I regularly make a practice of taking what I learn in my recovery out into the world, I mean, that’s kind of the point, right? But today, I thought I’d bring a little something from the outside world into my sobriety practice. If you know anything about yoga, you know a little something about what this young lady in today’s post is praying for. Serenity? No. Patience? No. Tolerance? HAHAHAHA! Don’t kid yourself. She’s praying for whatever God there is to rescue her from the pain of this pose: Pigeon.
One of my favorite yoga teachers (and don’t take what I’m about to say the wrong way) will often wax on during Pigeon pose about how we should be breathing through the pain, finding the magic in the pose. Usually while she’s talking I have an almost unquenchable urge to slap her across her loser face and tell her to shut the hell up and help me up off the floor. This however, is not socially acceptable behavior, so usually I just push myself up and roll limply over on my side like a broken barbie doll whose hips have had no choice but to convulse in agony before settling into a slightly more open space than they were in before class.
Yoga is like that for me sometimes…I hate every minute of it, until it’s over–then I get my fix, a few blissfully perfect minutes of my day when the noise in my head shuts down and I am so present that I can feel my blood pulsing, my heart beating, my lungs working. It feels so good to be totally present (more on this in later posts) that like any good junkie, I leap out of bed most mornings ready to go again.
In yoga we often start a class by setting an intention. This is a very powerful technique which might have really come in handy in my using days. I can imagine some of my intentions: May I not get arrested today, may I not wake up in my own vomit or in another state, or in handcuffs, or with a tattoo I don’t recognize; may boxed wine be on sale at the liquor store. Hee hee.
Seriously though. Setting an intention is about focussing our twisted little brain on something we desire to achieve–such as, may I not slap the yoga teacher across her loserface when she talks about magical poses. In my sobriety, I can set an intention for almost anything. May I be at peace today. May I be free from the obsession of using. May I find others who need my help. May I enjoy my life, exactly as it is, while I dream around in the space that contains a vision for where I’m going. It’s good stuf…it really is.
But it can be tough sometimes. I wake up in the morning and my head is screaming at me…hey there, I’m glad you’re awake! Get up…we have a lot to do. At its mercy, I jump out of bed and start moving. I find morning meditation not only impractical (I have 2 kids, a St. Bernard, a cat, 2 guinea pigs–I know, I know, it’s a god damned PetCo at my house–and a husband) but also, irritating. It feels right to me to just jump into the day, but this can backfire on my spiritual condition.
Setting an intention became my compromise with God (higher power, creative intelligence, doorknob…I’m using the word God for concision here people) on how to start my day. If I happen to forget (as in, 3 or 4 days a week) I just stop where I am and do it. It helps me and the more I practice setting intentions, the more I seem to be able to use my powers for good and not evil.
Try it, right now. Set an intention for your day, and let me know what happens!