Podcast Transcription: Serenity, Now in Love, Podcast

Episode 54 – Serenity, Now

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In this episode Rachel is experiencing a few days of serious pain and tells the story of her latest project on her path toward peace: a bathtub. After being given the advice to soak in water as a practice of self-care, she sets out to install a bathtub in her house and what was supposed to be a 2-day project suddenly took on a life of it’s own and became 3 weeks of construction and, of course, disturbance. She shares the realization of how being on the path toward peace can often keep us on the path and never let us arrive at the destination. Oftentimes when we think of relaxation and serenity we have a list of boxes to tick off to get there; we meditate, practice yoga, switch our phones off, read a book, brew a cup of tea, drink a glass of wine, draw a bath… When what was supposed to become a new practice of self-care instead became another element of stress, Rachel realized that she can indeed spend every evening soaking in a bathtub, candles lit, but that peace still won’t be guaranteed. Are these elements necessary? Or is there a way to make peace with what is here, now; whether we are in pain or at ease? Listen in to hear more.

[000:01] Hi, and welcome to another episode of From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl. I am talking to you today from a really quite shitty place. (laugh) I’m sitting in my bed right now. I have managed to throw my back out. And I guess I could go back into this podcast over the past year just to see how many podcasts I have recorded with a back thrown out. Probably three episodes, at the very lease. So, I know my pattern of throwing my back out, it seems like every three or four months in happens. And it happened this morning, and I’m just all day I’m doing my very best to sit with what is and not try to be so overwhelmed and kind of stuck in my head of the story of how this sucks, which is basically the story that I start telling myself every time this happens.

[000:58] And I had a kind of an interesting thing, or an interesting morning today, an interesting thing happened this morning. So, every time I’ve recorded a podcast about back pain, it always comes along with some sort of epiphany or realization. Every single time. I’ve never had this overwhelming thing happen with my back where it doesn’t come alone with something that’s actually great. And I was thinking this morning … I always wonder, “What is the universe trying to tell me when my back hurts?” That’s the first thing that I do. Whenever something crappy comes my way, or whenever something challenging comes my way, I always read a ton into it. From an emotional, spiritual, heart-centered, energetic standpoint, like, what does this all mean?

[001:48] I truly, really, deeply believe that there’s no such thing as just a random occurrence. But there is reason behind everything. Especially when crappy things happen, like, it really means something. I find that when I look into what’s going on with my body, it usually tells a really good story, or a really good reflection of what’s happening in my inner world, and what’s happening … through the inner world, what’s manifesting in my outside life.

[002:12] So today, when this happened, I was driving in the car. The first thing I did is I went to my chiropractor. And I’ve had this feeling over the past, I don’t know, three weeks maybe? Like it’s about to happen. It’s just this feeling that I’ve had over almost the entire month, where I’ve felt stuck in my upper back and felt a lot of tightness, a lot of tension. I’ve been doing extra gentle yoga, I’ve been really making an effort to go get body work and get massaged. I had some cupping done not very long ago, some Reiki, some energy work. All these things that I’m kind of doing because I can sense it coming, right? So when I sense the back pain arriving, I have this little arsenal of tool that I immediately dive into. It becomes a project to make sure I don’t throw my back out.

[002:55] Because throwing my … I kept listening to that term, throwing your back out, it’s a really odd term for what actually happens in my spine. It’s always the same place, it’s always the same spot. It’s a part of my spine that sits right behind my heart, between my shoulder blades, and it’s always very similar. So these past three weeks have been really … it’s the worst thing when it happens, because it completely paralyzes me. It means I can’t go to work, and I can’t write, I can’t … I can’t really function for my day-to-day. I can’t carry the baby … you know from this physical standpoint, I just become kind of stuck on the couch or in bed, which for me is the worst thing. I absolutely despise it.

[003:45] And from the emotional standpoint, it’s so draining. Being in immense physical pain is just very, very, very tiring and very draining. It comes along, at least for me, it comes along with this little dose of depression, of like, “Oh god, why does this happen?” And everything just kind of turns to total crap. At least that’s the feeling.

[004:09] So the past weeks I have been really dedicated to make sure that my back, I take extra good care of myself, all of these things. And then yesterday I had my first, like, really good feeling day. I had some, just a little bit of pain, but I felt so good that I actually had, like, I practiced yoga twice. And when I woke up this morning, literally, I turned to Dennis I was like, “I feel so great today! I’m so happy I feel so great today.” I felt really spacious. It was the first day in weeks that I didn’t wake up with this kind of immediate feeling of tension and tightness in my thoracic spine. So I tell him that, like, “I feel so great! So great.” Like I’m back on track, kind of over the hump with this kind of avoiding this back pain that’s been creeping up.

[004:51] And then I ask him to go get the baby, she had a really rough night. She was up maybe five times. She normally sleeps 12 or 13 hour nights without waking up a single time. And she was up, yeah, maybe four or five times. I think she’s teething, I hope she’s teething. I don’t see any new teeth, but yeah, I hope that it has a really easy explanation and that there’s nothing else than that. But we were up a bunch, and then I was up last, so I asked him, “Could you get her and I’ll just stay in bed and kind of linger a little bit.” And then she comes in and she runs into the bedroom, and she’s so joyful and so happy and she just sees me and her whole little body lights up, and she runs over to the bed and lifts up her arms, she’s like, “Pick me up! Pick me up! Pick me up!” And I just lean over and I pick her up and snap. Like, it just snaps. My upper back, it just snaps. And it’s so immediate, and it just feels like it came out of nowhere. And it’s not even an unusual way for me to pick her up. I do it sort of every morning. It wasn’t even in a really bad stance or anything. I just picked up my baby, right? It was nothing bigger than that.

[006:01] And I’m like yelling at Dennis, “It’s happening, it’s happening! It’s happened again.” And the shock that it bring to my system, just because it is a snap, and it’s sort of like all my nerves that run up and down my spine, they’re kind of lodged in the wrong place. Or like they’re all being pinched at the same time. So I get this paralyzing feeling that extends all through my upper back, out into my arms, up into my neck, into my head, and I just know, you know, it’s happening now. I can’t go back.

[006:27] But what my mind does is: “I shouldn’t have done that, I shouldn’t have done that, I shouldn’t have done that!” And I start freaking out, and I try thinking, okay what can I do to reverse it? Can I turn back time? Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. Because it’s just, it’s so so crappy, it hurts so much, and I know I’m in it now for a while. Like, this could take a couple of days, and then it’s over. It could be a week, hopefully not longer than that, that I’m going to be pretty much out of commission, or out of my normal pace. For a while.

