Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bikram, Foot Stools, and Life


I ushered in my thirty-ninth birthday with one of my best friends in life and her family. It was, what some would consider, an underwhelming birthday. Me, the cutest two and five year old brother and sister on this earth,  and their parents over peperoni pizza and a lit red velvet cupcake with the sweet voices of children singing happy birthday.  The atmosphere filled with the excitement about the breathe that would cease the flame and simultaneously end one year out, while ushering in the new possibilities of the next.  I spent the first days of 39 in Seattle with perfect weather and with a perfect travel companion and then returned home back to the daily grind that is my life.

Something I have found so unique about The Creator is that when it is time for me to move He always makes sure I get it. When I returned back to Bikram I walked into a class taught by Naomi. Naomi is my least favorite instructor. Not because her thick Asian accent peppered with New York that makes it hard to understand her as she barks the positions for me to twist in, but because her uncanny  ability to assume things about me completely wrong.  She likes to push students to do better, but often she doesn’t pay attention to the person to understand how to push them without offense. I guess it’s where the New York and Texas collide.  Anyway, running late into a packed class Naomi moved me from the comfortable place in the back row and put me on the second row.

 Sigh… if I am anything, I am a creature of habit when it comes to my M-F life.  Every weekday I wake up around 4:00 go to the bathroom and fall asleep to around 7:30 wake up lay and meditate and then turn on the TV as I shower and get ready to get to work between 9:00 and 10:00.  On Monday and Wednesday I come home unwind and head to my Bikram yoga class at 8:30PM and set up my mat, towel and water on the back row and go thru 26 positions in a hundred plus degreed room with accompanying humidity.

However on this Wednesday after a wonderful vacation ushering in thirty-nine, I was pushed to the second row and if that wasn’t bad enough, I was pushed to the second row right under the vent that brings in all that hot humid air into the yoga room.  With no time to find an alternative to this move, I just set up camp and started my pranayama breathing and before I knew it I was done with my practice.  Sure it was not comfortable to be on the second row with extra heat, but I did it.  I didn’t want to but, like many times in my life, I was pushed out of my comfort zone because I had no option.  I had been pushed to move by something/someone I didn’t like.  And I had succeeded.

When I returned back to class on Thursday the odd set up of the classroom made Cindy, one of my favorite instructors, move me to the second row.  I laughed and moved and accepted my challenge from the universe again and moved out of my comfort zone from the back room and practiced on the second row again and IT WAS GOOD.

That Saturday I went to a Women’s Breakfast at church with my mother and the evangelist talked about moving out of your comfort zone to experience the manifold blessing that God has for you. She talked about people who felt overwhelmed by life and its pitfalls. She mentioned God making your enemies your step stool. And said that the reason that God makes your enemy your  foot stool is because you need a means to get to the next level that he is moving you to… you can’t reach the next level without stepping out of your comfort zone.  And what better way to reach something out of your comfort zone, a foot stool.

Lord Jehovah said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies as a stool for your feet." Psalms 110:1 Aramaic Bible in Plain English

 That stuck with me. Later that night, when I was talking to Deus I told him that I felt that God was speaking to me. Yes, I believe that God speaks to me. Not in a burning bush Moses kind of way, but through patterns in life.  I notice patterns in things.  It’s the reason I learn quickly and it’s the reason I’m successful at what I do. It also is sometimes the reason I read too much into things also.  That’s the things about patterns sometimes it’s the universe trying to move you and sometimes it’s just bullshit.  Learning to tell the difference is what life is for.

 I returned back to my practice on Monday to a packed class and there was only one spot… the front row.  In my mind the front row of the hot room is reserved for those who have been practicing Bikram for way longer than my measly 10 month practice, but that was the only place to go. So I set up my mat and prepared for yoga on the front row, the most uncomfortable place in the yoga room for me.  My practice in the front row was awesome it was not as hard as I imagined it to be and when I finished it I felt so accomplished in addition to my normal post-Bikram high.

I thought about Psalms 110… and used my yoga story as my allegory. “Sit at my right hand”, me in the back of class. I was receiving benefits sitting in the back, at the right hand of Jehovah. I was learning, I was watching and I was getting stronger. “Until I put your enemies as a stool for your feet”   Naomi, my least favorite instructor pushed me to the second row under a vent of hot humid air. And I finished and it was a good practice.  It gave me confidence to do it again. When Cindy moved me there was an out in the back of the room, but I didn’t opt for it. I took the second row position because I knew I could do it and completing another class on the second row made me confident and it prepared me for one of my most awesome practices on the front row.

Then I thought about my new year of 39. For the past few years I’ve been on the back row of my bikram class of life. I have been comfortable. I have been growing and learning and sitting on the right hand of my God.  Recently I had been viewing my job as my enemy. It wasn’t hard but the comfort of it had been making me uneasy and I had been feeling the day in and day out with no real recognition or challenges had me wanting to leave.

Then I had my aha moment. My job was my foot stool. It is a job that is easy and comfortable enough to allow me to continue to work and maintain my professional credentials while attending school to receive my MBA.  Going to school, my practicing on the second row, it is what I need to be doing. It wouldn’t be easy but it would prepare me and make me ready for my new life, my next level.   And my life post MBA, my first row practice, will be very similar.

There will be a spot for me only on the first row and while it will be scary, I will think about how scared I was to move to the second row and how rewarding it was, and I will go.  I will take the opportunity and try and I will be a better and more enriched person for it.  But I can’t get to that place without moving out of my comfort zone and using the things I see as my enemy as stools to move me towards my goal.  Sometimes road blocks are not blocks at all but stairs to the next level.  So for the next few years its second row living. I’m going to take the push and reach the top.

Since that revelation, I have now taken residence on the second row in the hot room, but trust I will not let my comfort on the second row turn into complacency.  It is merely just my stepping stone to the front row practice and the next level in my life.  I think my forties are gonna be something really fabulous… way more fabulous than I could ever even imagine, just like my front row yoga practice.

Be EZ,
G




No comments: