Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Depression, Anxiety, Yoga and the Kindness of Others

Recently I felt as if I were in a black hole. I'll admit it, me the yoga instructor to the instructors. Try as I might I can't please everyone and I really don't like it. Being a single mom of four kids ages 17 to 21 I am brought to my knees often and completely aware as hard as I try I am not perfect, I know it and those young faces know it. I am a pleaser and when people don't like me or expect me to be something I am not I feel sad for disappointing them. Often because I am in the public eye and on "center stage" I believe people expect me to sit in lotus position and emit great knowledge from sages of the past. When the truth is after almost three decades of yoga practice what I know is I don't know jack!
Compared to the wisdom that is out there: if there is an ocean, and that ocean is yoga and a yoga practitioner who has practiced one year has a drop, I have a bucket. I can't give someone a bucket in a year but I can love them, I can guide them and I can add a few more drops, but the majority of  the drop collecting will be up to them. And you know what?  I "Want" to give them the drops, but they are only gathered by the work that goes into collecting them. So I am left feeling kinda rung out at times. And sometimes I focus on what I am not able to do.

So back to the depression and guilt as a result of me taking everything personal and not feeling that I can give enough. The gift to me is I know that I can only allow myself to go there for a little bit at a time, pull back the curtain and peek, then hurry and grab the tool box and get to work. It's a gift  to have these tools at my disposal, gifts like breath work, yoga postures, meditation, positive thinking and many, many books on meditation. I've got all of Oprah's inspirational shows recorded if none of those things do the trick.
So lately I have been doing all of those things and well it's like the black turned to gray but there was no sunshine. Now given we have had one day of sunshine in about six months (okay it's been three weeks but it feels like six months) so maybe it is S.A.D. (Seasonal Effective Disorder). So I was frustrated, logically I know I am a good person and I am good at what I do, that I am a good mother and it's normal for kids to wear you down and run over you when you are exhausted.
So all the self talk, The Four Agreements, telling my loved ones "dang I am depressed"...NADA, zilch, nothing was working.

Then suddenly over the past few days a few people out of the blue said some really nice things to me like "You are a great teacher" and someone (a former female student) I haven't seen in years emailed me and said "I love you and I miss you". Sunshine appeared. You know the whole point of this was that the kindness of someone taking a few seconds to type or say something kind to me really helped me, it reminded me that I do good things, and others do see it and though we shouldn't seek outside of ourselves to much for approval sometimes you can't underestimate the power of a kind word. So I went to my phone and texted a friend and I said " I was thinking of you and I wanted you to know I am glad we are friends."

So my call to you is that if you think of someone fondly take the time to text, email, call or tell them what they mean to you. It could turn gray sky blue.