Day 180 – moping around

I am sick, there is no denying it now. I wake up with a sore throat so I go to the chemist on the way to work and buy some cough medicine and throat lozenges. I also get an immunity juice and some soup to have for lunch. I try to eat a pastry thing with cheese and spinach but it just tastes bland and kind of like medicine. I have three layers of clothing on and I can’t even unfold my arms because I am so cold. My boss keeps opening the front doors of the pub and as soon as he walks away, I close them. I tell him sorry but I am freezing cold, despite my merino wool jumper, because I am sick. He said he wondered why I was moping around. Moping around? I guess I have been leaning onto things for dear life. Eventually I have to go home early, I can’t even keep my eyes open. I have a couple of hours until my yoga class. I know I can’t get anyone to cover it with such late notice. I get changed and have a short nap but I don’t feel any better until I get to the yoga room. There is something about the energy of a yoga room, like all the om’s, the mass consciousness and the peaceful namaste’s have created a vibration that can heal and comfort. As soon as I step into the room, I feel ok again. I feel like I am prepared to teach. It is a relaxing ‘flow and let go’ class, so we move slowly in a mandala and end the class with seated meditation. When we all come out of the meditation I am pleased to see the students with glazed eyes, looking comfortably yoga-stoned. This is what I aim for when I teach. It is a pleasure to see them looking so rested. As for me, I feel a little better-rested and a little bit more relaxed. Unfortunately, by the time I get home and fall into bed, I am hit by a crazy fever and severe agony grips my throat. I fall in and out of sleep all night as my dear mum makes me soup and ginger tea. I guess now I have finally stopped. I ran myself into the ground and now I am sicker than I have been in years. I need to rest and restore and not allow myself to feel guilty about it. I always say I can handle a running or blocked nose but a sore throat is agony. As I slip into an uncomfortable sleep, the fever raging, it is like a fire burning from within. I hope it burns away whatever it is inside of me that needs to die. Sometimes we need to burn out and down and then come out of it healthier and happier. Maybe I ran myself into the ground because I was trying to run away from my past and my guilt. I was trying to keep so busy that I didn’t have time to think about what I have left behind and who. I didn’t have time to miss my ex, or miss India, or worry about the future. I was just so busy trying to make the most out of the now! But I did get the warning in the dream. It was a clear message to stop and I didn’t listen so now I am in bed, burning from the inside.

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Day 179 – PREPARE TO STOP

I had a dream of my yoga teacher from Rishikesh. He was yelling at me to stop. When I didn’t listen, he demanded I come back for detention on Sunday. When I refused, he gave me another Sunday, then 2 more, then 3 more! I just said, “No, I’m not going!” This would be the ego, refusing to listen. When I finish teaching yoga at 7.30am, I go for a run from Bondi to Clovelly and back. The coastal run is beautiful and has plenty of steps to make it interesting. I stop as I get back to my car and suddenly a violent cough springs up from my chest. I don’t usually get sick, but considering how busy I have been lately, I wouldn’t be surprised that I have run myself into the ground. I race to my friend’s house for a quick brekky before she teaches the next yoga class and sit down to a nice relaxing bowl of almond-soaked oats with berries and LSA mix and other various toppings. Her calm energy rubs off on me and when I leave her house I realise I am already late to meet another friend who I was having coffee with. Luckily, these meetings are only one street away and I get there in time. This friend, who the world knows as Doc, is a dream analyst and homeopath, among his other beautiful talents. I stumble in the door, iPod flying out of the handbag, scarf dragging on the ground, a whirlwind of energy, “I’m here, I’m here!” He laughs and tells me to calm down while he orders coffee. I lean back on the plush chairs and we have a chat. When I tell him about the dream, he says I am extremely lucky to be handed such a clear message like that. Not many people get instructions so clear, nor do they know what do with them. He says when the messenger in the dream is yelling, it usually means that if I don’t follow the instructions, I will end up falling quickly. I cough and he says yes, it is Vata overdrive, yes it is run down, yes I am ungrounded and yes I need to do less and let go of the guilt about doing less. I could work less, but I feel like I would be letting someone down. I could train less, but I would beat myself up about it. I could sleep more, drive around less, hang out with friends at home instead of going rock climbing or other crazy things like that. If I don’t stop, I will end up seriously sick.

