Smile, Breath, Go Slowly

Posted By Mimi on Dec 23, 2012 in O2 Yoga Blog |


I am injured. I am not sure exactly how it happened but I am guessing that it was a culmination of events rather than just one. Like the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back (poor camel), I had one too many small stresses. Being injured can be a time for frustration, resistance, introspection, surrender, or in my case all of these things at varying times. One thing I am learning from this is how to be still. The words of Thich Nhat Hanh keep coming into my head; “Smile, Breath, Go Slowly.” Well, I can breath and go slowly anyway, and why not smile while I am doing it?

I don’t know about you, but for me, when I get injured, I get scared. What if I can’t practice? What if I can’t move? What if this lasts forever? I will become fat and lazy. Fear is not a good emotion to operate under. Fear is what holds me back. Fear is something that many of us face and fight daily. It arises in the media, and in our own heads, and out of friends and family’s mouths. It is not good and is definitely not an emotion that aids in healing.

Rather than ignore and push, as is sometimes my habit, I decided to try a more loving approach. I went to see Thomas, a talented acupuncturist and healer who will be working out of Cambridge O2 this winter. I subbed out one of my classes and slept late. I scheduled a massage with Emily and Sonja, both different but equally gifted body workers. I have been teaching with the help of students and teachers in the room demonstrating for me. I have spent more time playing cards and Legos with my kids, and less time cleaning my house. I feel a stillness coming over me that is less scary and more pleasant. I am unused to feeling so grounded. I am used to flying around doing too many things at the same time. I am a chronic multi-tasker even though I would be better off doing things one at a time.

I am learning how to be present. I am still in pain, yet less fearful than I would be in the past. I trust that my body is asking for something I rarely give it; a rest. I, in turn, trust that it will be good for me not bad. I have a feeling that if I think back to this time of year across many years, I probably experienced some form of rebellion (either from mind or body or both), and some form or request for rest and recovery. For some reason, this year, I am listening.

I sincerely wish you an opportunity to smile, breath, and go slowly. I wish you an opportunity to hear what your body and mind need without fear. And, mostly, I wish you the opportunity for rest, rejuvenation, and loving kindness.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thich Nhat Hanh