The last week has been full of the unexpected.

“Be open to the UNEXPECTED. You never know what gifts will come to you.”

Julia Carpenter (and probably other folks, too.)

So what are the unexpected things that happened to me?

First unexpected thing: on Monday, my friend had a loved one pass away and I needed to help her with her business. No problem, I doubled my work for the week, but it was only one week, and I love my work teaching yoga and meditation.

Next unexpected thing: on Wednesday, my husband’s back went out when he twisted to step over a baby gate. He was laying flat on the floor and couldn’t get up. No problem, I teach yoga, so I am strong and know a lot about body mechanics. I helped get him to a place where he could lie down and rest.

Final unexpected thing: on Friday, while I was teaching my morning restorative yoga class, a huge tree limb fell on my house. No problem, no one was hurt, I have insurance, and I know the number for a fast tree removal service.

Just one of these things happening could have set me up for a tough week. Taking care of so many things can wear a person out. But, I realized as things kept happening that I was able to step back, take in what happened, pause, and just let things be as they were without getting overwhelmed.

When my friend needed me, I thought… and so it is. And then, I was able to think step by step how my schedule would change and how I had to prepare my son for less mom-time during his zoom school lessons.

When my husband’s back went out, I thought… and so it is. And then, I was able to think about what he needed to get better and took the steps to get him ice, a heating pad, and pain reliever, knowing I would do reiki for him also.

When the tree fell on my house, I thought… and so it is. And then, I was able to calmly call the insurance company and tree removers, plus make a list of what steps would be needed to take care of my son who was scared, my tree that might be sick, and my home that had a hole in the roof, all with little physical assistance from my husband who was still not able to move about very well.

How was I able to do this? I attribute it to my yoga and meditation practice.

When I do yoga, I breathe as I move, allowing myself to find balance between effort and ease. When I meditate, I sit and allow the thoughts to come and then let them go. Meditation helps us to be mindful of each moment as it comes and choose how we react. With a consistent practice, it helps us to react mindfully in our everyday lives. I am grateful for this ability to pause so that I may be calm in the midst of the unexpected.

This is the gift that the unexpected revealed to me last week. That my yoga and mindfulness practices have given me the ability to pause before reacting. Then, I react with a clear mind so that I can choose a path that is calm and balanced. I can release overwhelming feelings as they come up and breathe through them.

How can you practice mindfulness this week? 
Try sitting for just 5 minutes, focusing on your breath, letting the thoughts come, and then letting them go.

The other gift that the unexpected has given me is that I realized more than ever that people are what matter more than anything. Supporting a friend in need, caring for my husband, being there when my son was scared were all so much more important than stressing about a house being broken.

How can you connect with someone you love and care about this week? 
Notice how it makes you feel just to touch base and have a chat on zoom, on the phone, or at a 6-foot apart in-person meet-up. Maintaining these connections is so important right now when we are isolated during the pandemic.

May you have peace within,

Julia anjali mudra hands

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