by Gabrielle Douglas
In addition to teaching yoga, I’m in a psych rock band called The Cush. I’m feeling excited because we're getting ready to go into the studio again to record all our new songs. Last night we had rehearsal, which ended up going fairly late. Needless to say, the next day I was exhausted.
After teaching a yoga class, I had time to take a nap before my next client. I'm so very thankful for this time to rest, as it's not always granted. I know we can all relate to this! At first, I had a challenging time actually relaxing into rest, as I sometimes do when attempting to nap during the day. But, I knew that I was actually wired-tired and that I needed to do some deep breathing/meditation to calm my mind. Even if I can just relax and meditate for 30 minutes and not fall asleep, I'm good and happy with that. This time, however, I did eventually drift off into a sleep, as is one of the many benefits of meditation. We slow down the thought process long enough to finally notice the rhythm and depth of our breath, which helps us relax physically in our bodies, then in our minds. This creates a deep rest, whether we sleep or not.
I realize in my meditation that I'm actually much more tired than I realized! Sound familiar? Everyone I know is sleep deprived, and yet, somehow, we manage to find enough energy to keep on keeping on. This is one of the reasons I love to teach yoga, to help everybody keep on keeping on in the most positive way! Why? Because the world is in serious need of it! If we don't have people doing their best to create much good in the world, this world is in serious trouble! So, I teach for the good of all, and it helps me to keep on keeping on, in my best way possible also.
Ok...., so back to what I was originally telling you about.....
I finally relaxed my body and mind enough to fall asleep. Just what I needed in a serious way! I've been working A LOT lately and haven't had enough downtime.
When I finally fell into a deep sleep, I had a dream. In my dream, I heard a young child playing in our living room. I got up from my bed to see who it was. She was around the age of 5, had strawberry blonde hair, so very cute and was doing yoga in wheel pose. As she was demonstrating her fabulous wheel pose, she was also going around in circles. I was impressed with her flexibility, mobility and motor skills. She gently released herself out of wheel pose and sat down on the ground. I went over to her and said to her, "Who are you pretty little girl? You're playing in our living room, in a perfect wheel pose, going round and round in circles?" She reached out, grabbed my hand, and said, "you know who I am." It was in that moment it dawned on me; I did know who she was the moment she grabbed my hand.
In that moment, I woke up from the dream. It took me awhile to come to my senses as I slept hard and wasn't ready to come back to this reality just yet. I got up, made some lunch and got ready for my next class. On the way to the studio, I did the math.....Yes, she would be 5 years old this year, at the end of this month to be exact! But, now as I think of the dream, I wonder if her birthday would've been today.... I immediately snap myself out of this type of thinking! After all, I am operating a vehicle, on the way to teach a yoga class, in heavy traffic. I need to be more mindful of my surroundings and driving. I can't get distracted by these thoughts and heavy emotions right now. I arrive to teach and class is great. We are all definitely feeling better now! I drive home, play with our dog ZZ, feed him some dinner and begin to make dinner for my husband and me. Then it hits again.... I can continue to make dinner and push it aside, or go sit in our backyard for a few minutes and take in some of the evening sunset. A chance to reconnect to body and breath, allow myself some spacious moments to pause and just be. I begin to reflect on the dream and allow myself to feel the sorrow that still resides in my heart. Although it was brief, I am so thankful I took the time to process. Sometimes those small moments of silence can offer us a huge amount of clarity!
As my husband and I were sharing events of our day over dinner, I told him of my dream. As I ended my story, he grabbed me and held me close until my crying subsided, then we both took a big, deep breath at the same time. I immediately felt like something had just healed in my heart. Something that needed healing for quite a while now. A sense of peace came over my whole being, and I told her how much I loved her and wished she was there with us now. I felt so much gratitude for all that I've been given and remembered that for any of us to want what we don't have is the root of suffering. Being attached to what we have or don't have leads to suffering. It's time for me to be at peace with this suffering I've carried with me for so long now. But, I also realize that it will continue to come and go, as all our hardships do in life.
I've been blessed with so many incredible opportunities to do what I'm passionate about in life. I get to make music and teach yoga full time! That is a gift, and I do not take my creative freedom for granted. I have always cherished being creative with music and yoga, as they have both saved me in more ways than one. I know how much I value teaching others the deep lessons we can learn from playing music and practicing yoga/meditation. I understand that it is an honor to be given the opportunity to do both. And so therefore, I will keep on keeping on, doing my best to make this world a better place one breath at a time.
I'm thankful I'm on this path, even though it is not always easy. I prefer acknowledging valuable lessons and growing from them, rather than not paying attention to them and residing in the void. Our feelings serve us well, even if it hurts to feel them sometimes. That is truly a gift in itself, the ability to feel into our emotions, and use them to create from, give from, and expand our limited understanding of it ALL!
Thank you for taking the time to read.