When Chaos Ensues: Sit Down and Feel It Out

March 19, 2015    BY Jeanne Heileman

This past week, as I was hurriedly packing to leave the country, soaking up info about international business, making time to visit each of my dear friends, and finishing the last of my regular classes and workshops, my car got hit. The car was in the parking lot. I was in the studio, teaching a 300-hour certification session. So, what was I to do?

The Old Me:  Oh man! What a terrible thing! I have so much to do, and now this? I have to call all of my friends and tell them about this, and complain about how I have to get a car fixed days before I’m leaving the country! Like I have time for this, right? When do I get to teach? When do I get to practice? To even think about packing? Why do things like this happen to me? And what if this guy disappears? What if I’m stuck fixing the car all by myself? (It was a pretty good hit). Man, I'm a terrible car owner! My car's so dirty, it probably invited the hit because this guy couldn't see it. And because, you know, mess attracts adversity, right? Why can’t I do things right? I just want to go home and cry.

Me Now: Apparently, the Universe wants me to slow down. Okay. I can take a message. I'm stopping the world and getting off. Classes will be subbed (to the disappointment of my students, myself, and my income, I must confess) and after some much-needed sleep, I'm not going to do ANYTHING. I'm going to SIT on my meditation cushion. There is currently something in my energy that attracted this hit and I need to clean it up before I take one step further.

Apparently, the Universe wants me to slow down. Okay. I can take a message.

The Current Me, Day Two:  Thank You, Divine, for allowing me to connect with such a dear, good soul who not only is going to pay for the mistake, but is a gem to meet.

As tough as it may be to understand, maybe, just maybe, annoyances are really gifts presented in disguise. Because there's always something to be learned, something to be gained in all of life's ups and downs.

Big Note to Share:  When life gets crazy, stop the schedule and the expectations and SIT. Be with things. 

Pema Chödrön tells a great story about a crisis at the monastery where she administrates and resides. Instead of dealing with all the phone calls and the hubbub, she sat on her cushion for an even longer period of time as people ran around her in an uproar, concerned about the future. They thought her response was ridiculous—it was impractical, unreasonable, and she was clearly avoiding the issue. But as the situation began to settle and resolve, the wisdom of her choice became apparent. 

And it will for us as well because by doing so we:

  • Clean up any confused energies that might have attracted the annoyance.
  • Connect with the Divine, so that we're reminded that, ultimately, we are not the ones who will fix things.  
  • And become one with our practice.

I don’t know about you, but usually when annoying things happen to me, it’s when my personal sadhana (spiritual practice) is not as strong. And when things go crazy, the worst thing I can do is use my mind to try to fix things—going over and over and over things, getting all worked up (you know the drill). In fact, I actually benefit far more by spending my time making sure that my mind isn’t ruminating about the obstacles presented to me, so that when it’s time to deal with those obstacles, my thinking is fresh. 

Today, I've learned to put my mind in my mantra and my attention on something greater than myself, and to relax and practice the sweet art of surrender. Every time I release to something greater, things get easier. Every time I resist this practice and instead am drawn into some kind of drama (and the audience that shares that drama), things get a lot more problematic. I don't know how long it took me to think, you know, hmm, maybe I shouldn't complain so much, get wigged out about things, and worry about stuff I can't control. But since I've realized this, life has gotten a lot easier and a lot more comfortable.

Every time I release to something greater, things get easier.

The world is racing at a faster and faster pace, and sadly not all of it is enjoyable. But much of it is—if we just take a few moments to look at who we really are in the context of what we really are: eternal. So, the next time you get caught up stressing about obstacles, stop. Just STOP. SIT. And BE. Listen, feel silence, soften. The rest unfolds in ITS time. 

I’m holding myself to this intention, regardless of unpaid bills, cellulite, and employment. Miracles happen as a result. And it’s pretty darned cool.

And you? What do you think? C'mon. Can you believe that the Universe is on your side, even in the face of adversity? I dare you to do the same….

Jeanne Heileman
Jeanne Heileman has been practicing and studying yoga for 27 years and teaching for 17 years. She received her teacher trainings in Los Angeles, California through Center for Yoga, YogaWorks and Rod Stryker’s ParaYoga, where she is Certified as a Level II instructor. Jeanne has spent years studying with the finest yoga leaders in a variety of styles, developing a skill for alignment, theraputics and meditation techniques. She has traveled to India numerous times, studying with Pandit... Read more>>

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