Live every moment!
“Life is a balance
between what we can control and what we cannot
I am learning
to live between effort and surrender”
I live a happy life. I love my job, I meet beautiful people, there's joy, there's love. But there's no sugarcoating it, most days I'm in physical chronical pain that affects my joints, muscles and connective tissue, but mostly how I feel. I've lived with it for most of my life and accepting it and learning how to cope with it is a neverending journey; a balance between staying in control and letting go. I try to find balance. By watching what I eat, taking care to keep moving, reducing my stress levels and undergoing alternative therapies I am putting in effort to keep the pain at bay. The sunny and warm Portuguese climate helps as well, that's one of the reasons I'm there for long periods of time. Still, some days are worse than others. Days like that are unavoidable, and that fact can be difficult to swallow.
Someone else's 100% is not my 100%, and it took some time to fully accept that. By embracing that which I cannot change, I've learned to live a life of simplicity, learned to let go and live every moment. However, letting go is not the only answer. A measure of control and planning is important as well. We all have our obligations, and for me that means I'll have to seize the moment on a better day. I also have to bear in mind that a busy, active day, however wonderful, can have consequences.
Pain is outside of our control, while suffering is largely within our power. When we are able to distinguish between the two, we build the ability to accept pain as it is. By finding the balance between effort and surrender, we are able to ride the waves of life’s challenges while staying in touch with all the good and beautiful things that are still present in our lives. The support of others is vital as well. Other people cannot see the pain you feel inside, which makes it more difficult to understand for the outside world. That's why I'm so grateful for the help of my family and friends!
On a positive note, I'm convinced that this pain makes me a better teacher. I have more empathy for people that experience pain as well. Yoga is not just what you do on the mat. My teachings are not about performance, or creating a pretty picture. It's about the personal, inner process.
Being close to nature, resting, laughing a lot, focusing on the things that give you energy, with love and attention... those are all things that helped me tremendously. A sense of togetherness and support, as well as healthy activities like a retreat, massage, yoga and meditation can be healing for body and mind as well. Experience what they can do for you!