It’s been noticeably hotter and more humid. If I were on vacation booked in an air conditioned Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat room or beach villa, and hanging out in the beautiful, refreshing ocean, the weather would be wonderful.
Sleeping in a fan cooled tent hut, even a nice one as the one pictured here, and spending most of my day doing karma yoga, sometimes working in A/C and often not, the humidity and heat have had a draining energy impact.
I realize that heat and humidity is common for those of you who live and work in tropical climates. For me, the experience is new, and the adjustment will take time.
I continue my battle with bug bites - no idea why they like me so much. I’ve ordered a new non Deet spray that I’m hoping will keep them away. I’ve also started using a wrist band with a buzzing frequency bugs supposedly do not like, that a friend from France, who left the ashram this week gave to me.
Even with the heat, humidity and itching of bug bites, this week I’ve noticed the days passing quickly.
The more I become immersed in the work here, the more I realize how natural and habitual ‘flow’ is for me.
My definition of ‘flow’ is being so engrossed in what I’m doing, that I am completely unaware of time, place or anything other than the task at hand.
Flow can be a very productive and positive state. Creative flow for me is often boundless, quite energizing and joyful. Getting into creative flow when I write is wonderful. A few times I’ve done a yoga practice in a state of flow, and it can also be very energizing.
Flow can also have a downside when taken to extreme.
Twice this week, I’ve been so ‘in the flow’ of work that I’ve ignored my body urges and not even taken the time for a bathroom break. While some people may have great capacity for holding bodily fluids, I really do not. I can will myself into going against my body urges up to a point.
On one occasion, 6 hours had passed, and I suddenly realized the time when the urgency of ‘nature’s call’ insisted on my paying attention. The few minutes of very uncomfortable, near-run to the bathroom put me in a very anxious and stressed state. I barely made it without wetting my pants. At my stage of life, you’d think I would know better:)
I also paid little attention to drinking water or stretching my body, taking no breaks to do either. I know better, but somehow got pulled into past behaviors.
If it happened just once, it wouldn’t mean much, but I found myself in the same situation later in the week. I wasn’t in the flow the entire time, but I had been working steadily and at some point drifted into the ‘flow state’, losing consciousness of all but my tasks.
Neither my supervisor, nor the ashram culture pushed me to these ‘flow states’. I was fully responsible for my actions.
I pushed myself into complete focus as a means of leaving projects I am working on in good order. On Friday, I left the Sivananda Yoga Retreat for a couple days to celebrate my grand baby, Vivian’s first birthday in Chicago.
Experiencing this week’s extreme focus brought to the forefront of my thoughts, my prior ‘workaholic nature’.
You might have noticed my stating that I “pushed” myself into the complete focus. I insisted on meeting certain expectations for myself, and in the process forgot about healthy, loving care of myself. I also experienced some frustration when others were not meeting my expectations.
Imbalance in my Pitta dominant constitution brings out reactionary feelings of annoyance with others and myself.
These self imposed frustrations were amplified throughout my life in the workplace. Many of us have grown up thinking that to be a good employee, we had to push ourselves to extremes in the name of having a strong work ethic.
I now realize extremes are unhealthy, especially for any sustained period of time.
My all too familiar past was reminding me that I have quite a distance to go on this journey.
Some of what I hope to learn and practice while I am here is the balance of positive creative flow, without the force and extremes I so readily fall into.
As my yoga teacher, Paul, at Tejas Yoga said to us over and over, ‘Effort with Ease’. I daily repeat this phrase when I do my yoga poses, reminding myself not to overexert and to not let my ego get carried away.
I know I still need lots of practice in this area, and I am so grateful to be in such a supportive environment for self awareness and healing.
I believe that as KP Khalsa’s prescriptive herbs and supplements continue to heal my physical body, emotional and mental healing will also take place.
Sending you love from the Bahamas.
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