Have you’ve ever found yourself getting really worked up about something and then once it happens, it’s not nearly as bad as you thought it would be?
I had an experience like this recently that I’ve been sitting with and receiving the lessons this has come to teach me.
And I write about it because I believe that it’s something we can all relate to as humans.
So the story goes…
I had been putting off having this surgery done to my foot for quite a while (like 15 years) because I knew it was going to be pretty painful having it done.
It felt easier to avoid and ignore than to tend to it.
I’ll spare you the details of what the surgery was…
But essentially, I finally decided to move forward with tending to my foot and overcome the pain that would be present as a result.
The few days leading up to this surgery were consumed with me ruminating about how terrible it was going to be.
I was flooded with anxiety and fear that kept me from being fully present in my life moment to moment.
Time came for the surgery and it ended up not being nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Yes it was very painful.
But the pain was only present for a second and then it dissipated quickly.
Using my breath to move through the pain and challenge was key.
With every exhale, I released a large sigh and sound to move through.
After it was all over… I realized that I had spent so much time worrying that was completely unnecessary suffering.
I realized that I had actually suffered far more the few days leading up to the surgery than the actual surgery itself.
The mind is a funny thing.
But what I’m taking away from this experience is the lesson that so much of our pain and suffering lives in the anticipation of something bad happening.
So much of our pain and suffering lives in the anxiety and worry about the future.
It lives in the rumination.
This is a lesson that I continue to meet in my yoga practice both on and off the mat.
How can I be with my discomfort in certain poses when I know that the discomfort is only temporary?
How can I meet myself in the challenge of a posture or a life experience when I know that this is a fleeting moment in time?
When I notice myself getting lost in thoughts and worries about the future, how can I guide myself back to the present moment… back to my breath… back to the here and now…
Reminding me that I’m safe to be exactly where I’m at… and that there is nothing that I need to do and nowhere that I need to get to.
So often we get caught up thinking and worrying about the future, creating stories in our mind that rob us completely of the present moment.
The present is such a gift.
And that’s what my yoga practice has continuously taught me and continues to remind me.
It reminds me that when I stay in the present and stay in my flow, trusting my body and my breath to guide me, I am okay.
So if you resonate at all with this, I hope this serves as a reminder to you as well, to pause in uncertainty, to take a breath when you find yourself caught in worries about the future, and to return to the present. Return to your breath and tend to yourself in the here and now.
Mackenzie discovered her love for yoga over thirteen years ago. The impact it had on her life drew her deeper into studying alternative and holistic healing while she was in college. After she graduated in 2016, she traveled to Southeast Asia to immerse herself in a 200 hour teacher training. She’s currently immersed in a three year program studying Body Psychotherapy. Her yoga classes have a strong somatic element leading people back home to their bodies. She helps her students lean into discomfort and cultivate a deeper, more loving connection with themselves.
Click here to learn more about Mackenzie and see her teaching schedule.