I've come to week five in my six week challenge, the 40 Day Revolution. It's six weeks of daily yoga and meditation and six weeks of rethinking things. It's been a big month for me in all kinds of ways. Weeks one and two felt strong and challenging, tiring but rewarding. I felt lifted and spirited and just the right amount of restrained - knowing I had another four weeks ahead it was good to remind myself to take it slow and pace myself. I took a few yin classes and skipped my usual weekly 4 KM run in favour of a night off. Six days of yoga a week is enough for one (relatively) small lady, and it felt good to recognise that (and watch a bit of Homeland while I was at it).
The themes for each week have been a big part of it for me. They are 'presence', 'vitality', 'equanimity', 'restoration', 'centring' and 'triumph'. It's hard to know if my focusing on them in my practice informs it, or if it is just in the nature of the 40 day cycle, but each one has resonated with me. The theme for week three was equanimity, a word I don't often use, a word I had to explore and focus on in my yoga and meditation. And a word that fit all too well when I found out, one afternoon at work, that I may not have a job next year. The department I have been working with for almost five years is merging with another in 2014, and things are a little precarious to say the least. There is a chance I may be able to stay on, there is a chance my position may grow, but nothing is certain. And after the year I have had, one that has knocked me and hurt me and at times felt like it might break me, equanimity was a little hard to come by. The idea of pausing, of recognising that this was something I couldn't control and just letting it go seemed impossible. Having the heart to be OK with it all when really I just felt like the rug had been swept from underneath me did not come naturally.
I'm starting to think this whole year has been my week three, an exercise in equanimity. It's something that I always struggle with, I'm a worrier and I like to be in control of things, so I suppose it just comes down to me learning how to breathe through it all. Nothing is certain or constant, nothing is mine to hold on to, it's just balance I need.
So I find myself here, at the end of week five, having come back to class again and again, day after day. Having stretched and breathed and sweated through my anger, worry, tears, frustration and fear. And I feel remarkably centred, all things considered. Centred in both myself and in my practice, and oh, so ready for week six - the week of triumph.
* The picture here is from Deborah Abesser - she took a lovely series at my yoga studio just recently, some of which she has featured on her blog. Isn't it an amazing space?