Last week while I was in the middle of a yoga practice in my studio (tree pose to be exact), a car crashed through the glass wall and drove through the studio and through the opposite wall. There were 9 people in the class including my husband who was teaching. The driver was an elderly woman who had an injured foot and arm. She was unable to stop the vehicle once she hit the accelerator. No one was seriously hurt. It was a total miracle that no one was injured. Students got some cuts from broken glass but overall everyone was relatively okay. EMS were shocked that there were no severe injuries. My husband often says that he believes in God, angels, and miracles. Many of us feel that is why we are still here.
My own experience was life-altering. The way the car entered the room, myself and a young girl behind me were in the car’s direct path. I am not sure what happened once the car entered the studio because everything slowed down. It was as if life was happening in slow motion. Once I saw the car and was on the hood of the car, I had a sense that we or at least I was about to die. I remember thinking “Oh, we are dying. We are passing over.” I have to say that I was not scared at all. It actually felt like a lot of ease, letting go, surrendering to what was. I felt completely free and protected. I literally let my body go and I was lifted up and over the car. I believe it was God.
I have been doing the Course in Miracles all this year. The Course talks about how this world is all an illusion and made up by us and that Truth is Love and that is all there is. I have to say that in those few seconds where I let go and truly surrendered, I experienced Love. I experienced no sense of my body or of time; I felt totally complete and worthy. It was the most incredible glimpse of Truth. I believe that I was able to step out of the illusion called life for a few seconds and witness what is possible when we live in Truth.
Days later when I was discussing this whole “Ah Ha” with one of my closest friends, we realized how this sense of Joy/Love/Truth is available to us all the time but we choose to value other things. We value our work, relationships, children, and other worldly things. If we made Love the ultimate priority, we would be capable of living in the space that I experienced for those few moments.
I believe that Friday night was a blessing. I was able to witness and experience the Truth (Love). Make love a priority right now and see what is possible!
The other day I set the intention to Play More and Work Less. I put sticky notes all over my condo saying “I will play more & work less.” I did this because I noticed the pattern that I work the majority of the time. When I was a psychologist, I often over-scheduled myself. Now that I am a yoga studio owner, I am doing the same thing; if I am not teaching yoga, then I am working on the business. So wherever you go…there you are. The way you are in one situation is the way you are in every situation. So workaholic is my identity! Once I realized this, I started to ask myself what this identity served. When I work a lot, it feeds my ego. I feel important and indispensable. I often take on the martyr role. Working a lot basically helps me feel as though I am good enough.
But when did this happen? I remember being a child and playing in the flower garden, talking to the rocks and the flowers, pretending I was in a castle and the garden around me was a moat. I remember playing with friends and making mud pies until the sun went down. I don’t remember Christen, the child, being a workaholic. I just remember being present and joyful.
Have you ever played with a child? Recently, I was visiting with my niece, who is three-years-old. We basically played for 2 days straight. I was shocked at how present I was for those 2 days. I wasn’t thinking about work or anything other than the game we were playing. I experienced so much joy for those 2 days. Joy is available to us all the time especially if we can just be present to what is.
So when did we stop playing? I think it was when we learned about responsibilities in school. Remember being praised for getting good grades, being quiet, raising your hand to speak etc… We were being schooled in how to be responsible adults. But were we ever reinforced for being in the present moment or for playing with full-on passion? Why not? We were reinforced for being responsible. Now I am not saying that responsibility is not an important personality characteristic. All I am saying is why was there little to no value placed on our playfulness and silliness or on being present and joyful.
So now what? I have started to praise myself for taking time off, for playing, for being present and joyful. I notice when I am feeding my ego with my workaholic identity. All we can do is notice what is happening. Once you are aware then you can choose to continue to feed your ego or be present and joyful. I have started to praise people for when they are playful and stopped praising people for being responsible adults. Maybe if we do this enough we can create a whole new value system, one that is based on presence, playfulness, and joy. Now that is a world I would love to live in. So what are you doing reading this… Get out and Play!