[006:53] And I’m just kind of lying there in bed like, “Oh my god, please god, please please please take it away.” And of course there’s nothing I can do. It’s already done. That’s just what it is. So immediately, like, we have our little procedure that we do. Dennis gets the magnesium lotion, which works really well. We have this kind of liniment type, like, tiger balm thing that cools it. I always get different advice. Every body worker I meet tells me different things. But what I’ve collected throughout an entire lifetime of back pain is the general consensus tends to be first 24 hours ice it to keep inflammation at bay. So, first ice. You cool it for the first 24 hours. Take ibuprofen to help with inflammation, if that’s your thing, and then after the first 24 hours, it’s wet heat. So, either taking a bath or applying wet heat in some shape or form.

[007:48] So yeah, so we have our thing, and he’s putting on the lotion and getting the ice pack and propping me up with pillows. I’m like, god, we do this literally three times or four times a year. I feel like I’m a little too young and a little too healthy and a little to limber and also strong in my body for this to happen all the time. And I’m constantly, constantly looking for the reason why. It’s literally, it’s been a lifelong, like totally a lifelong journey of looking for the reason why. Because I’ve had pain, I’ve had this pain in my back since … preteen? I think the first time I had a really intense bad back episode, I was 12, maybe 13, like 12 or 13. There’s a picture of me when I’m super young, maybe even like 11 or 12, really really young, and I’m wearing like a sports top or something and shorts, it’s a picture from behind, and you can see the crookedness of my spine. My left hip is … it’s not as elevated now as it was before, but it’s more elevated than my right, which has caused this kind of crookedness at my spine. So, I have scoliosis. It’s not horrible, it was really bad when I was a teenager. But that photo you can see, like, oh my god my spine is totally totally out of whack. It’s so crooked.

[009:05] And my my back pain started then, I think, because I grew really fast and I became really tall really fast, and a short period time, and all of these things. I’ve had that pain since then. And then this pain has traveled. It used to be lower back, it used to be neck, now mostly all the time it’s upper mid back, so thoracic spine.

[009:28] I’ve been struggling with this, yeah, if it’s since I was 12 years old, I’m going to be 30 this year, October is the big month. So, I mean, it’s almost 20 years! How insane is that? I’ve almost had 20 years of some sort of back pain. I’m not saying I’m in pain every day, like, absolutely not. But this is exactly what happens. I’ll be completely pain free, and then I’ll kind of feel this tension creeping up, and then all of the sudden there’s a snap, and I have pain for a week, and totally, like, my whole life gets put on pause. And the pain is so overwhelming and intense.

[010:03] Every time it happens, I’m launched into this questioning of everything. Like, why? Why does this happen? What am I doing wrong in my life? What should I be doing more of? What should I be doing less of? And I start looking over my day-to-day patterns, my habits, history, my body, my anatomy. What’s wrong? What’s going on? And I have seen … yeah, every type of healer on the entire planet. Like, there’s no one that I haven’t seen. I go through waves of trying different things. I’ll get really into a specific type of healing, and then I’ll do that consistently for a while. I’ll kind of think that it’s working, and then, you know, it just happens again. I kind of … I come back again and again with like, oh my god, this is it, you know? I should do more of this. And then I do more of that, and then inevitably it happens again. And then I’m like, okay, well maybe I should do less of this? And then I do less of that, but then it happens again.

[010:57] So, what’s frustrating, for me at least, is not knowing what works. Like, that’s, for me, is the biggest stress. Because I feel like I’m constantly, I’m doing something wrong. Right? There’s something I should be doing everyday that I’m not doing every day, or there is something that I am doing every day that I shouldn’t be doing every day. And if I could just pinpoint what it is, right? What’s the factor, the deciding factor of this pain that keeps coming back, then I could fix it. And why am I so obsessed with this? Well of course being in pain sucks, but also not being in control is the worst. It’s literally what I’m worst at. It’s literally my biggest … my biggest thing, you know? Control. I’m a pretty controlling person. Being not in control of something that’s this big and that affects my life in such a huge way, it’s just, it’s so frustrating.

[011:48] So, again today, you know, I’m in the space of looking over everything and I was really thinking about it, like, these past months I’ve been in a really good place. Like, I am in a really good place. It’s not like, oh you know, I’m dealing with so much stress, or I’m working too hard, or I have like heartache or … you know, like I’m being really unhealthy, I’m not taking care of my body … No! None of that is actually true. I’m actually, I’m in a really good place! Physically, emotionally, mentally, I’m in a really good spot, actually. So I can’t really pinpoint, you know, what is it that I should be doing more or less of?

[012:26] Sometimes I can really find it, like, okay I’ve been traveling so much, which I know is just not great for my back overall. Maybe that’s it. Or I’m under a lot of stress and just working too long hours and too much, maybe that’s it. Or, you know, there’s something else, maybe that’s it, or … And now, I just, I really couldn’t arrive at the thing! And it was so frustrating for me that I couldn’t even, like, I don’t even have anything to blame! I felt the tension coming, and then I did all of the right things, and I got the massages and I did the body work and I’ve been meditating, and-

[012:58] Oh my god you guys, I’m going to tell you a little secret that I’ve been keeping to myself for a while. Since I had my very first astrological reading with my astrologer Debra, one of the first things she told me, because the element that I lack in my life is the element of water, the ability to go with the flow, to release control, to soften, to be gentle, to float with life, right? So what I need more of is that gentle nourishment, the ability to restore and relax in a way that really works for me. She was like, “You need to just soak in a bathtub every day of your life. That’s our medicine. You need to make it part of your daily thing. You need to be immersed in water as much as you can.” Because I’m all fire and air. So, I don’t have any, basically, water in my chart. She’s like, “You need water, you need warm, soft, gentle clean water.”

[013:53] And we don’t have a bathtub! Whenever, I mean, I’ve been living in Aruba now it’s been eight years. We’ve never had a bathtub here. It’s a tropical island … I mean, it’s actually not a tropical island. It’s a desert island. But I mean it’s super warm, we live in the Caribbean, you wouldn’t think that you would want a bathtub here. So they’re not super common on the island. But I’ve been missing one, craving one so much because Aruba is the only place I’ve ever lived where I haven’t had one. And for me, especially when I lived in Sweden, taking baths, that was totally a part of my self care and my self love routine.

[014:29] The moment Debra said that I was like, “Oh my god, okay, this is it. No more excuses. I spend money on stupid stuff all the time. This is an investment that I really want to make.” And we have a good sized house here. We life … it’s three stories, it’s a big house. We have five bathrooms in this forking house, and every bathroom is so tiny you can’t fit a bathtub in either of them. Which to me just makes no sense. Architecturally this house, it’s the weirdest house, the we live in. But we have five tiny tiny tiny bathrooms. We’ve talked about, you know, how hard is it to put a bathtub in, how expensive would it be? And we’ve always come to the conclusion it’s just it’s too much work, it’s too expensive, we don’t have the money. And I’ve been trying to do it for the past four years, like since we moved in here. It’s going to be five years soon.

