Yesterday, I pulled up to a busy four-way stop where my view was obscured by a parked delivery truck. Pulling forward into the crosswalk to assess whether or not it was safe to turn right, I neglected to see a pedestrian getting ready to cross the road, who subsequently slammed his fist down, hard, on the back of my car.
It scared me so badly, I nearly
sh*t myself* jumped out of my skin.
Still reeling from adrenaline, I turned around in time to see him, red faced and furious, in the middle of the crosswalk, screaming at me to “open your f*cking eyes!” while flipping me off.
Something is up. It might just be me, but it seems like the last month has been more difficult than usual regarding mental imbalances.
I’ve witnessed it in others, plus I personally have spent the past several weeks
lying on the floor in a puddle attempting to process old anger I had thought I worked through long ago. These sneaky recurring thoughts, which the yogis call samskaras, have also manifested in back pain that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and left me straight up immobile for more than two weeks.
There is a valid explanation for these imbalances: We are smack dab in the middle of ayurvedic pitta season, which paired with our hottest summer ever, has anger imbalances raging.
But even so, things seem more intense than usual: Are the planets aligning in such a way that make us all doubly raw and exhausted?
Piled on top of a culture with more than desirable anger seems to exist a heartbreaking lack of compassion and empathy. Social media is filled with stories like dipshit dentists killing beautiful animals for funsies, followed by subsequent ugliness whereby a mob of millions set out to systematically Ruin. His. Life. and the lives of his family and friends.
Regardless of whether or not this guy deserves the backlash is a topic for which I don’t wish to take a stand; instead only pointing out that the actions of both a person who chooses to kill for sport and the people who would like to see him suffer for the rest of his life seem to be born of a culture of pain, desperation and fear.
Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe this circle of joy and angst is always here for all of us and I just notice it more when I’m in a deeper hole than usual.
I don’t know the answer.
But I do know that emotional imbalances are so incredibly difficult to talk about; for acknowledging them suggests we are less than. Especially anger – I find the emotion so deeply challenging to admit that I can barely speak of it with my nearest. Of course, instead I choose to blog about it, effectively sharing it with
the entire world the two or three readers who tell me they read my posts.
Humor is a good defense mechanism, and I’m not under the impression that I’m fooling anyone about that.
Also, one of the things I’m committed to as a yoga instructor is dialing down the amount of fraudulent Shiny Happy in our profession. It makes sense – who wants to come to a yoga studio whose instructors admit to self doubt? It’s not the best marketing strategy, frankly.
So we post sexy happy yoga selfies in attempt to thwart the (conscious or unconscious) belief that if we were a yogi truly committed to the practice, that we would never experience cycles of struggle.
But the fact of the matter is: None of us are alone during our periods of depression, anxiety or anger; We all cycle through low times.
I’m challenging myself this month –and ask you to consider joining me if you are feeling out of whack – to find healthy outlets when imbalances appear. Instead of giving in to the urge to lash out, post ugliness on social media, or continue to cope in a way that does not serve us, let’s roll out our mats and lean into a giant community hug at Twist Yoga. Or perhaps we commit to therapy again; maybe we join a writing group or take an art class.
Whatever the strategy, let’s trust in the miracle of time and steady self inquiry, and the deep wisdom that with enough space, support and help, we all are capable of emerging from the muck.
For sure, know that you are loved.
* My reaction made all the more literal because I’ve been taking magnesium lately.