Glass Shatters

I recently watched the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It, with Sarah Jessica Parker as the lead character. She’s an over-extended woman trying to manage a high-powered career that requires a lot of travel, as well as a husband and two young children. She made painful choices as she moved higher up the career ladder, and…well, I won’t spoil it for you in case you haven’t seen it.

It reminded me of an adage that a wise friend once shared with me. She said that as we walk through our lives, we’re constantly juggling five balls in the air. The balls are named Work, Family, Health, Friends, and Spirit, and you’re desperately trying to keep them all up in the air. Here’s the thing we all have to learn:  Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four, though — they are made of glass. If you drop one of those, it will be permanently damaged in some way…perhaps just a scuff that you can work around, or a deep crack that will require careful attention for a long time.  But maybe one will be shattered. The point is, if you drop Family, Health, Friends, or Spirit, there will be some irreparable damage and things will never be the same.

Here’s how yoga can help you keep those balls up in the air:

1. Yoga isn’t about nailing a pose better than the person on the mat next to you. It’s not a competition.

2. When you practice yoga, you learn to tune in to your body’s needs and modify poses as you need on a given day. As I tell my students, sometimes just laying on the floor breathing can be your practice!

3. Just as we practice one pose at a time, we live life off the mat moment by precious moment. Yogis cultivate awareness of the present moment, as we tune into what our bodies and teacher are saying.

4. Challenging poses help us acknowledge our weaknesses, our human fragility. They also invite us to persist with our practice and to overcome our fears.

5. When we come upon rough patches in life, we might bend and sway a bit, but we can root down into what sustains us and rise up to meet what comes.

It’s all about balance and prioritizing.

View my complete schedule of classes at the Yoga Center of Columbia!

2 comments so far

  1. Tracy Devine on

    Colleen, thank you for sharing. This is exactly the encouragement I needed this week. See you soon.

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