[015:19] One of the things was to put one in in the biggest bathroom that we have, even there, we would have to take a wall down and make the bathroom bigger. So it’s like major construction work. Like, so big, so complicated, so we just never did it. And then the moment she said that, and after that reading, I just had this total longing and yearning of being in a quiet, dark space, soaking in warm water. My whole body is just craving it, craving it, craving it like crazy.

[015:46] So I started doing some research, and I went out on the island and I went out on the island, and I went everywhere to say, okay, where can I get a bathtub? How expensive are they? Like, you know, I’m not actually … If I would just find a bathtub, maybe I find one first, and I worry about the location of it later. (laugh) Which is nuts. And then we found this place, and they had like a totally affordable bathtub! Really gorgeous one, really big, and it was not at all … It was like a quarter of the price that we thought it was going to be. It was not at all expensive. Like, we could afford it. And then I thought, “You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to put a bathtub just in the garden. I’m going to put a bathtub out on the patio, like in the garden in the backyard. All I need is a connection to hot water. That’s it. It doesn’t need to be anything else. I’m going to have a tub in the garden. That’s it.”

[016:30] And Dennis was like, “This is insane.” I’m like, “I don’t care. I’ll cut down on other expenses. I’ll make sure that we can afford this. I’m going to figure it out. I’m going to buy this tub, and all I need is a connection to water. I just need a water outlet. I’m going to figure it out.” And he was like, “Okay, you do your thing.”

[016:48] So I get our contractor, the guy who built Island Yoga for us who does anything related to any type of construction, he’s always the guy that I ask, because you know we know him really well now and we trust him. So I bring him to the house. His name is Dante, he’s from Argentina, he’s super awesome. I was like, hey, okay, I’m going to buy this bathtub and we have this back, like, outside of our bedroom we have this patio area that leads out into the garden, but we never use it for anything. We used to have a table out there but we never sat there, and now we moved it, so it’s pretty much just a dead area where there’s nothing and just kind of ugly tiles. We don’t use it for anything. And it’s not that far from the bathroom where we sleep, like our master bedroom. So I said, “Okay, Dante, I’m going to give you a challenge. I know there’s water in the house. I need a water outlet out here, and I’m going to put a tub here. That’s it.” He’s like, “What?! You’re going to put a bathtub outside? Out here? Okay. Well look, I guess we could figure it out. We could pull a water pipe through the floor, we could pull it up here, you know, yeah, it wouldn’t be that complicated actually. It would be like two days of work, maximum.” And I was like, “Okay, let’s do it.” Boom, done.

[018:00] So we plan the thing, I get the tub, that’s what was in the box, anyone who was watching my Instagram stories. I mean, this was like two months ago maybe? A month and a half ago? Where there was this guy delivering a ginormous box and he wanted me to carry it, and yeah, that was a bathtub. But I haven’t sort of revealed what we created on Instagram yet, because it went so completely out of hand. Let me explain how this went down.

[018:25] So they come to make this little water outlet thing to put the tub in, and then they realize, like, the tiles around this area, they’re super bad, old and really crappy. When they start taking just one tile out for this plug, or for this tube or pipe or whatever you call it … Clearly construction and renovations of anything is not my forte. All the tiles around start breaking, it looks really really really shitty around. Then Dante is like, “You know what? You have this beautiful pool deck now, you invested so much time and energy and money in this. Don’t you want to just get, like, it’s such a small area. Shouldn’t you just get the same tiles that you have on the pool deck, and just while we’re out here anyway drilling, shouldn’t you just put a new deck, like, put new tiles on the deck? It’s going to make it look so wholesome and so pretty, and it’s a really small investment because the area is really small.

[019:15] We talk about it and we’re like, “You know what? We actually had a couple of tiles leftover, it was like a really small … it wasn’t that much money at all. We’re like, “You know what? Okay. Yeah, let’s put those tiles there too, so then they will look really extra beautiful.” Then they start doing that, and then we decide somewhere along the way that where the bathtub was positioned was like right in the view of our one neighbor that we have that can kind of see in to our backyard area. Dennis was like, “Are you going to be out here naked every day?” (laugh) Like, you know, are you going to be here with the baby naked? You’re going to be in a bath every day and then the neighbors can just kind of, like, they can just look right at you. Don’t you want to put up some sort of wooden … Just like a little fence or something? A little wooden wall or whatever? And then we talk about that, we’re like, “Okay, yeah, yeah. We’re going to do that.” That also wasn’t that expensive. It’s like, we just need to get a little bit of wood. We’re going to make this little, like, you know, just to block the view from the neighbors.

[020:08] Then we decided we might as well, like, block this whole area in, because then it becomes kind of like a room. Because once we had bought that wood, to buy the rest of the wood wasn’t that big a deal. So we make that plan, and then they start this construction, this tile change or whatever, and as they do that, all the forking tiles in our bedroom, which is a couple of meters away, just start floating off the floor. I also showed this on Instagram. It was raining one night and I step into my bedroom, and all my tiles were floating. (laugh) So my whole bedroom floor is just floating, and there’s water seeping into the bedroom. It’s a giant disaster. And I’m like, “Oh my god, this cannot be good.” So I call Dante, I’m like, ‘Dude, our bedroom tiles are floating, there’s water everywhere.” And he’s like, “Oh god!” And then he comes the next morning and they’re like, “Okay, the people that lived here before they did a really bad job putting in these tiles. They’re not connected well. You’re going to have to like … you’re not going to be able to live here. You’re going to have to take all of the tiles out and completely redo the floor.” And we’re like, “Oh Jesus Christ.” And they’re like, “You know what? We’re already out here, we have our crew, we’re putting the tiles outside. Just, you know, pick something really cheap and we’ll give you a really good price. We’ll discount it. We’ll put new flooring in your bedroom. It’s not a big deal. It’ll be like two or three days of work, like, maximum.

[021:26] Now, at this point, we’re in deep already. It’s our bedroom, it’s the one bedroom we have next to Luni. There’s nowhere else we can sleep. Like, okay, we’re going to need a floor that doesn’t float on five inches of water. So we have no choice. We’re like, “Okay, we’re kind of over budget for what was supposed to be just a tub in the garden. But it is what it is. So we go, we find these tiles, and we kind of try to get the cheapest ones that we can find, and they start putting in the tiles, and of course by now we had to move all of our furniture out of the room, and you know, there’s dust everywhere and what was, like, one construction guy putting a whole in the floor. Now it’s like six guys that are there the whole day. And it takes forever, right? It’s not like 3 days of putting this floor down. It’s a lot of work. And they’re putting up this whole wall outside. It’s like a whole thing. It’s just super messy and people everywhere. So I started feeling really tense about it. Like, this is not the point. I just wanted this one little thing so I could relax, and now there’s people here every day. And I’m trying to urge them to work faster, but you know, this is Central America, so it’s not … you know. Just imagine construction in another country, and imagine what it’s like here. It’s very slow.

