When Storms Come

Last week reminded me what it means to really feel alive. It was a challenging and beautiful week. There was a lot to do in preparation for a very special surprise party, Zoom meetings and computer work to be done, house chores, after-school activities, a car repair that put a lovely dent in my bank account, and the cherry on top — tweaking my low back while working out on Wednesday.

At one point I felt pretty defeated. Thankfully, by Saturday morning I was able to move some things around to make space for myself to rest before the weekend’s festivities, which helped so much. A big shout out to my team at The Studio for stepping up for me to make that happen.

Last week was a reminder that it’s possible to feel a wide range of emotions in a short span of time — and that it’s how we show up when we’re feeling low that matters. It’s easy to be positive and happy when things are going great, but what about when we’re stressed, exhausted, or in physical pain? That’s when it really counts. That’s where our Tapas — or fire of self-discipline — really shows. Deborah Adele, in her book The Yamas & Niyamas, defines Tapas as “our determined effort to become someone of character and strength.” It is one of ten ethical principles that serve as guideposts to embodying yoga as a lifestyle. Tapas is comprised of the practices we have in place that help us weather storms, stay grounded in moments of inner turbulence, and remember how to access our breath when we need it most.

My week ended with the most beautiful, loving energy, surrounded by family. When I look back on it all, I see it as a perfect week — one full of all the feels — all the emotions of living in this human body. I was reminded, once again, that light and dark coincide. They are always dancing with one other, each carrying valuable lessons with their own beauty. I was proud of the way I showed up to all those things that came at me all at once. Grateful for the tools I have worked so hard to gather over years, and for my self-discipline that keeps them sharp and accessible.

Here’s an invitation to embrace the mess this week, because it will always be present in some capacity. Work with it. Work on how you show up in the face of it — because that’s what really matters. We can’t control the waves, but we can learn how to surf.