After dropping my now sixth grader at her first day of school early this morning, I was making my way toward the studio along the sleepy streets of Lake Forest Park, when I came across an irrational woman walking her dog, screaming obscenities and maintaining she was being attacked.
I saw it unfold: An awkward adolescent boy was taking what was likely a first-day-of-school-selfie on the porch, when his dog, a goldendoodle puppy – a goldendoodle puppy! – bolted out the door and bounded across the street, wagging hello.
Cue the lunacy, which accelerated quickly: “There’s a leash law, you a**hole! Get your f*ing dog away from me; he’s attacking me!” She continued, “Help! Call the police!
In her defense, she was likely terrified and irrationally reactive. Still. She was acting more a fool than I personally found comfortable.
Naturally, I got involved.
Because: 1) Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a goldendoodle attack. 2) Who doesn’t get all codependent when people are dicks to a sweet, awkward adolescent? An adolescent whom was mortified, I might add, holding up traffic and apologizing profusely while attempting to corral his spastic, happy, puppy. While being screamed at. In his Eagle Scout uniform.
After some choice words, my contribution to the scene concluded with me speeding away in a snit, yelling at the woman out the window to shut up. Oy.
Not my proudest moment.
I may have a teeny tiny control issue an overwhelming sense of justice for an underdog. Plus: everything is bugging me right now.
I arrived at the studio massively annoyed. I faked equanimity with humor, which is my strong suit, and asked after students’ and their families. I thank God that my mind does not have a public address system.
Bemoaning our identical case of the crankies, Twist Yoga’s rockstar instructor Kate told me yesterday me last night’s full moon is creating agitation and transformation in the emotional waters of Pieces. I also hear there’s some planets in retrograde. I don’t fully understand what either mean, but if I can get a pass and blame my behavior on something outside of myself, I’m all for it.
This morning, knowing I needed to check myself, I attempted a quick sit in the studio treatment room. I managed 10 minutes of meditation, in my frenetic and distracted way: “Sa Ta Na Ma, I wonder if I left the stove on, Sa Ta Na Ma, I hate my neighbor’s new beard, Sa Ta Na Ma, my back hurts, I wonder if it’s pancreatic cancer.”
It’s fall. The season of change and letting go.
This isn’t easy for neurotic, control freaks like myself. Instead of rolling with life, I become sick with fears, have undertones of suppressed anger and attempt to control every move and every aspect of the future.
Of course, I know control is a misguided attempt to keep myself and the people I love safe. What an illusion, though: All this gripping, grabbing and resisting change. This only results in a hot mess, no?
Hurricanes, politics, wild fires and ash falling from the sky feel like a tragic metaphor for breaking down. Would it be pollyannish to point out that most aching beauty and transformation comes from huge loss?
It would be much better if the beauty arrived right away, though, when it would be helpful. Instead she requires us to sit with discomfort while taking her sweet time to show up. I’ve often said that the universe doesn’t necessarily care about your personal comfort, but it cares deeply about your soul’s progression. So if it has to open a can of whoop-ass occasionally, it’ll happily oblige.
Studying the kleshas help to make sense of it all.
Twenty years into my yoga practice, I know:
- Divinity will show up eventually.
- That the only thing we can truly count on is impermanence.
But, man, even after all this time, is it ever difficult to trust and let the universe do its job.
What’s the other option? We succumb to our fears and need to control, and have tiny unattractive moments. Like adding our angry two cents to a street + dog scene that is none of our business.