[022:33] They almost finished this floor and then they’re like, “Okay, so can we just come in here and look? It looks really odd with how this bedroom flooring is merging with the bathroom, because the bathroom tiles are really old. I mean, since we’re already in here, don’t you want to have us do the bathroom too?” And by now we’re like, “Yeah, okay, fuck it. Do the bathroom, whatever.” Then I sent Dennis out to get tiles and he comes back with new tiles for the walls and new tiles for the floor, new shower things, and I’m like, “Dude?! How are we paying for this?” He’s like, “It’s okay, we have credit at the store.” I’m like, “Are you crazy? What do you mean credit at the store?” He’s like, “Well, they know us. Since we built Island Yoga, it’s like it’s cool. We haven’t paid for everything yet.” And I’m like, “Dude, this does not sound like a good idea. Like, if you have a project like this, we should have budgeted it and then decided can we afford it, first of all, and how can we stay within budget?” And now this was just … it’s totally out of hand.

[023:31] So, now we have this brand new bedroom with new flooring in the bedroom, what’s going to be, like, a brand new bathroom that definitely was not part of any plan, because there was nothing wrong with the bathroom that had. It’s just it wasn’t awesome, but it also, there was nothing wrong with it. It was an old bathroom that I didn’t really care about that much. Now we have, like, new walls, new flooring. There are these really beautiful Aruban looking tiles. It looks really, really pretty. Then, you know, once we put that in Dennis realized, “Okay, the shower looks shitty, we need a new one of those.” You know, like, things start adding up. Like, all the time, they just keep adding up.

[024:08] Then, of course we needed, you know, they are going to take the sink out of the wall, to put the flooring in, and as they do that, the sink breaks. So, again, we got back to this place. We had to buy a new sink, and then for outside … I can’t even explain the hilarity of the situation. Maybe there’s people out there … I’ve never done this before. I’m not really like a building renovating type of person. I just wanted a bathtub in my garden. I wanted a hole in the floor for water so I could put hot water in this tub that I found for cheap. And now, basically, our entire bottom floor of our house is like being renovated, is renovated now. It’s like totally brand new. And we are flat broke for the rest of the year. Like, I don’t really know quite how we’re going to make this work.

[024:52] And all of this came just from this longing of wanting to float in water, right? All I wanted was just that peace of mind. And it turned out we had three and a half weeks of construction, like allllll day. They would come early in the morning, before the baby had woken up, they would wake the baby up everyday and just work work work the whole day, super noisy. Like of course all her naps were kind of screwed. I feel like throughout these weeks she learned really well how to sleep under a lot of noise, which is really good. In the beginning, though, it was totally crappy and really shitty.

[025:19] And now, so now it’s over. (laugh) And the reason I haven’t shared it yet, because we have the most amazing, like, thing. Ever. It’s because Dennis didn’t want to take a photo of it until it was finished, and for it to be finished, it needed plants. And that’s what he’s been doing today. He’s been out buying plants for what is now this outdoor bathroom with a tub that I can lie in and watch the moon and the stars. Actually, it sounds so ridiculous when I say it. Literally, it’s the most magical thing that has ever happened to this house. It’s my favorite room of the whole house. We built this room in the garden. It’s like indoor outdoor, and it’s like so amazing.

[Commercial Break]

[026:32] But I was thinking about it today, how all the things I do, you know, to try to heal my back. All the things I go through to try to invite space into my life, to be whole, and to be at peace and to feel relaxed. I literally, you know, I’ll move mountains to try to create that. I’ll have one person tell me, like, “Yeah a bathtub would be a good idea for you,” and all of the sudden we have a month of construction and we’re, like, in debt over this crazy thing that just spun totally out of control that I convinced my husband I totally need, to find inner peace. I started really thinking about that today. How much time do I spend working to find inner peace? Can you hear the contrast of just that statement? How much time do we, as human beings, spend stressing out about not relaxing? Or stressing out about trying to be peaceful? How much time do I spend in my life feeling tense about the fact that maybe one day back pain will come back? It’s just so much work in the outer world. So much doing doing doing doing so that we can arrive at this idea of just being.

[027:43] When, actually, this is just a truth: Being is available to us right here right now. And it’s really easy to get caught up in this idea that, okay, for me to find peace and for me to not have pain in my back, I need to construct this reality, this external idea of bliss and of realization. So I need a bathtub, and for that to come along, you know, I need this room and I need these plants. I need this perfect house, and maybe I need these perfect working hours, and I need the baby to sleep these hours, and I need to control everything so that I can set myself up so that, you know, I have this vision in my mind of this future me who is very much at peace and very relaxed and very meditative and just kind of floats on this wave of bliss all the time.

[028:27] And it’s just not real! (laugh) And it’s, like, kind of sucks to say. Okay, there’s definitely a balance there between the self care that we give ourselves everyday, and I have to say over the past month, I mean, I am in this bathtub every single day. Okay, wait, it hasn’t been a month. It’s been maybe two weeks of the tub since it’s been ready. I am in the bathtub every single day. Like, I end every day, no matter what, I’m in the tub. What I find is it’s not just soaking in the water, like that’s the thing, but from the moment that I turn the water on to take a bath, it becomes like a ritual, right? So it takes like 30 minutes to fill the tub, and I put out my things. I light candles and I put out the towel and I put Epsom salts and lavender oils in there, like some sort of hippy organic bath balm that I have. I make a thing of it. And then I’ll put like a little facemask and a body scrub. I make like a little spa moment. One of those things that I’m always trying to find. Like, I’ll go on a spa day and I just hate it. The time I take for me to set this up in my house is also meditative. I swear to god, it really is.

[029:36] It’s space when I’m not on my phone, I’m not by my computer, I’m not thinking or talking about work, I’m just setting up the back. So then the 30 minutes it takes for me to set it up becomes part of the ritual of actually taking the bath, right? Then I’m in the bath and I think I can spend maybe half an hour in there. Like I can’t in there forever. I’m not one of those people that can just soak and soak and soak and soak. Like I can spend 30 minutes in there breathing. Or I’ll listen to Ram Dass, of course, or to some gentle music, and the baby comes in the bath with me. We bathe in the afternoon sometimes. It’s awesome. She loves it so much. I mean, she’s a total water baby. It’s big enough to fit Dennis. It’s this totally beautiful thing.