When I get to work, the street behind the pub has some roadworks and I see two signs on the side of the road in red, with big white letters saying, PREPARE TO STOP. Haha, ok universe, I get the message! I am about to be stopped if I don’t do it myself. I spend the night lazing about but don’t get to bed until around midnight. But sometimes it is nice to just be awake yet relaxed. I am sick of rushing to bed, knowing I need to rest before a big day or before a long shift. Well, I don’t know if I am stopping but it does feel like I am slowing down…

Day 178 – no pause, no rest

I wake up with a start, not sure which job I am supposed to be at or whether I am late or not. When I realise I am not working for another few hours, I go through my training schedule in my head and think I must be running this morning. No, it is a cross training day and I am going indoor rock climbing tonight. I can relax and go back to sleep, but I don’t. I am already awake so I just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. Eventually I get up for my meditation and realise how tired I am when I can’t keep my back up straight. I know I am doing too much, I know I am pushing myself a little too far, but I can’t see anywhere that I can cut down. At work, I realise how tired I am from lack of sleep. I must have had about four hours of deep sleep, with another 3 of restless, half awake sleep. At the end of the shift, I lean on the bar for dear life while I look up the address I am picking my friend up from. Within five minutes I am changed and gone. No pause, no rest. After rock climbing, we go out for dinner in Newtown and stumble across a place called the BlackSheep. It turns out I have worked with the bartender and the owner previously at other venues. It is a tiny, vintage style bar with velvet filigree wallpaper and dripping candle wax over a faux fireplace. This could be the only place in Sydney that actually has a tofu dog on the menu. By the time I get home, I am exhausted and yet I still get excited when I find a pair of dumbbells in the cupboard. I start to pick them up and then have to reprimand myself. No! I need to sleep, I am exhausted and I have to be up at 5.30am tomorrow. This is Vata in overdrive. I need to just slow down.

Day 177 – La Roue de Fortune

So it is around midnight (last night) when I eventually make it out of the bathtub. Hey, give a girl some bubbles and glitter and a good book and you’ve lost her for hours. The book is The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory, who is my favourite historical fictionist. In it, the young girl Jacquetta is playing with some tarot cards as she sits around on the grass with her buddy Joan of Arc (as you do).

‘Now that’s a good card,’ Joan remarks. ‘La Roue de Fortune..’

I hold it out to show it to her. ‘It is the Wheel of Fortune that can throw you up very high, or bring you down very low. Its message is to be indifferent to victory and defeat, as they both come on the turn of the wheel.’

‘In my country the farmers make a sign for fortune’s wheel,’ Joan remarks. ‘The draw a circle in the air with their forefinger when something very good or something very bad happens. Someone inherits money, or someone loses a prize cow, they do this.’ She points her finger in the air and draws a circle. ‘And they say something… They say merde”.’

I love this idea of just drawing a circle in the air. It explains everything! It explains the wheel of ignorance, the attachments and expectations taking us away from our centre and spinning us around. It explains the endless cycle of reincarnation, constantly turning around the true source at the centre, but not able to get there. When you stand at the centre of the wheel of fortune, then you are indifferent to victory and defeat. Throughout my day, talking to various friends, I use this circle and surprisingly one person just smiles and nods and says, “Yeah, I know the vicious cycle.” Well, if we all know we are in this spinning wheel then how hard can it be to pull yourself back to the centre? It is constantly readjusting and repositioning. Kind of like jeans that always slip down. Everyone has a unique way of pulling their jeans up. Some hold the belt loops, others hold the pockets, others do a twist of the hips. I hold the back of my thighs and bend forward. Yes I know it looks as funny as it sounds but it works. Well, you fall off the wagon, you drop to the bottom of the wheel, or you climb the steep mountain and get to the top. One thing is sure, you never step in the same river twice. My beautiful girlfriend told me today that she doesn’t cope well with change. Well, change is always happening whether we cope with it or not. The idea is to accept everything as just a beautiful turn of the wheel. Put some spokey dokes on the wheel and enjoy the colours. Might as well, cos that wheel will never stop turning. The trick is to stay in the centre, keep pulling up the jeans, draw a circle in the air with your finger and say ‘shit’ in a romance language.

Day 176 – saluting the sun

Ok, so another post about being in my pyjamas. I won’t lie, sometimes I wake up and even before I get out of bed I am scanning through Facebook. I think the News Feed has actually replaced the television and the newspaper in terms of how I access news. I know, how shameful. Today a fellow yogi has thrown out a song form her yoga playlist, Iambic² – Going Home, so I roll out of bed and straight onto the floor where I do sun salutations until the song ends. Warrior 1 is not so easy in pyjamas. I am a little worried the flannelette will tear. It isn’t stretchy at all! But it is a beautiful way to wake up. Like showering the soul with light and love from within. The sun has been up already for a couple of hours but I feel like I have offered it my own personal greeting. Good morning sun, thanks for being here! If the sun could talk, it would definitely say the same thing back.

