Learning to Watch the Wheels Go Round and Round

I have the song, “The Wheels on the Bus” stuck in my head. If you have not hung out with anyone under the age of five in the last few years let me remind you of the lyrics:

The wheels on the bus go

Round and round

Round and round

Round and round

The wheels on the bus go

Round and round

All through the town

Only my version has slightly modified lyrics:

The wheels in my head go

Round and round

Round and round

Round and round

The wheels in my head go

Round and round

All day and night

Somehow I have let myself slip into a place of being completely overwhelmed…all the time. I have forgotten everything I have learned, practiced, and taught over the last few years. I have failed to stop, to breathe, and to take care of myself. Over the last two weeks I have let my yoga mat slip to the back of the closet, I have failed to take a seat to meditate daily, I have not been writing for myself, my breath has become shallow, my body has become tense, my mind has become a runaway bus with wheels that will not stop going round and round. I have felt incapable of tackling all of the tasks that lay before me and the stress of too much work, too little time, moving at the end of the month, and a body that feels like it is falling apart form the inside out have left me in a constant state of panic and anxiety.

This morning as I was frantically checking my phone to see if a student had emailed me the final version of her thesis needing to be edited I opened an email from one of the online yoga communities I get weekly emails from. The focus was on pranayama, otherwise known as breath. I found myself slipping into deep, rhythmic breathing as I read about the different pranayama exercises and their benefits. Suddenly the wheels going round and round in my head slowed their pace and the tightness in my chest eased. While waiting for the light to change on my way to work I found myself standing next to a mom with her baby strapped to her chest in a carrier. The baby was smiling, giggling, and taking in all the wonders of the busy streets surrounding Grand Central on a weekday morning. This baby was so present, so at ease, so filled with joy. I couldn’t help but smile. My body started to release some of the excess tension it has been housing and I started to feel more are ease, less rushed and frenzied. I took a yoga class this morning and found that my body, while horribly stiff and in lots of pain, sighed with relief as it eased into each pose. My mind never fully turned off during class, but there were moments of quiet.

A quote by Theodore Isaac Rubin has been coming to mind as I write this. “The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” It is time for me to start putting things back into perspective. I cannot stop the wheels on the bus, but I can be more mindful of how the wheels are going round and round instead of freaking out over the blur of tires spinning. As much as I wish there were no major stressors to face and fewer tasks to tackle right now, I cannot change what is, I can only change how I approach what lies in front of me.

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About djunapassman

I teach yoga, write, and edit. I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is changing faster than I can, or care to, keep up with. Manhattan still beckons me to her island a few subways stops away, reminding me of when I lived amongst her daily hustle and bustle.
This entry was posted in Mindfulness (or quieting an overactive mind), Yoga. Bookmark the permalink.

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