[030:20] So I really appreciate it. It’s definitely … like, it’s worthwhile, like the work and the money and all of the mess that it came with, but is it a requirement for me to find peace? Is it a requirement for me to feel whole and for me to relax? No! (laugh) No, of course not. And if we fill our lives with the idea of all of these requirements. Like, we see all of the hurdles, or the checklists that we have to check off everyday for us to arrive at that moment of peace. It’s never going to come. We’re going to get so caught up in the idea of finding or working our way to peace that we never actually get there. I think realizing that it’s available to us right now, it’s not later when I’m in the tub with a glass of wine under the moon, you know? Maybe it will never come. Maybe my idea of bliss is something, it’s so far in the future. Maybe I have to do yoga every day for years so that my body is really soft and flexible. Or I’m really strong or I have to lose weight, or I need money to build something or to get a bigger house. So, you know, we can put that to do list can become endless, or the things we want to check off so that we can be happy and be fulfilled. Maybe it’s just it stays as this continuous idea of something that may or may not arrive then. But it’s never now, right? We have to do all of this work and check all of these boxes to get there.

[031:41] But what if … and this is the thing that happened to me today when I’m now in this immense pain, and I’m so frustrated. What if … I can find peace and relax. Even today. Even right now. And the pain … It’s so overwhelming, it’s so intense. And it’s gotten worse throughout the day. I’m icing it, it’s not helping. I took ibuprofen, it’s not helping. And it’s gone from just being kind of between my shoulder blades to now it’s like shooting up in these electrical surges of pain, all up my neck, up my head, behind my ears. It’s in my face. I move my head and, just speaking right now, I can feel the pain right now. It’s completely overwhelming.

[032:26] What if, even with this pain, and even with feeling paralyzed, that not being able to do any of the things that are on this list for me to find peace. I can’t do yoga, I can’t roll out my mat. I can’t even pick my baby up! I can’t even hug my baby without being in pain. Can’t even, you know, for me a big part of relaxing is getting things done. I like to work and exhaust myself, and then I can relax. I can’t do any of that. I’m just sitting here in this pain with shoulders that are like shot up by my ears. I can’t …you know, I’m just this ball of tension right now. What if, even in that, I could find peace?

[033:03] What if that’s the lesson that the universe is trying to bring me with this pain coming my way every three months? What if it has absolutely nothing, or very very little to do with the amount of yoga I do or do not do? What if it has nothing to do with what I eat or how I move or how hard I work or stress or posture or alignment … What if all of that is just kind of, you know, it’s scratching at the surface at this big thing where none of it, at the end of the day, actually matters, at all. And I’m so busy trying to figure out the why, getting really caught up in, you know, I spent years of my life dissecting the Chaturanga. Chaturanga Dandasana, for instance. Years of my life. Through back and forth, I’ve turned this pose inside out. I had a whole year of my life where I basically didn’t practice it at all. That didn’t help either. I’ve changed my alignment, I’ve dropped my knees, I fixed this. I’ve been really into the drawing in of the ribs right now, knitting it to center, merging front body to back body. I’ve tried, you know, like Chaturanga isn’t it. I’m just going to tell you that. Because for a long I thought, okay, maybe my Chaturanga isn’t good enough or it’s not perfect enough or well aligned enough for the tension that I’m carrying in my upper back. Maybe that’s is. … It’s not it. I’ve gone through times where I have done no yoga that just does not … you know, makes it worse. I’ve gone through much more time where I do yoga every day, and I’m reaaalllly intense about it. That also doesn’t work. What about restorative yoga or just Yin? Also doesn’t work! You know? And when I get really consistent massages, once a week I get a really good deep tissue massage. Doesn’t work. What if I do more healing work, energetic stuff. It doesn’t work. Maybe all of it it works on some level, but it doesn’t, I mean, it works in ways that yes, self care and getting into the patterns that I hold, of course all of that is super important for my overall well-being. But in terms of keeping this snapping of my back, this overwhelming, paralyzing pain from showing up a couple times a year. So far in my 29 years of living, nothing has kept that from happening. Yet.

[Commercial Break]

[035:38] When I got to the chiropractor this morning, and of course I’m totally bummed and I’m low and yet again I feel like I failed somehow. If I was a better Yoga Girl. That’s the idea that I have. If I was better at something. Like, yoga should be the answer for everything. It’s not! It’s not. It’s helped with my back pain a lot. Most of the time I’m completely pain free. But with this thing that happens every three, four months, I’m not able to figure out what I need more or less of, and maybe yoga isn’t the culprit or the answer, right?

[036:11] So this morning, as I’m driving to the chiropractor, I’m all pissed, I’m all tired, I’m frustrated, I’m feeling like a failure. And, of course, because I’m tense, I’m tense about everything, little things start happening around me. As we all know, what we bring out into the world, it’s reflected back at us. I find for me it’s immediate. So, if I wake up and I’m in a good place, everything kind of falls into place for me throughout the rest of the day. And if I wake up and like this morning it’s just shit, I mean, immediately, the first person to reflect shit back my way is my husband. He’s very sensitive to … He’s very sensitive to energy, he’s very sensitive to my tension. If I’m having a bad day, you know, he picks it up, like, immediately, like a sponge.

[036:53] So this morning, you know, we get out of the bed and he knows I’m in pain, so he gives me this whole massage and brings out the cream, and he’s actually super kind about it. Like, he knows how hard it is for me. Do I say thank you? No. Am I grateful? Not really. Am I being extra kind to him for giving me this care? No no no no no. I’m just like, you know, all self-absorbed and poor me and all of the shit I was supposed to do today, and how long is this going to last? And tomorrow he flies to Florida for an Ironman. So I’m going to be alone with the baby until Monday. And I’ve never been alone with her for, like, consecutive days before. Which is sort of weird. And I have friends who are single moms who do this alone every day of their lives. I have never done that, so I feel really, you know, a little overwhelmed and a little nervous.

[037:40] When he said he wanted to go I was really excited about it. I was like, “Yes! That’s awesome, super awesome, she’s the easiest baby, no problem.” But now, of course, I’m all nervous about it. And then this happens the day before he leaves. So, right now, I can’t pick her up, I can’t hold her. How am I going to make it through these four days alone with the baby? I’m all freaked out about that. So I would become completely self-absorbed. Then I come out into the kitchen and because we had this bad night with the baby, she was up a lot, I ended up falling asleep in her room because she just … she wouldn’t sleep. If we left the room she just lost it. So, I just stayed by her crib until she fell asleep, and then I fell asleep in there.