Day 175 – RESToration

I have run myself into the ground and my body is demanding a rest day. I feel like if I don’t stop now I will end up really sick and I can’t afford to be sick. It would force me to miss out on too much! I feel so lazy and guilty, especially since I got my friend to cover my yoga class and when I wake up half an hour before it starts anyway, my automatic thought is that I could have still taught it! I can’t let go of this feeling like I should be doing more with my day. I haven’t even opened the curtains and it is a sunny day! I should be running or doing yoga, or working or seeing friends but when my friend calls to see if I want to go for a walk with her, I tell her I just need to chill out and be alone for a day and she absolutely encourages me. You know a good friend when they can selflessly tell you to stay home and look after yourself.

It is 2.25pm when I finally get out of my pyjamas, feeling relaxed and grounded and calm. I go for an easy run, feeling like I could go on forever. When I finally turn my phone on, there is a barrage of messages. I feel especially bad to hear that work wanted me to come in five hours early! Well, I think, it would have been impossible. I was still in my pyjamas then! I know it is ok to rest and just simply exist for a day, but I can’t let go of the feeling that I missed out on extra hours, or the idea that I was needed and let someone down. When I get to work, they seem unfazed. Nobody even really noticed. I feel grounded and calm for once and not like a manic monkey, running around all hyped up on coffee. Actually for the first time in a long time, I have no coffee today! I don’t realise this until we are closing up for the night and I realise I don’t feel as exhausted as I usually do at the end of a shift. It is ok to just relax sometimes. It is ok to bail on friends, to leave the phone off and simply exist as a solitary isolated unit. The world continues rolling around me and at the centre, I sit. In my pyjamas.

Day 174 – give a little, get a little… give a lot, get a lot

Bright and sunny, Krystle riding her new bike to work. She veers dangerously toward the trees as we make the coastal walk from Coogee to Clovelly. I have forgotten about all the stairs and James has to carry the bike up for us. I can’t stop laughing because he is carrying a heavy bicycle under one arm, plus my backpack, Krystle’s handbag and a beer. He turns around and shouts incomprehensible Canadian babble at us. Most people think he is Irish because of his rambling accent. It is a mixture of Canadian, South African and pure man-mumble. He is one of those overly generous souls, who want to care for and look after everyone. James talks about as fast as I think so when the three of us are together, it is like this high energy, rapid movement cyclone of words and thoughts and laughter. His sick sense of humour, second only to Krystle’s makes the three of us rebound off each other and a short walk with them feels like a cross-training session; my abs hurt from laughing so much! Krystle put the bike together herself so the handlebars end up sliding around dangerously and the gears don’t seem to want to drop down. We finally get her to work and then go to the end of the cliffs at Clovelly and sit down. James and I decide to walk back to Coogee and get some sushi. I am still super tired, but you wouldn’t guess it. I am still jumping around and talking so quickly. We both stop to compliment a girl on her cool hair-do and another girl on her tights. We are saying how nice it is to give compliments and after we part ways, a stranger says to me that he likes my hot pink running shoes. I smile at the reciprocal nature of love. “You give a little, you get a little!” I write to James and he writes back, “You give a lot, you get a lot!” I can even feel him smiling through his text messages.

Walking in the beautiful sunshine, loving the sight of the bright blue ocean, I say out loud that I am jealous of myself right now. I don’t even know how that works, but it is like I am so enraptured by this moment, I hope it never ends. Well, this moment never really does end! The present has no time limit. At work, everyone expects me to be flat and low energy, so when they see me jumping and dancing about, they all look a little surprised. One of the locals asks what I am so happy about and I say, “I’m alive!” and he says, “Well it sure beats the other option!” The default thought process of this city is to answer ‘How are you?’ with “Not bad’, or ‘Getting there’ or ‘Can’t complain… no-one would listen anyway!’ I feel like people look at me strangely when I answer with ‘Amazing! Fantastic! Thank you for asking!’ Well, happy and vibrant people attract each other and infect each other and share this pulsating energy and love for life. I would like to infect the world with this brightness. Give a little love, get a little love. Give a lotta love, get a lotta love.

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