Friday, June 7, 2013

How You Do Everything

I work all the time.

Like right now. I'm working at 11:49pm on a Friday night, in my bed, with my laptop. If you were here right now, I'd tell you that it isn't my fault. My neurotic parakeets are... responding to the sprinklers outside. I can't tell if they're terrified of them or hoping to mate. Maybe they're describing their terrible living conditions in extraordinary detail (that happens to sound like a car alarm).

But the truth is, I am working because I don't know what else to do. I work all the time.

Last night, when I was working at the yoga studio I took a class with a wonderful Baptiste instructor visiting from Denver, Dave Farmar. Instead of enjoying the class, like any normal, rational being, I thought of the following things:

1. "I should take pictures of this class in progress with my iPad for marketing/archival purposes." 2. "Does Dave have enough water?" 3. "The new guy who accidentally wandered into this 90 minute heated class... is he dead? ... is he a lawyer?" 4. "How many of the instructors are planning to kill me after this class, once they've rehydrated and I've showered, so they can recognize me?" 5. "I'm melting. Like, literally. I'm becoming a liquid, and all of my liquids are coming out. What will be left???" 6. "I should probably go and get towels for everyone because they are maaaaad drippy and we're creating a lake." 7. "When I teach next week, I'm borrowing this sequence." 8. "I think my iPad is floating in a pool of sweat/weakness." 9. "I miss just doing yoga." 10. "I work all the time." This might surprise you, because I'm fairly good with boundaries. When I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation. My problem, is when I'm not on vacation, I'm working.

At the start of class, Dave asked us to explore the opposite of a negative perception in our lives. My negative was (get this): working all the time. The positive? Connection. You see, when I'm working, the relationships are easily defined. I'm working for you, you're working for me, I know why I'm here and what we should be talking about. I have objectives. Outcomes. Billable hours. Rather than connecting, I fall back on these easily defined roles. When I'm working, I'm in charge.

And right in the middle of all of this, Dave said something that really pissed me off, "How you do anything is how you do everything."


There I was, taking a yoga class, not responsible for a darned thing for 90 full minutes and THERE I WAS, trying to be in charge of everything and work through it. Instead of practicing yoga, I was working. Atha yoga, idiot.

And JUST like that, I learned (again) that I work too much. I try to hard. "Stop trying, do yoga, stop trying, do yoga" I willed myself. Just about as effective as, "I am stronger than E. coli I will not throw up... I am stronger than E. coli, I will not throw up."

At the end of the 90 (110) minute class my mantra had shifted to, "keep breathing, do not black out... keep breathing, do not black out." Which turns out to be pretty effective. As we all snuggled into the swampy thickness of the lowest 12 inches of the room, Dave started playing a song that spoke to me (and many others). At the time, I thought surely it was simply the sweet relief of savasana, not any particular beauty of the words or melody. Sort of like when you go for a long hike and then eat a PB&J sandwich and think, "This is the BEST sandwich on EARTH!"

"I've decided to be kinder, I've decided to be glad..."

How you do anything is how you do everything, and you have the ability to put a positive spin on it.

I work all the time. But I do what I love, and I help people. And more often than not, it's fun.

I just needed to change my inflection.

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