[038:14] When I finally come out, like, I’ve been in the baby’s room for like three hours or two hours. I just ask him, “Hey, did you bring all of the food back in the kitchen?” I cook a lot and I hate food waste. I’m really into getting through our fridge and our pantry. I’m really trying to minimize our food waste because we normally have a lot of it. He was like, “Yes, yes, I put everything away, everything is great, don’t worry, let’s just sleep. It’s been a rough night.” And I get out into the kitchen this morning and it’s a ginormous forking mess. And I don’t understand what it is about him. Like, the dishwasher is completely empty. Like, it’s just an empty space. It’s a machine that we have that washes our dishes. (laugh) How hard is it to just put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher so the machine can do the work for you? For my husband, this is very very hard. Very hard. It’s basically as hard as just putting your dirty laundry in the laundry basket. It’s always on the floor surrounding, in the general area of the laundry basket. Like five times a day I pick up to pick up his dirty clothes from the floor, like, a foot away from the laundry basket. I’m like, how hard is it just to put it in there? Like, just keeping things tidy and neat. It’s as hard as putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher. And we kind of sort of have, like, mini arguments about this all the time, because it’s so annoying to me. But I come outside expecting that things were kind of clean, because he said yesterday yeah yeah he did it, because I was with the baby. And it’s a huge mess, and there’s food everywhere. He kind of left plates with food on them, so everything is merged with the plate, and now of course you have to hand wash it because if you put it in the dishwasher it’s not going to be clean. It’s like, all of this work it would have taken five minutes the night before. It’s so easy to do. And you wake up to a clean kitchen so you can cook breakfast and sit down and enjoy. But no, now I have to like clean the whole kitchen. And of course I’m in pain, so I snap at him, I’m like, “Dude, you clean this shit up now. I cooked dinner for you yesterday, I was in the baby’s room all night. You clean,” you know?

[040:09] So he does it and he’s grumpy, of course, because who likes to wake up in the morning and like, you know, have a grumpy wife, and now he’s doing dishes, which he hates to do. So we’re kind of snappy with each other a little bit in the morning, and then I get this chiropractor appointment, I’m like, “I’m going to go take it and hopefully it’ll help. Sorry I snapped.” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever, just go.” I’m like, oh, I gotta brush my teeth. So I go to the bedroom, go to brush my teeth in our new beautiful bathroom, FYI, and there’s no water! I turn on the faucet and nothing’s coming out. I’m like, “What the fuck is going on?” And then I go in the kitchen, there’s no water, I go in the other bathroom … I’m like, what’s happening? I’m like, “Dennis, we have no water,” and he’s like, “Uh … Yeah. I didn’t pay the water bill.” (laugh) And I’m like, “WHAT?! What do you mean you didn’t pay the water bill?” Yesterday, like literally the day before we had our two assistants at the house and I asked Dennis, “Do you need any help with anything? Is there anything lingering? Do you have any bills?” I asked that question! “Are there any bills?” Because he’s in charge of paying the bills. That’s his area. I have my areas, he has his areas every month. I said, “Do you need any help with it?” Because we have two assistants, one who is present with us a lot in the personal stuff, and one who helps more with administrative stuff. “But they’re both here right now, you’re leaving, do you need help? If anything needs to be done or get paid, do you need help?” He says, “No no no. Everything is under control. I need nothing. Everything is good.”

[041:28] And then this morning they turn our water off because he hasn’t paid the water bill in three months. And I don’t understand. I can’t understand the level of procrastination that it takes. If this was my task, for me this is so easy. If it wasn’t done on the month it was supposed to happen it would be on my mind everyday. And if I’m too overwhelmed or too busy, I would delegate or I would ask for help. Like, “Hey, someone going the general area, can someone help?” Or you take this off my plate so I can go do that. Or I would at the very least, like, mention like, “Oh, I need to pay this bill,” because it’s important, right? It’s important that we have water in our fucking house. No, he says nothing, he procrastinates. They have sent notices to his phone. He ignores it, ignores it, ignores it until they make the effort to drive over to our house and shut the water off with this master key.

[042:20] So of course I get suuuuuper pissed. I’m like, “Dude! Why? We don’t have to live this way! We don’t have to live like this!” Because it happens several times a year that they either shut our electricity off or our water off because he procrastinates paying the bills. Now, this wasn’t the case a couple of years ago. Now, recently arrived in Aruba, you can pay some of your bills online! What?! (laugh) Yeah, Aruba hasn’t really had any sort of online banking or payment system that works. But now you can. At least your water and your electricity bill, I know now since like a year or whatever back, you can pay it online. But you have to make the effort and go to the bank and set it up. You can’t do it online. You have to go to a place to set it up so that the online stuff works. And Dennis hasn’t done that.

[043:04] Anyway, so as I leave I’m like all flustered and I’m upset with him and my back and we have no water, I couldn’t brush my teeth, I had to go to the chiropractor without brushing my teeth, like gross! So I get there, and this chiro guy, he’s a normal Aruban dude. And people ask, “Is he an amazing chiropractor?” Like, I don’t know. It’s not like he’s this amazing healer that I go to all the time. No. He’s the one chiro on the island that is educated. That’s it. So he cracks my back, it’s a very basic thing. I don’t know if it’s amazing, but it’s not horrible, right? He’s just, he’s like a guy. I don’t know him very well. Anyway, I end up going there often because I have pain, and I actually had an appointment to go today because I’ve had this feeling of tension coming and I was there a month ago, so really recent, and then today before I had a chance to go this happened.

[043:56] So I get there and he’s like, “Whoa! How are you doing today?” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s not good.” He says, “Uh-huh. Tell me what happened.” And I kind of just share, and of course for me it’s a big story. I think anyone with pain, it becomes the story of where exactly is your pain coming from and what did you do to prevent it, and how long has it been there, and how often does it re-occur. So I launch into this story of like, “Yeah, you know, then this happened and then this happened.” And he’s like, “Okay, shh, just shh. Just be quiet. Lie down.” They have this kind of aqua … it’s like a water bed. I don’t know exactly what it’s called. It’s like aquathermal something. It’s like a water bed, but it shoots hot water surges up your back when you lie on it. So he presses a button and then he leaves me for half an hour, and I’m lying on this water bed, and it feels really good. I don’t know what it does. It’s supposed to relax you, I think. I don’t know what it does. (laugh)

[044:44] Anyway, I’m lying on the thing, and normally if I’m there, you know, I’m looking at my phone, it’s 30 minutes of lying in this kind of sterile room on a water bed that shakes, so I’ll listen to a podcast or a Ram Dass lecture or something. But now I’m super tense, and I’m not at all paying attention to what’s happening in the moment. I’m not at all, you know, I’m upset with Dennis so I’m lying on the bed with my phone texting. Like, not good. Texting instead of focusing on relaxing and softening and trying to just be here. I’m texting with Dennis because I’m pissed about the water, and then I’m texting with Jess, with our assistant, to see can she cover her shift at Island Yoga so she can come take care of the baby so he can go pay the bill, and I’m micromanaging him, and I’m setting up his day, and I’m being like bitchy Rachel and controlling Rachel and Rachel that’s annoyed, Rachel where nothing works in Rachel’s life. I’m being this version of myself that I really don’t enjoy being, actually. She shows up when I’m flustered or frustrated or in pain or under pressure. I’m lying there on my phone, and then at the very, very end of that session, 30 minutes lying on that thing, I’m like, “Oh my god, I’m texting lying on this thing. I’ve never done that before.” So I’m like, okay …

