The Wagon Wheel


So I’m downright addicted to the Masters. In the morning I stream it live on masters.com.  And when 4pm hits, I turn on ESPN.  I really don’t watch any of it, due to the amount of work at my desk, but I listen.  Try it.  Just close your eyes and listen to the Masters.  The music when they go to commercial, the gentle whispering of the announcers, it’s all very serene and contemplative.  I only watch when Tiger or Mike Weir are on.  It’s funny how three years ago, you couldn’t pay me to watch golf,  but now, it’s a source of comfort and relaxation.  I can smell the grass of Augusta.

Despite the peace and serenity of Jim Nantz, I had quite possibly one of the worst weeks of my life. I ended it with my first yoga seminar, taught by an old teacher from HBO.  She has always been my favorite yoga teacher, and I was thrilled at a chance to take my first class with her in over two years.  She is a gentle soul with a soothing voice that blocked out even the honking on 42nd and 5th.  OK, so the title of the seminar was “Yoga for Depression” and I was hesitant to say.  I must have been asked four times “What class are you here for?” Yoga for depression.”  What class?  “Yoga for depression”, always muttering the last word, afraid of the startled reaction.  Would they back away slowly, as if I was a leper?

The class was packed.  One girl, about 26, said she was there because she was going through a divorce.  I said a silent prayer of gratitude.

The first part was a discussion, in which I learned that ten percent of our population admit to being on anti-depressents.  And those are the ones who are raising their hands.  It’s estimated that 25% of our population suffers from one of the four kinds of depression.

Kristen told the class a story about her great-grandfather and his ox-wagon, how its recurring path created deep grooves in the soil.  These grooves became deeper and deeper, and the wheels naturally favored those grooves, never veering off of them. But one day her great-grandfather needed to take a different path with his ox-wagon.  He wrestled and hoisted and sweat and swore.  But he got the wagon off the creviced path, and went a different way.  It was hard, but not impossible.

Our lives are like this – We walk where we have always walked, and become patterned. We keep on our old ways because it’s easier, we lower our eyes to the ground and follow the same grooves we always have.  We all become, at some point in our lives, disconnected from our reality.  We are bound too tightly to labels, and perceive that to be our reality – wife, stockbroker, teacher, boyfriend.  We strut around like peacocks, but nobody sees us as we see ourselves.

But our brain can be rewired.  Taking a different path has proven to be hard, because I’m, well, anal is a kind way of putting it.  But the phrase people keep saying to me is “Be good to yourself.”  It’s become as common as a greeting as “See ya later.”  Be good to yourself.  That day, it meant taking a yoga seminar I was ashamed to walk into, but strutted out of, proud of my admittance, and content that I was not alone.  It’s these little things…if you do them well, the bigger things will take care of themselves.

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