• Speaking My Mind

    Rise and Grind!

    The title of this post makes me laugh.

    In all seriousness though, it is true. I rise before the sun does and I sleep well after it has fallen. This is primarily because I got a temporary full-time job!

    I’ve actually been enjoying both the job and the grinding. It may be a little odd to be excited about joining the rat race as well as working a conventional 9-5 (it’s actually, 8:30-5:30pm…the grinding is real), but it’s true. I love it. I love working consistent, normal hours, going to the same place every day, seeing the same people…I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s such a nice shift from attending a large university where there was tons of volatility in your schedule, working a campaign job which had weird hours, and then being unemployed since November.

    So yes, I’m finally in motion!

    I’m unsure how long I will have this role, so I’ve continued my job search. Thus, when I’m not working, I’m job hunting, interviewing, and completing surveys for interviews. It’s been a little intense. I can’t wait to get a full-time job and be able to spend my free time reading. The only reading I’ve had the energy to do lately has been through Audible, which is better than not reading at all. In fact, thanks to Audible, I’ll be finished with Pride and Prejudice soon!

    Anyway, the job itself is good. It’s not my “dream job,” but I’ve learned to express gratitude and to practice Santosha, or contentment. I’ve written about my realization that I need to find Santosha before, but I’ve noticed that I need to find it again. It all started on the second day of the job…

    I was feeling bummed out because the work is not mentally stimulating. There’s nothing wrong with the job, but it is very boring most days. The dullness allows my mind to wander and to partake in my favorite activity: comparing myself to everyone else. (This time, I’m being sarcastic. The comparison-trap leads to my self-destruction).

    My thoughts became consumed with Wow, I could have a career job right now, but instead I’m just answering phones and My friends have benefits, and I’m only getting paid hourly. Unsurprisingly, these self-pitying thoughts ruined my second day of work. After that, I realized that in order to not be miserable every day, and the only way to get as much as I can out of this experience, I have to change my perspective. That’s when I remembered Santosha, one of the Niyamas in Yoga philosophy. While practicing contentment, I realized that this is where the Universe wants me to be right now because the Universe totally conspired to get me this job.

    First of all, I had an interview for this job back in…late November I believe, and I got the interview through a job agency. I went to the interview already resistant to the job, which was probably why I never got an offer. I was exuding all this negative energy to the Universe that I didn’t want a job offer for this position because I deemed that the job was beneath me. Now I know better than to judge a job so harshly, especially when I’m unemployed.

    After that interview, I continued my bleak job search for months with the help of the temp agency. Then the holidays came around, I took the GRE, and I spend much-needed time with my sister who was home for break. Around the time my sister was preparing to return to school, I became antsier than I already was to get a job.

    Then in January, I had a job interview through the temp agency for a job that seemed perfect. I willed the Universe to let me have it from the beginning too.

    Well, the day I was supposed to hear back about the “desirable job,” I got a call from the agency about the job I had interviewed for back in November. Something hadn’t worked out with the person that they had hired and they needed a temp until they found someone externally. I was excited to have a job offer, even though it wasn’t the job that I wanted initially. Unlike last time, I wanted to accept it.

    Before I committed, I called up the other recruiter to find out if I got the “desirable job.” Well, surprise, I didn’t get it, so I accepted this job that I now have!

    This position was initially temp to permanent, but now that they want to hire externally, it’s just temporary. The fact that it was initially temp to perm frightened me because I didn’t want to be so committed to a mundane job, but now that it’s just temporary, I’ve been able to relax and really enjoy myself. Additionally, I’m working in an industry related to the field I want to be in, I’m interacting daily with people in this field, and I’m able to learn from them and network with them.

    Aside from full-time job stuff, I’m still teaching yoga and I’m loving it. I want to update you all soon on some new things I’ve learned as a teacher! That’ll be another post though.

    While I’m working full-time, I decided to post only once a week on Sunday mornings. If time permits, I’ll post during the week too. I’ll play it by ear.

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading 🙂

    xx Vic

     

  • Yoga

    Living with Uncertainty

    Despite how heavy my foot was on the gas, it felt like we were driving in slow-motion. I was weaving around the cars in my way and tailgating them as my dad clutched his side and dry heaved into a plastic bag. I had never driven so recklessly and aggressively.

