I woke up this morning to the sound of rain pounding against my windows.
I peeked out from beneath the covers and immediately wanted to just curl back into them, close my eyes, and wait for sunshine.
But life doesn’t work that way on Wednesdays, or really any other day. I had two kids to get out the door (and, because I completely procrastinated on Tuesday night, in the shower), three calls to make, and a yoga class to teach at one of my favorite local studios.
And all of that needed to happen before 9:45 AM.
So basically, I needed to get my shit together.
I’d love to tell you that I carved out ten minutes for meditation, to completely reset my mind, body, soul, and spirit.
But I’m not a liar, so I won’t say that.
I won’t even try to sell you on the idea of me doing five sun salutations to get centered.
Reality? I chugged some water with lemon, shot back an ounce of ACV (apple cider vinegar), showered in under 5 minutes, swiped a little mascara on my eyelashes, packed up two lunches, wiggled into a pair of Lululemons, and busted a move out the door.
I probably didn’t take a real breath – you know, the kind you notice – until the school doors closed behind Sadie and Patrick’s shuffling little feet (yes, I remembered to tie their shoes). But when that moment finally came, I immediately recognized the importance of it.
And I felt a twinge of regret because I’d lost an entire morning to the bustling blur of busyness.
Our yoga practice teaches us to slow down, turn inward, find stillness, increase our awareness, seek the light, and use it to illuminate pathways towards bliss.
Bliss, not blur.
Clearly, the first hours of my day were less than “mindful”. But in the recognizing of that reality, I received an incredible gift. The giver goes by many names – God, intuition, the universe, the divine, and the “big S” Self (the one that operates beyond the push, pull, fight, and flight of the ego) – and the gift can arrive in many forms, from gurus in temples to green lights on the parkway.
For me, today, it was a simple inhale; a deep pull of air into my body, big enough to fill my belly and my heart. Big enough to blow away the “poor me” story that I’d inexplicably sold myself on.
Because really, what in the world did I have to complain about?
Short answer? Nothing.
And that’s the honest answer for the vast majority of us.
Of course, I could offer up three, or five, or ten, or eighty-seven tips on how to start your day with joy…
But chances are you don’t need to read that stuff.
You just need to be reminded that this is YOUR shot at life. Riding the waves of overwhelm won’t help you or anyone else find happiness.
So my advice is simply this: discover ways to pause.
Pausing is a game changer. A pause creates a moment of temporary rest – a reflective interruption, an energetic recharge, a sip of stillness.
Get there, and you can make a choice to go, well, ANYWHERE.
All you really need is the pause.
And love. But you already knew that.
Bridget Riepl is a mom, a yoga teacher, a former lawyer, a writer, a moderately decent cook, a really good baker, a seeker of fantastic coffee and a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. Bridget became all those things around the same time and credits the whole “former lawyer” thing as the impetus for most of the fun stuff she gets to do on a daily basis now. That, and her husband Joe’s complete willingness to support her spontaneity with a smile. Bridget was born and raised in New Jersey and cannot imagine calling anywhere else “home.” She loves the entire NJ yoga community with lioness-like ferocity and cannot wait to show the world just what NJ yogis are up to – because it is crazy amazing stuff.
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