Learning to Choose Peace

Learning to Choose Peace

Peace is a choice. You don't get handed a peaceful life. In the midst of chaos you have to choose peace over pain.

This lesson has been resonating in my head all month. Am I capable of choosing peace over pain (or anger, or frustration, or contempt)? Can I put that to practice when I step off a yoga mat and the problems become real? Will I even see peace as a choice in the midst of frustration?

Lately it's always something incredibly trivial that puts my frustration over the edge. And, unfortunately, it's not until after said insignificant hell valley is in the rear-view that perspective gives me the chance to see that this was the universe presenting me with a real life case test. Call it yoga or just call it spiritual maturity, but she’s testing to see if I can decide on what’s meaningful.

Today it came in the form of a 6-hour, technologically challenged flight. No wifi, no working TV, no power. Ok, you're probably thinking "this isn't really a test of anything except what life was like in 1999, and you were alive then Jess, soo... what exactly is your beef?" And I don't have a particularly good answer. I think as humans once we set an expectation it's hard for us to accept a last-minute change. At least that's how it is for this human.

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How Running Helped My Yoga Practice

How Running Helped My Yoga Practice

As runners, we are creatures of movement; drawn by the pulse and rhythm we get from the road. Often, we become dependent on the movement to maintain our state of equilibrium. Science will tell us this is the result of endorphins – tiny elemental chemicals which flow through our veins after a tough workout bringing messages to the brain of elation and excitement. We, as runners, concede it is not just endorphins but freedom, competition, habit, and community which bring us to the road.

I know – for me – after a tough week, an argument, or simply the drain which is the corporate America lifestyle of being chained to a desk, I want nothing more than to counter the stagnation with heart pumping thrill. So, you ask, where does the yoga come in? For me, it was the replacement – or the augment – to a former life of dance. After beginning full-time work, I noticed a slip in posture, a lack of stretch, and a terrifyingly cluttered brain that wouldn’t slow at night, wouldn’t calm in silence. Two years into work I became a frequent sufferer of panic attacks. They came on with suffocating intensity, racing heart, tingling fingers and the fog of the thickest storm cloud clouding out any clarity to my motion.

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