Water Into Wine
Exercise has always been a huge emphasis with raising my son. My motto is that we have to sweat once a day no matter what.
Being a member of the YMCA in Santa Monica offered my tiny family many options. We had racquetball, rock climbing, swimming, paddle tennis, and weights to name a few. Well, my son did not appreciate the varied mix of both the homeless and the colorful characters that inhabited this institution. So, I decided to try a swankier gym to see if he would attend with less resistance.
We joined this gym, right on the beach in Santa Monica. Each bicycle and treadmill had its own personal television. Pretty awesome, right? Especially for a kid.
Well, on a hot summer day, I took both my son and a play date to this high end gym, and my son and his buddy were having a blast. They were using the weights and machines and were being silly teenage boys.
While I worked out, I got a thrill out of these kids really working out. Meanwhile, I noticed this guy out of the corner of my eye, getting very agitated that teenagers were in the gym. He seemed restless, irritated, and very anxious. He appeared angry and even had a scowl on his face. My guess is he was probably use to this gym being quiet, almost empty, and surely not inhabiting teenagers.
The funny thing is, I had gone to this man’s workshop a few months earlier on meditation. I had also purchased and read his book on meditation, and here he was appearing to be jumping out of his skin, while watching these kids having fun. Clearly teenage energy was out of his comfort zone.
Listen, there are many times that I get really agitated by society, when I go out in the world. But, the real test is to take our practice of mediation and yoga off the mat, and into the world at large. Can I take that same equanimity and peace that I cultivate in my practice out into traffic? How about taking that same serenity that is cultivated inside of me during meditation and prayer into every interaction, every situation, and into every waking moment? Wouldn’t that be phenomenal?
Do you ever race to yoga class, swearing and cutting off people in traffic, so you can be on time? How about screaming at your kids on the way to church? Do you think Jesus screamed angrily, “outta my way, while I turn water into wine”?
As I write this blog now, I commit to all of you readers that I will watch when agitation comes up, and just breathe into it and become the observer instead of the reactor. When I get out of my comfort zone, and a baby cries, or I get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, or I get a nasty email out of the blue, I will breathe and bring all the lessons of my practice of yoga and mediation into the forefront.
So what about you? How about sweating once a day and taking your practice out into the world? I invite you to give it a try! And let me know how it goes. Namaste