Namaste en route to Hong Kong, a stopover en route to India, where 18 of us Twist Yogis will meet up on the other side of the world for yoga, contemplation and prayer. And probably some shopping.
This retreat comes literally on the heels of last week’s Maui retreat, which was one of the loveliest groups I’ve had the pleasure to retreat with. You can take a look at our photos on our Facebook Page.
Maui one week, India the next. Yoga for a living. My life… Dang, I got it made! Especially if you believe all of my social media posts: Apparently all I do is chill at the beach, watch glorious sunsets, and have perfectly behaved children. I only eat at fabulous restaurants, that is, when I’m not at home preparing beautiful organic food, most of which I grew myself.
I find it hilarious that no one ever Instagrams the reality of life: Where are all of the photos of people cleaning up dog vomit, 0r moms whipping up non-organic blue boxes of mac n cheese? Yesterday, I unclogged my daughter’s sink drain with a wire hanger. Why didn’t I think to tweet that little gem?
But anyway, yes, life is pretty fabulous. And sometimes when things are fun and exciting for an extended period of time, we forget that, despite glamorous outward appearances, we’re all just like everyone else on this planet: Neurotic as hell, full of doubt and just striving to live a fulfilling life in the mundane of everyday… And I have to laugh out loud, because when I begin to get too smug about winning the golden ticket, this mundane day (or something like it) always happens:
- Maui return flight: Row 47… you know, the row right in front of the aft lavatories whose seats don’t recline? I’m in seat “E,” the middle seat in the middle section, sandwiched between a sweaty former U of Hawaii defensive linebacker and a woman who introduces herself, gestures to her open barf bag, then apologetically explains she had food poisoning. Forget about claiming either armrest; for the man on my right wasn’t budging, and I wasn’t feeling too drawn to my neighbor on the left, especially when she breathes on me in between bouts of vomiting. She was coming from Singapore. I’m not buying that “food poisoning” story. I know Avian Influenza when I see it.
- 12:30am: Touchdown at Seatac. Arrive to a car battery so dead that my doors won’t unlock. Call Triple A; informed that “we guarantee tow truck arrival within 90 minutes,” but it is absolutely necessary to stand by the car. “In the event the driver arrives earlier, he will leave if there’s no one by the car! Under any circumstances, do not leave the car!!” It’s 37 degrees out. I have my Maui suitcase, with nothing warmer than a long sleeved t shirt;
- Tow truck arrives at minute 89. Reminds me that he’s glad I’m there; “because he would’ve driven off had I’d left the car.” (Why the serious neurosis around leaving the car??) The driver also tells me I’m out of luck: he can’t jump the battery if he can’t get into the car with my ineffective locking device.
- 2:00am: Leave car. Resolve to deal with it tomorrow. $95 taxi ride home.
- 3:00am: Arrive home, to what the fuck??! The toilet has been overflowing for who knows how long. Bathroom and hallways are flooded; hardwood floor planks are now concave.
- 9:00am: Back to airport to deal with car (with a manual key). Swing by the studio on my way back, and am met with dried diarrhea all over the toilet. Spend the next 30 minutes scraping crusty feces from the underside of the bowl, the tank and the seat with my thumbnail. (What’s this about a charmed life?)
- 5:00pm: Swing by my dog-sitter neighbor’s house to pick up the dog, and she casually mentions: “You know, I think Lucy might have worms.” Absolutely mortified. MOR-TI-FIED.
- 7:00pm: At the emergency vet; the only veterinary clinic open at 7pm on a Friday evening. Pay $320; triple the normal price for appointment and worming.
Of course, 48 hours removed from this mundane, normal day…. I it hilarious, actually. Because when you begin to think that you’re britches are fancy pants, God sure does drag you back to earth, no? And really, in the grand scheme of things, if no one I loved died or got really sick, it’s not really a bad day, is it?
My yoga practice teaches me this: Perspective and contentment. Even as recent as several years ago, I would sit in my misery for a long time over the what I perceived as a bad, mundane day. Eventually, I would understand perspective… but with the practice of yoga, the distance between the “event” and the contentment is getting shorter and shorter. Now, it takes maybe a day or two. Sometimes I can even feel perspective a few hours (or minutes) after suffering somehow.
Someday, with more practice, I hope to be able to feel contentment even in the face of the “event”; while the suffering is happening, even….
….Like this lying yogi blogger from Boston, who is appears to be perfectly unattached and has it all figured out who writes about contentment:
“Several years ago I experienced severe heartbreak. The person I loved betrayed our commitment to one another. While in the depths of my despair, I remember standing on my mat with tears streaming down my face, my heart shattered into a million pieces. At that moment, a warm spring breeze blew through the windows, filling my nose with the sweet smell of fresh leaves, and I exclaimed out loud, ‘Oh, how wonderful! Spring has returned in all its glory!’ ”