    I pulled to the front of the emergency room and he pulled himself out, hobbling toward the door. I quickly parked in the deck and with shaky hands, I put on my sweatshirt and sprinted to the ER after him. He was already inside, sitting in a wheelchair and checking himself in when I arrived. He had stopped shouting in pain and was relatively calm as he sat there.

    They told him a room would be available in a few minutes as they wheeled him to the side to wait. Suddenly, his calm expression broke into one of agony and his mouth opened wide to verbally release the torture his body was causing him. I rubbed his back and reminded him to breathe deeply, hoping it would pacify him. It did not. He continued to cry and shout in the waiting room while people checked in. Then he started vomiting into a plastic bag. I got him tissues to wipe his face and I asked the administrator when the room would be ready. I was impatient at this point.

    Fifteen minutes later, a nurse slowly meandered over and wheeled him to the room he would spend the next six hours in. Ironically, it was the same room he had spent nine hours in, the same time last year. That time was for a different emergency though.

    After several hours, multiple doses of pain medication, and many tests, the doctor diagnosed him with kidney stones. He was able to pass it in the hospital and be released the same day.

    Life is obviously uncertain, but it didn’t use to scare me as much as it does now. My cousin’s death has completely transformed the way I perceive the world and it has caused me to raise questions that I otherwise wouldn’t have asked or even considered. While I feel like I have more compassion and gratitude for life, I have also come to recognize as life as being very fragile. This has caused me to develop fears that I did not use to have. Some of the fears are silly while others make more sense but… I haven’t seemed to overcome them all yet.

    The terrifying experience I had with my dad on Monday as well as the volcanic tragedy in Guatemala, among many other tragedies that people experience, has caused me to reexamine the reality that life is fragile.

    I had shared this realization with the grief group I used to attend about two years ago now. Many of my peers had solemnly nodded their heads in agreement as I shared my concerns and worries about this fact. The therapist, however, raised the question: how do you deal with uncertainty?

    One method for coping that my peers came up with included acknowledging the challenges we had faced previously and that anything that comes next can be overcome too. Another idea was to focus on the present rather than worrying about what might never occur.

    Since I’ve been learning more about yoga philosophy for my yoga training, I’ve learned another effective method for challenging my fears is to be in a state of mind that is described in the Yoga Sutras, which is upeksha, or “indifference.” I learned about this idea in an article from The Yoga Journal written by Frank Jude Boccio titled, “Calm within.”

    Boccio deems it is more apt to regard upeksha as “equanimity” rather than “indifference.” He defines equanimity as “a state of even-minded openness that allows for a balanced, clear response to all situations, rather than a response born of reactivity or emotion.” He adds that it is a balanced state of mind and heart. It allows one to experience pleasure and pain without clinging to it or condemning it. In other words, equanimity is about experiencing life and different situations without judging it as good or bad and therefore, maintaining an emotional detachment from it.

    For example, my dad had kidney stones and needed to be hospitalized. It’s not good or bad, it just happened. He was able to get the care he needed to alleviate his pain through hospitalization, and he was working from home that day which enabled me to drive him there. So..while it may seem unfortunate that he had to be hospitalized for this condition, it was actually perfect timing and everything panned out well. In the moment, however, it was scary and awful but it needed to happen this way. If he was at work, he would’ve been taken to a hospital that was further away and it would, therefore, take the rest of my family longer to get to him.

    Equanimity is also about realizing that while you can’t be responsible for nor can you control what happens in life, you can control your reactions. I controlled my reaction by driving him to the hospital, and I let the doctors take control of the situation.

    The last aspect of equanimity as Boccio describes it is that you have to open your heart while simultaneously letting go of expectations and attachment to results. This aligns with what I’ve been reading in the Bhagavad Gita, which is Hindu scripture traditionally written in Sanskrit. It is part of several books of epic poetry.

    The god, Krishna, tells a warrior, Arjuna, that it is important to act for the action’s sake, and not for the results, whether that be success or failure. This equanimity is yoga. (The physical aspect of yoga that is the most popularized is only one limb of yoga philosophy. Yoga is actually a more comprehensive philosophy with eight limbs).

    I believe this type of mindset and state of being would be beneficial to me and it is something that I would like to practice in both my asana practice as well as in meditation. This way I can keep a level head when difficult situations emerge and I can also live with less fear than what I live with now.

    How do y’all feel about equanimity? How do you live with uncertainty?

    xx Vic

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