Ms. Moaner: Letting Someone Steal Your Peace

I practice Bikram yoga. I appreciate the 90 minute moving meditation, 26 postures, and SILENCE. This practice contains no music. Aside from two breathing postures, one should breathe in and out of one’s nose. Teachers discourage students from making extraneous noises. They distract from one’s practice. After a challenging week at work, I looked forward to the serene yoga room. I awoke with pranayama breathing. Then, half-moon pose. My spine stretched as my interlaced fingers touched the sky. Then, the woman next to me emitted a loud moan. It resembled the sorrowful tone of the humpback whale. With each subsequent posture the moans continued. I peeked. This woman evidenced no signs of struggle. How could someone lack such awareness? I was practicing next to a porn flick soundtrack. Ugh.

I thought, “Don’t let anyone steal your peace, or you’re the loser.” I utilized loving kindness meditation, “I wish Ms. Moaner peace, love, happiness and ease of being. . . I wish everyone practicing next to a major moaner peace, love, happiness and ease of being.”  No luck. My irritation grew. Pema Chodron would say I was hooked by a propensity. EXACTLY, for peace and quiet during my yoga practice!!!! I tried self-compassion. I said, “Oh honey, it’s so challenging to stay calm while practicing next to a woman who sounds like she is mid orgasm.” I felt a little better. Then, I noticed my mind wander to thoughts such as “how many people have orgasms in yoga?” My mind fell totally off the rails. Yes, I allowed her to hijack my peace.

We all get hooked by partialities, attachments, and desires. The more we gain awareness of these tendencies, we can build our mindfulness muscles. Yes, my yoga class was the high fit intensity mindfulness workout, and my brain walked out a noodle. However, I will go in next time stronger and less likely to be hooked. Where could you use some mindfulness practice? Be gentle with yourself my dear.

Imperfectly,

Amelia

Answered Prayers Can Freak You Out

English: Category:Ford vehicles

English: Category:Ford vehicles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seven months ago my boyfriend and I began renovating our “rescue” house. I moved in last month. The move went well minus a 26 foot U-Haul side swiping my boyfriend’s truck shortly after we parked at U-Haul. Yes. “Moving is an Adventure.” It’s amazing what one can do with a regular driver’s license. Decide the guilt or innocence of a defendant. Vote. Rent a 26 foot U-Haul. I embraced my inner Buddha while calming myself among the isles of boxes, packing tape, and blankets in the store. “You cannot avoid suffering. Don’t get freaked out.” I don’t think I quoted Buddha verbatim. However, I maintained composure until we settled insurance issues with U-Haul and hitched our trailer. Three very kind, young, and brawny men moved all my things. We finished by noon. I went to yoga. A pretty Zen move considering . . .

Then, I panicked . . . a little bit. My boyfriend traveled for work shortly after the move. I held down the fort with my sweet pup. However, I felt incredibly discombobulated. I didn’t sleep well. I questioned whether I drank a Starbuck’s venti Pike’s Place. My mind kept organizing, sorting, and arranging. Where should I put all my things? Why is my boyfriend holding on to all the novels he read in high school? (Seriously, seeing For Whom The Bell Tolls elicited painful flashbacks from sophomore year English – glorious piece of VERY long literature.) Making lists for Target replaced mindfully brushing my teeth. Ugh. I kept meditating and practicing yoga. I held faith that the emotional dust would settle.

One morning, I looked through a guided meditation app, Insight Timer. I found a beautiful meditation about accepting change. The narrator said, “Dear One, your calls have been answered. . . Pour beauty into all the cracks of fear.” Warm tears rolled down my cheeks, and I felt a weight lift. Four years ago, I landed in a tiny apartment, on a beautiful island, following a harrowing divorce. My prayer was simple, “Help me heal.” Booyah! Four years later. Prayer answered.

Even positive changes come with stress. When change arrives, it can feel like someone thrust an itchy wool sweater over your head. It’s scratchy and uncomfortable. However, maybe it’s exactly what you needed or asked for. In a few weeks it feels comfortable, cozy, and you look beautiful in it.

Imperfectly,

Amelia