[046:00] I find my little Ram Dass thing that I’m so obsessed with, and I put the phone down, and I just listen to him speaking for like five minutes or ten minutes. And immediately, it’s so immediate, it’s so interesting how the moment I stop with the doing and the anger and I just shift my channel to something else, like I just shift the frequency, it’s like turning a dial on the radio. I shift from this track to this track, and everything just shifts! My whole center. I just need to hear like one or two sentences of truth. I just need … it’s so little! That nudge I need in that moment of total tension, to return back, it’s minor. But if I don’t get it, I’ll spin totally out of control. I’ll become like a ball of tension and bitchiness. If I don’t watch myself, you know, I’ll become like hurricane Rachel. If I’m not careful, if I open my computer and I’m in hurricane Rachel mode, like everyone that works with me will get a pissy email about something I’m unhappy about, for instance. Or if I go to the studio and I’m in hurricane Rachel mode, I’ll find flaws everywhere. I’ll find a dirty dish somewhere, I’ll get served the wrong food, and I’m all upset about all of these things. I enter this frequency of nothing working instead of remaining in the frequency where I actually reside. The frequency that’s true in my life, which is everything works. Everything is easy. I am at ease. Finding a space of feeling at peace and feeling whole, it doesn’t require three and a half weeks of construction and going into debt for you to have a bathtub and to build an outdoor insane bathroom. Like, frequency of peace and oneness is available to me, right here right now.

[047:46] That’s the now, right? But in my mind I get so caught up in these stories of what’s not working. I can live on this other frequency where everything gets super super super tense. So, I’m lying on this therma massage bed, and I’m able to have that shift, right? Just so easy. My little Ram. He just shifts me. And I feel myself melting into the bed. And I realize a lot of the tension that I’m feeling is of course tension from fear of how long is this pain going to last, from frustration, from being paralyzed, not being able to move, from being angry with Dennis, like, a lot of these things I can actually control. Yes, there was a snap in my back. There is a physical, anatomical thing that happened where my nerves were pinched, and it sucks and it hurts, but it’s not all of the pain. Not all of the pain comes from that thing. A lot of it I’m actually creating myself by remaining with the idea of the story of frustration, of anger, of not being here now. Of not being present in my body. Of being in my mind and in the thoughts of all the things that aren’t going my way.

[048:48] But as soon as I drop back into the body, things start happening. First of all I relax, I actually sense, like, oh I can drop my shoulders a little lower. I’m actually mindful about what this feels like. And there is a way for me to live in that pain, in the tension and the pain of the moment, and still be at peace. I find that for just a brief couple of minutes, like lying on that weird table today, listening to Ram Dass speak, where I’m like, “Okay, peace is available to me not just when I’ve ticked off all of the boxes, not 11 p.m. when there’s a full moon and I have a glass of wine in the bathtub. Peace is available to me now. When I’m fighting with Dennis. When I’m in physical pain. When I can’t work, when nothing goes my way, seemingly, seemingly, right? It’s available to me right now.” And then I get to take a really deep breath and I just have this total brief merging in the now. Moment of me just being right here. And then everything is fine, everything is good again.

[049:53] Then the guy comes, the chiropractor guy comes and he’s like, “Okay, let me get you off this bed, let’s go over to the treatment room,” and he’s telling me to lie down, and he kind of does this very slight, gentle manipulation of my spine, and I just feel this … there’s this crack there and I’m just like, god, and it hurts so bad. He’s like, “Damn, you have so much tension here. Holy moly!” And I said, “Yeah! And I don’t know what to do about it!” And I almost start crying. “I don’t know what to do about it! I don’t know how to change it, how to get rid of it.” And he just stops me, he’s like, “Well, what were you supposed to do? Not pick your baby up?” And I’m like, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “You couldn’t have avoided this. You couldn’t have structured your life in this perfect way for this not to have happened. You’re not god. What were you supposed to do? Not pick your baby up? That’s just ridiculous. You have to carry your baby. You have to pick your baby up. Life happens. You couldn’t have prevented this. It just is what it is.

[050:50] And he’s just a regular guy, right? He’s just a guy that I encounter on my path. But he’s, “It is what it is.” Like, stop freaking out about it. And it was kind of like this brick in the head of damn, man. It just is what it is. If that was, you know, if that’s just it, it just is what it is. It is what it is. It is what it is. It is what it is.

[051:14] So today instead of waking up and then realizing, ah! Pain is here today. Interesting. That’s what it is. Right now there is pain. Does it mean that it’s the end of the world? Does it mean that it’s the end of the ability for me to manifest a good day? Does it mean that … does it have to mean this tornado or that hurricane Rachel has to show up out of tension? Or can I just sit with the knowing or the realization of, “Ah, pain is here today.” That’s what it is right now. It is what it is. Is it going to be this way in an hour? Is it going to be like this in a week? I don’t know. Do I have to worry about that right now? Is there a way for me to just be here in the is-ness of the moment? Just being, not doing, not being frustrated, not going into my mind with all the panic, all the things that don’t work, is there a way for me to just be, even when there’s pain? Yes! That’s a fundamental truth.

[052:42] And what the chiro said, that one sentence, “What were you going to do? You’re not going to pick your baby up?” No! Of course not! Is there a scenario in my life where I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is not pick up my joyful, laughing, smiling bundle of joy of a baby that comes running to me to be picked up and wants to cuddle with me in bed? Is there a scenario where I wouldn’t have picked her up? Of course not! I do it every day, you know? I pick my baby up like a thousand times a day. I’m always going to do that. There’s not a scenario where I don’t want to do that, right? I couldn’t have orchestrated this day or this morning or this moment or this pain away. It’s just … and that’s sort of a relief! What if it’s not my control? What if it’s not in my control? What if it’s not any of the things that I’m trying to do to fix it, or to do less of, or to do more of? What if it’s not up to me? (deep breath)

[053:42] Oh my god, just speaking those words. What if it’s not up to me whether or not this pain comes or goes, whether or not this pain shows up, whether or not this pain is here to stay or if it’s brief. Whether it’s intense or light. Whether it is or it isn’t. What if it’s not up to me? (laugh) I’m going to cry now, again, on the podcast! Because the feeling that I feel within my body of just complete relief, speaking the simple words of “What if it’s not up to me?” I think, honestly, you guys, my body longs for those words every day of my entire damn life. What if it’s not up to me? What if it’s not up to me, not just the pain that may or may not come or go, but what if it’s not up to me who lives, who dies? That’s also something that I struggle with a lot, trying to control in my life. Like last week I had my mom on the podcast. We were able to have a really, what I think was a really beautiful, neutral, mature … I was able to ask, like, really objective questions. We had a really mature conversation about the fact that my mom is suicidal, or has been. It’s very hard to know. Is she still suicidal? Will she try to commit suicide again? Will I lose my mom? Will she life? Will she die? That, for me, it’s my eternal question that I’ve asked myself since I was five. Is my mom going to be here or not? What if it’s not up to me?

