I was surprised when my yoga teacher began to talk about stealing as I have never put theft and yoga together in my mind. She was quoting from an article that talked about how we steal from our lives without even realizing it. For instance, by worrying about running late or by spending too much energy on how we appear or by having our minds constantly wander – we may be missing out on the here and now. Words of wisdom for both on and off the yoga mat.
The concept of stealing from ourselves got me to thinking about my ongoing recovery from the accident I had last year which I have written about: Holiday Calamity: The Good, the Bad and the Just Plain Weird! and The Road to Recovery and I Make Bone, What’s Your Superpower? . The road to recovery has been long and slow but steady.
In the past, when recovering from injuries, I have yearned for getting back on my feet and into my life, full speed ahead. This time it is different. Yes, I want to be healthy with no worries about pain or setbacks, but I am not racing ahead, thrusting myself into my future. Maybe it is because I am not running a business and chasing my kids at the same time or maybe because I have grown up a bit since my last ankle surgeries, both 10 and 20 years ago.
In these last 3+ months, I have spent time piecing myself together emotionally and spiritually as my bones knit themselves into the strong rigid organs that they are meant to be. I have looked for patterns in my life that circle back to the dates of past ankle injuries and surgeries. I have found some interesting coincidences, but when I dig deeper I found something else. I have been stealing the actual experience of recovering from myself.
It all came together for me when I caught myself wondering when I will be able to flow through yoga class as easily and effortlessly as I used to; when will I be able to move my breath in and out with each pose as both an internal and external dance of energy? And then it hit me. By trying to get back to where I was (and who I was), I have been stealing from myself. I am not going to get to where I was.
That “me” is gone. I have a new me that is emerging from this experience. I am still able to move on the yoga mat with ease and joy, whether or not I can do the poses as I once did. I am still able to be a conduit for joy and love with or without a limp. There is no reason to think I won’t make a full recovery, but I now refuse to steal the recovery experience from myself.
And this got me thinking: What other experiences am I stealing from myself? When I am rushing around, what am I missing out on? What is happening around me that I don’t see or experience just so that I can get to some other moment? Am I truly here in the moment with the people around me? Or am I stealing from my experiences in all sorts of small ways that will add up to a life that was stolen, rushed, missed out on because I wasn’t present?
I will eventually be able to be on the mat again effortlessly and I will be able to walk again without a limp. But for now, this is what I am going through. Period. And when I am out on the other side I will not be who I was. We can never go back to who we were before life changing experiences. If we try to we are fooling ourselves and missing out on the richness of the new and still-to-come moments that may be even better than we thought possible.
What are you missing out on as you race through life? Or are you present with your experiences and those around you?
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