Stop worrying and start living

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“What if the hokey-pokey is really what it’s all about?”
-Unknown

I returned to Yoga Teacher/Holistic Coach Training class last week after two weeks off. Our instructor started the class off by asking how everyone was doing. Most were not doing too good. Worrying about this or that, feeling off track, anxiety, depression, it all came out. I applaud these women for their ability to be vulnerable and brutally honest. However it was also concerning because these amazing women were letting some of their thoughts and worries get the best of them. Some of their concern came from not living up to the yoga lifestyle that we have been introduced to. Not meditating, eating the wrong food, craving things, feeling anxious, etc. I too have experienced some anxiety about not attending enough yoga classes, and just said to my husband I have to commit to more classes every week.

What happens to us when we worry about not doing the “right” things, like eating properly, exercising, or anything that we feel we are “supposed” to be doing? According to http://www.webmd.com, excessive worry can have effects on our body, such as fatigue, headaches, inability to concentrate, irritability, muscle aches and tension and nausea to name a few. They continue by saying, “When the excessive fuel in the blood isn’t used for physical activities, the chronic anxiety and outpouring of stress hormones can have serious physical consequences, including:
•Suppression of the immune system
•Digestive disorders
•Muscle tension
•Short-term memory loss
•Premature coronary artery disease
•Heart attack”

I don’t know about you, but this sounds a lot worse than skipping meditation for a day or eating a piece of cake.

I read a remarkable article written by Elna Baker, “What Losing 110 Pounds REALLY Looks Like” http://www.refinery29.com. It is her account of living with the excess skin and scars that came after the weight loss. She makes a very interesting observation: “I don’t know about you, but I am so sick of striving for fucking beauty. It has taken up 10 to 20% of my time and thoughts on a daily basis for the past 20 years. It has robbed me of doing more important, loving, honest things.”

I could relate to those thoughts. For me it is not so much beauty, but losing weight. Over the last 30 years I have spent countless hours worrying about what I was eating, how I looked, what other people were thinking. What could my thoughts have consisted of instead? What kind of “important, loving, honest things” could I have been doing?

I have made a conscious effort in the past few years to relinquish these thoughts, live my life, and forgive myself if I get off track. I try to be the best me I can be, but I am far from perfect. And there is this little thing called life that can get in the way. However, I have a general path I follow to stay healthy and happy and as long as I am within +/- 5 degrees of that path I feel good.

What are you worrying about? What are you NOT doing while you are worrying about things? I believe we are all destined for great things, but if we are carrying around heavy bags of worry our hands are not free to create to our fullest potential. Drop the bags and start living your life.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
-Joe Lewis

“It’s not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.”
-Adlai Stevenson

“Stop thinking, and end your problems.”
-Lao Tzu

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