Somewhere between adolescence and maturity, I became a worst-case scenario type gal. Often struggling to overcome my own anxiety, I waste precious time worrying about the next earthquake, the plane that is surely going down, and the bad guys that are going to break into our home. This is not unfounded fear; I once felt the barrel of a gun next to my face, and the strength of a man whose force I could not defeat. I once received a phone call on a sunny day that changed my life forever. I once did not have a chance to say goodbye.
So now, everyday, I wait for disaster. I wait to lose the ones I love the most. I walk with apprehension whispering in my ear and try to ignore its pestering voice.
This is no way to live. I get it. But amongst the many fixes I have tried, only one really works for me: a commitment to my yoga practice. It helps quiet my mind, ease my fears, and shush my agitation in a way that a mother might when calming her baby.
Just recently, a dear friend of ours opened her second yoga studio. And what did this friend want to name her little baby? Abundance. That’s right, a slap-me-in-the-face, tool and teacher of a word, a healing child called shefa. Shefayoga Roosevelt to be exact. The baby sister to our friend’s first studio, Hauteyoga Queen Anne.
The first class I attended, on a Sunday church-going morning, was overflowing with abundance. The theme spoke to the word, which spoke to my mind, and stilled my fears. I took deep breaths, I moved my body, and I recognized that there is enough. Enough love, enough goodness, enough opportunity to make your mark and be made by the marks of others. There was no scarcity, no running on fear, no calamities that couldn’t be cured with the belief in abundance. At least for ninety minutes, the duration of class.
Just like with most things, the lesson comes when off the mat. Departure from the yoga studio meant, as it does every time, that I had to be the one to carry the abundance into my daily life. As I have said before, sitting in the womb-like warmth of comfort is easy; real change happens in times of loss, discomfort, displacement. Growth, after all, begins with growing pains.
For me, anxiety is arrested by abundance, the attitude of gratitude, the moments of life where everything is so perfect that I pinch myself. So, I say to you, dear reader, pinch yourself. Take a picture of your world and see the plenty in it. Notice that what you have is enough, and who you are is enough. If life’s realities worry you, too, seek the shefa within and let yourself be carried by your own embrace of abundance.