Have you ever had one of those days where you just “don’t feel right?” But, of course, we all do! As we get older, those days seem to come more frequently than we like. One day you wake up and your neck refuses to rotate to one side. If it does move, it’s accompanied by a cacophony of snaps and pops or the grinding sound of tires on gravel. Or quite possibly, you suffer from one of the most common ailments we experience in adulthood: low back pain. That annoying ache or discomfort that originates in the low back and makes sitting, standing or waiting in line at the grocery store an uncomfortable chore.
If you’re lucky enough to avoid a physical ailment, there’s bound to be an emotional or mental “snag” that arises in your daily life. I had one just a few nights ago. We had two cloudy days in a row here on the Island. Yes, two in a row! At the end of the second day I sat on my sofa, disinterested in my book, mad at the TV, and wanting nothing more than a pint of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and an over-sized spoon. Luckily, (for him) my husband was 1,000 miles away, and my dog was hiding. Perceptive little pooch. Without the ambition to seek out ice cream, I stewed, and went to bed early. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I seek a lounge chair every afternoon to soak up the rays, but each morning when I wake up I go to the window and look for the sunrise. Every morning. And, 349 days a year I’m not disappointed. It’s there right out my bedroom window. A warm glow on the horizon and the sky unfolding in shades of violet and peach. I admit a big draw for moving to “the Sunshine State” was…the sun! I sometimes forget the influence that big, yellow orb has on my mood. It’s SAD…literally.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression associated with lack of sunlight. I’m not saying I have SAD, but I do know that after a few days of dreariness my mood begins to reflect the sky — gray with only glimpses of light. On the bright side, I know better. I know the absolute antidote for such ailments, and I’m willing to share. I won’t tell you it’s simple, except in theory. Most things in life that are good for us are “easier said than done,” but I can tell you that we all possess the power to deal with the blockages and the bumps and the dings and the snags. We just have to reach.
Right away, you might be thinking, “How’s that going to help my aching shoulder? If I reach, it’s just going to hurt more. And I certainly can’t reachthe sky and fling the clouds open like a curtain to reveal the warm illumination of light, or can I?”
I believe, with the power of yoga as my guide, that I can because the real reach — the one that cures what ails you and replaces the glass-half-empty with one that is easily half full — resides in us all. I imagine it to be this beautiful light, deep in my core, that I strive to tap into each day in order to allow it’s warmth and color to come to the surface. It’s an energy and a strength that always exists but doesn’t always present itself without careful and mindful exploration. So, how do I reach for this, you might wonder? So many ways, and most of them involve movement.
As I brooded the other night, blaming my moodiness on the missed doses of sunshine and vitamin D, why didn’t I just get off the couch and go for a walk? Why not throw my yoga mat on the floor and power through 10 sun salutations? Or maybe, the most difficult reach of all…Why didn’t I close my eyes, right there where I sat, take a deep breath or two and look within my own mind for the comfort I lacked?
I won’t tell you that a few moments of exercise or meditation are going to cure broken bones or broken hearts, but the body, and especially the mind, are the most powerful tools we can utilize toward the goal of a healthy, pain-free life. They can get us started down the right path. A motivated soul, one that has been touched via a whole-hearted reach, has greater healing power than any modern-day medicine.
Finding the place within ourselves where the hurt or the pain originates is the first step toward healing it, and when we know what method it takes, what route to follow in order to locate it’s origin, we have arrived at our Kairos. Our opportune moment to reach for the antidote of our own design and heal.
Whether for you the reach comes through exercise, meditation, prayer or simply experiencing the rising sun, realize that it is available. It’s accessible, and it’s worth getting off the couch for.
Maya Angelou was a talented and revered woman. She overcame great difficulties in life to become a beloved author, poet and civil activist. Her life and her many accomplishments have been widely acknowledged since her recent passing. Her quotes of inspiration are many but today one very simple line comes to mind.
“Nothing will work unless you do.”
So, reach. Deep, and with great intention, to the bubbling stream of healing energy that ebbs beneath the protective shell of every day life. Retrieve just a parcel of it’s riches.
Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.