Flipping the Script

Flipping the Script

I had a moment this weekend, where I turned on the news. Each time I do  this, I regret it lately. Why are we fixed on the negative? When I studied broadcast  journalism, we were allowed to broadcast our opinion. State the facts, smile,  move on. Maybe we should bring some of this back to the airwaves? Working in  animal rescue and with various domestic abuse organizations leaves me really  down on society sometimes. I’ve learned tools through the years to zip up my  armor against the negative, but every so often, the stab of the sword finds its way  right into my soft spot, un-covered by my armor. Dammit.

I’m left angry, sad, and hungry all at the same time because I’ve developed  this super-power in my 40s. I feel the feels deeper, and get angry at the injustice  and unkind in this world, then my stomach closes shut when all the negative hits  me. Even my favorite foods mean nothing to me. They don’t taste as good, and I  don’t even want them. I realize how much work still needs to be done for God’s  beings who are in need here, in this life. I feel compassion fatigued once again.

Working as a yoga teacher has been a nice compliment to my volunteer  work and this challenging season of life, as I feel myself repair, as I teach. Even  though my classes aren’t about me, and I am there to serve my students, I feel my  personal weight lift off my shoulders. I am grateful to have the opportunity to  teach my students. When I walk into the studio, no matter what I am carrying in, I  am able to put it in a box and place it in the over-priced, organized closet in my  mind. I teach, I share, I move, and I feel better afterward. As soon as I step off  that stage though, I must grab that box back off of the shelf or it will fester.

How do I deal with it? I write. I list out all the issues, I literally dump them  onto a piece of paper. This ritual feels like I am removing each issue, conflict,  weakness out of my mind and onto the paper. I’ve done it so often that I feel this  ritual even deeper now. Once I get it all out, I go to our cast iron fire pit in our  back yard. (I’ve even done this in the rain, as the pot has a cover.) The paper goes  into the pot, and I watch it burn. As I watch the paper, I feel the lift, which I enjoy  for the rest of the night. Now I am prepared for the next set of troubles, when  they come barreling toward me.

Some of us are overloaded right now. Things are heavy, local and national  news doesn’t contain goodness and joy, and it can be overwhelming at some  moments. That breaking point is your clue to not react and go inward. I know  we’re human, so try to not react and try to simply fall inward and let your  intuition guide you through these next steps to recover. As a yoga teacher, of
course I want you to consider a local yoga class, maybe try out a few classes at  your local studio, but if yoga is too big of a step from where you are right now,  here are some simple steps that move with my quick pace of life.

1. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries isn’t forever. It doesn’t mean dropping whatever you’re doing  right now and everyone you’re close to right now. Boundaries can ebb and flow  with your speed of recovery. Take inventory of how you feel doing certain  activities and how you feel hanging out with certain people. There is where you  will find answers as to which boundaries to prioritize. Also, right now, say no. No  extra responsibilities until you’re feeling better.

2. Self-Care

This can be a better fueling system, more hydration, a massage, extra rest, or 15  minutes in a closet to breathe or be with your thoughts. You get to pick how you  sooth yourself. Choose something that boosts you in a healthy way. (Don’t down
a bottle of wine. That feel good is temporary and has future consequences.) I  have fire workouts and water workouts. The fire workouts (HIIT training, fast  cardio, heavy weight training, kickboxing) are my angry workouts. Frustration,  anger, irritability, even PMS can be soothed with these activities. Water workouts  (ebb and flow of yoga, swimming, dancing, or any movement with flow) help me  regulate my breathing, tap into my parasympathetic nervous system, and calm  the F down. Sometimes, the best self-care in no activity at all. Stillness and rest,  alone. Solitude is an under-rated temporary activity. Treat it like HIIT training
though -a little goes a long way, and too much can be harmful to your other life  goals.

3. Ask for Help

Vulnerable share here, but lately, I had to be the student in a very embarrassing  way. My balance was off as I was teaching one of my classes. I couldn’t even  demo certain postures for the class. I felt myself get frustrated and anxious that I  was ruining their yoga experience. The reality of this moment was that it was yoga  happening to me. We’re humans who occasionally get off-balance. I wasn’t giving  myself the space and grace I ask my students to give themselves. It took my  stubborn self a while to unpack this lesson, but now that I did, I want to share.  When you’re in a tough moment, see yourself as someone you care for. How  would you encourage them? Do more of that for yourself.

4. Express Your Emotions

As a child, I was taught to be a good girl, and that good girls aren’t emotional.  Don’t cry, don’t yell, and don’t laugh too loudly. As a teenager and young adult, I  was taught I was to be seen not heard. By the time I hit 30, guess what I was  staying to all of that? Let that “stuff ” go. (I probably said something else at the  time.) The art of respectfully sharing your authentic thoughts has been lost on  current society, but let’s bring it back. You and I both need to feel seen and heard.  It’s a human need we shouldn’t hide from. Be kind about it, but wave your flags.

5. Humor is Healing

I hold my funny friends in high regard, as they can help me out of a rut with a  mere sentence. That’s powerful to me, as I love to laugh. The world doesn’t  always give you stuff to laugh about and smiling can be difficult some days. This is  when I head to the funny farm -either via funny memes, jokes, or calling one of  my top shelf gals.

Flipping the script and considering what you broadcast into your day can  help elevate your days into more joy. Life is too precious to stay stuck for too  long. Go find the joy!