Obstacles and Your Mind

Twice this week I wanted to give up.

The first time was on Friday morning. I got up feeling okay-ish after an emotionally challenging week. Normally if this is not checked, it can lead to a downward spiral where everyone’s weekend is ruined in my household because I am in a bad mood. My normal way of coping with stress or when I am feeling hormonal, is physical exercise. But before I could even reach for my trainers I run into my first obstacle; my mind. I was just not in the mood. I could think of 101 other things to do:

  • Did I really need that walk?
  • I could do it on Saturday when I could go for a longer walk.
  • The dogs had already been walked, did they need another walk so soon?
  • My phone is pinging, am I sure it is not a very important notification that has to be seen to right away?
  • It is freezing outside.

Somehow from somewhere I managed to get over myself, my excuses and more importantly my mind and head out of the door with the dogs in the cold autumn air. I live in a very beautiful part of the world and just being outdoors is healing. I came back feeling like a different woman. The endorphins had been released, so rather than yelling at my son who was supposed to be up and ready by the time I came back from my walk but was still in bed, I was able to have a calm conversation to let him know that he will not get away with it, without attacking his self-esteem in the process. Such emotional control only comes when you are in control of yourself. This meant that later on, when I gave him a lift to his friend’s house, (the reason why he had to ready by the time I came back from my walk), we were able to have a laugh in the car, rather than sit in sulking silence because he was pissed off with me for shouting him, as had happened on other occasions!

The second time I felt like giving up was the very next day. I was a on a roll. As mentioned, I had had quite an emotionally stressful week and I had more triggers on Friday and I was desperately battling to stay on top. So, on Saturday, I needed the heavy guns of a full hour of hot yoga to help relieve the stress.

It all started very well. I got up on time and started getting ready to head out of the door. This time even my mind was playing ball, or so I thought. It wasn’t giving me the usual laundry list of reasons like; I should stay in bed and it was Saturday for God’s sake and who wants to get up early on Saturday. No, none of that. My mind was cooperating, except no one told my contact lenses.

So, I am all dressed in my yoga gear, I put in my contact lenses and the right eye doesn’t feel right. I cover my left eye and realise I can’t see out of my right eye. I try to take the lens out but can I find it in my eye? I feel it somewhere as the eye feels uncomfortable but for the life of me, I cannot touch it to take it out. I’m cutting it fine as it is and I only have twenty minutes to get to my class which is a fifteen minute drive away. I haven’t got time to faff around. After a royal battle, I managed to locate the lens under my upper eyelid and push it down into place. By this time I have one bloodshot eye and it is too late to make it for my class.

What to do? I could climb back into bed, it is Saturday after all and I am sure my eye needs a rest. This is when my mind kicked in with its laundry list of excuses. One of them being that I was aiming for that particular yoga class rather than a later longer class because I was feeling sub-optimal so maybe it wasn’t meant to be. To my mind, this was divine intervention no less. This is what my mind was trying to make me believe. Oh, how many times I have given up on things that were good for me because somehow rather than battle to overcome an obstacle, I convinced myself it wasn’t ‘flowing’ so it wasn’t meant to be! This mind of ours can hold us hostage if we let. It is ever at the ready with a myriad of reasons why we shouldn’t push through something. In my book Octopus on a Treadmill: Women, Success, Health, Happiness, there is a whole chapter on managing your mind in the emotional section.

Thankfully, I was now fully togged up in my yoga gear and I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of fighting them off. They come of easily when I have worked up a sweat in the hot yoga studio, they just peel off. That was incentive enough. So, somehow despite my battle with my eye, I decided to go to the later, longer class which I was avoiding earlier because I didn’t think I was up to it. I got to this class with bags of time to spare (I am the normally the one coming in when everyone else is settled and having to leap over everyone to find a space) and be spoilt for choice as to where I will put my mat! In fact, I moved my mat a few times just because I could.

The class was wonderful, I enjoyed every bit of the stretching and the sweating and even the wobbling on one leg while hugging one knee to the chest. The yogis among you can come up with the name for that posture but for me, just wobbling in said posture was enough. Not only was I up to this class, I desperately needed it. I came back feeling like a million dollars and what made it even sweeter was that I had overcome a huge obstacle to get myself there. I felt I had batted for myself and come out on top.

Well done me. So, what obstacle are you battling with this week? Remember that within you, is the power to overcome it. Don’t let your mind win. Wobble on leg if you must but don’t give in.

Enjoy your week and let me know some of the obstacles that you overcome this week. I am genuinely interested, and a little bit nosey.