pain and losses I have known. And I am also actively aware when something awful happens to myself or someone else that it is temporary… not sure if it is the years of working in the mental health field, or years of doing yoga that have trained my mind to process this.
Some pain, particularly grief from loss of a loved one… never truly goes away. Grief evolves over time. Even ten, twenty years after someone’s death, one may still feel the depth of the loss as if it happened yesterday. Finding something outside of yourself, be it yoga, painting, running, writing… whatever it may be that helps you distract and find beauty in that pain is integral to moving on.
So keep in mind, even if you are going through a difficult period in life… adversity builds character. Even if you do not celebrate Easter it is hard not to notice Spring… a time of rebirth and growth in nature. Find a way to appreciate the renewal around you and find a way to resurrect you own life.