[055:09] The amount of time I spend trying to control, making sure that she’s happy and content, it’s overwhelming and it’s draining and it’s so intense. I’ve kind of transferred that fear onto Lea Luna, and it’s part of this shift. Part of what brought me this bathtub. Part of what brought me all of the feeling that I’ve had over the past month. Being able to release a lot of the fear that I feel about my baby’s safety. Part of that has been letting go. Knowing I’m not in control. At the end of the day, you know, she has her own angels. I don’t decide who lives or who dies. And the more I obsess over it, I’m not doing anything other than create more tension and more fear into my own life.

[055:52] So what if it’s not up to me? What if it’s not up to any of us? What if we could find that really beautiful balance of doing the day-to-day things that we need to bring our self the level of self-love and self care that we need to feel good, right? To feel good. That’s it. We need to do the yoga. We need to soak in the bathtubs. We need to eat the good foods. We need to also maybe drink the wine and eat the desserts. We need to not be under too much pressure or stress, not feel too much guilt. What if, you know, we do all of those things. But what if we also know that ultimately at the end of the day, it isn’t up to us? There’s a channel of frequency that we can control, yeah? The self-care. That’s super important, every single day. For me now the bath, it’s like, oh my god, it’s everything. So worth it! But what if this pain, maybe it’s just going to be here. Every three or four months it’s just it comes, or it doesn’t. Or it shows up. If it’s here, it’s here, right? And what if it isn’t up to me, at the end of the day, if this massive pain comes or goes, or if it’s here or not? Maybe that just happens because it’s part of my dharma, right? It’s part of my path, it’s part of my purpose in life to sit with that pain and to transmute it, and to also have these realizations of “I cannot control everything.” And what a relief to not be so preoccupied in trying to make sure that I keep my back, you know, super protected with a perfect amount of flexibility and strength, and I do the right things the right way and on my alignment and this and this and this and that. What if I could just kind of be and ease up a little bit there and do what I need to do for my self care every day, but not feel like I am god? You know, like everything is up to me, like I am the one controlling everything, like if this pain comes, it’s because of me … Hmm.

[057:39] Wouldn’t that be a really, really, really nice way to live life? Like, what if we could find a way to let go of that control a little bit more? You know the art of letting go, it’s so challenging and it’s so crucial. So so so crucial. I had a teacher once that showed me, so, if you pick up a rock and you hold the rock and you hold it in your fists and you hold it fingers up so that the top of your hand is facing down, so you can kind of, like, you know the rock is in there beneath your fingers, you’re holding it. And then my teacher goes, “Let it go. Open your fist.” And I open my fist. Like let it go, letting go of the rock. And then he says, “Interesting. It’s still there.” And I’m like, “Huh?” And he’s like, “Okay, close your fist again, and then turn your hand around, so top of your hand facing the sky, fingers facing down.” I’m still holding the rock, I’m holding it in the same way, and he’s like, “Now, let it go. Open your fist.” And the rock drops on the floor. What if it’s just a shift of perspective, right? Like, we can hold on, we can let go, and nothing happens. The idea of holding on our letting go, it’s too abstract. Maybe it’s not so much about the doing, maybe the action is the same, but the perspective or the frequency we live on is just different. Sometimes we have to just completely turn things around. Maybe for me it’s more about, of course, continuing the things I do every day for self care, but maybe it’s what’s even more important than that is the level of frequency I recite it. Because I can do all of that stuff. I can sit in my damn bathtub, I can sit in my tub every day and still focus on work. I can sit in my tub and I can think of all the things I have to do in my day-to-day life, I can think of all my big long to-do list, all the stuff I need to get done, the work I have to do. I can obsess over things, I can stress over things, the only difference is I’m doing it and I’m wet, right? (laugh) So, I might as well be in front of my computer doing those things. If I’m in the tub I can have this idea that I’m relaxing, but if I’m still very very caught up in my mind and in the day-to-day stress, nothing is really happening, right? I’m just doing all of the same things but I’m sitting in a bathtub. It’s nothing different.

[059:50] What if we have to actually reside on that frequency of it’s not up to us? I have to let go of some of that control and find the shift that I was able to find today on that weird massage table, you know, listening to Ram Dass, have one sentence of truth spoken, and just shift my frequency from stress to being right here. That’s it. And when I’m right here, and I’m in the tub … 20 minutes of soaking in the bathtub, being present, being right here right now, restores me enough that I can go a whole week of super intense work, host a retreat, kick ass, manifest the most insane stuff, and I never feel tired, I never feel depleted. It’s enough, for me, the replenishment. I don’t need that much of it all the time. I don’t need hours and hours and hours of meditation. It’s really, I think, restoring ourselves and replenishing ourselves, it’s easy if we do it right, if we do it on the right frequency.

[060:45] [deep breath] What if it isn’t up to me? Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. I want to leave you with that knowing, you know, in your own life, what are you holding onto right now, or what are you obsessing over? What’s your issue, your problem, your tension, your pain? What is it? It’s going to be different than mine. It’s going to be manifested differently than mine, of course. All of our life stories, life situations, they look very different. But at the end of the day, maybe the solution is the same, right? Where is there holding on in your life where you can switch and drop back into that frequency of truly being present in the now? Is there a way you could stop obsessing over the problem and just drop into the is-ness of the moment? Like me right now. I’m talking to you, I’m holding this microphone … And I I close my eyes, you know, I can feel my breath. I can feel … I can feel this pain, and it’s kind of going up, it’s a little more intense on the left side than the right. It’s going up my spine. It’s going up my neck. But I can still feel my heart beating. I can still feel my body. I can still be here. I can be present in that pain, right now, right here, and I don’t have to do anything about it. I can just let it be. Hmm. Interesting. (laugh) Isn’t it interesting, this practice of life? Who knows, maybe in fifteen minutes I’m back into that frustrated place. So it’s a reminder, right? It’s why it’s called a practice, because we’re never finished. We bring ourselves back again and again and again and again.

[062:36] Thank you for holding space for me this week. I look forward to sharing where this pain takes me, but for right now, I’m really okay being here with what already is. And I will see you in the now, again, next week!

[End of Episode]

 

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