Peace, For Ourselves

 

It’s been a fight, but what’s new? I have exhausted some weapons and gathered some more, always adjusting to the battle against depression and anxiety. Today in particular I will say I am pretty pleased with my chosen weapons: warm drinks in downtown cafes, yoga, and walking through DC in the rain.

These all make up the cocktail that I really need right now. They essentially combine into a “treat-yourself-because-life-has-been-hard” day.

The warm drinks were great, so was the cafe atmosphere and slow walks through the rain. What really lifted my spirit today, however, was yoga.

I often get tense before yoga, so as a way to try to relax, I prepared a little mantra for my yoga class this afternoon. It went like this:

“Acceptance is all around me”

Acceptance is all around me

Acceptance is all around me.

As I was actually going in and out of positions and breathing deeply in the class, just saying in my mind “acceptance” was enlightening. As my mind wandered, “acceptance.” When I started to feel self-conscious, “acceptance.” When I remembered how tumultuous my life has been, “acceptance.”

And would you believe that this yoga class turned out to be the most nurturing, effective one I have yet attended. (Over a few years!)

When I walk into yoga studios, as much as I want to relax and open up, I come to get tied up in my head with thoughts of anxiety and self-depreciation. You can imagine how good I felt to really open my heart, in a way both literally and figuratively, to myself today. At the end of the class I felt that I had just spent the last 60 minutes honoring myself and allowing myself the luxury of peace.

Peace really is a luxury. Day after day you and I hear tales of shootings and rapes, attacks and so on. We do what we can to have a positive impact on the world, and we try add to the healing of those near and far from us. While we do those things, as good as they are, we often forget to give ourselves peace. And love (I think that the two are not so different).

Consider today, whether you are battling depression like myself, or just going through any normal Monday, presenting yourself with a gift of peace. It could take the form of yoga, but it doesn’t have to. Maybe what your body and mind really hunger for are a few minutes sitting quietly by the window, a slow walk through the neighborhood, or even a chance to mindfully savor a piece of dark chocolate. Each of these is simple but precious.

I do not know how I would get through my days without such simple moments. They open an entire new door to appreciating life.

 

Here’s to you and I giving ourselves more love & peace.

 

As always,

Tanya

 

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