“Why isn’t there a clock in here? Blazes! It’s so stinkin HOT! I’m seeing stars. The blood, the blood, the BLOOD! It’s rushing from my head to my feet. I’m going to black out! My heart is beating like a drum! What will they do If I faint? Will they drag me out of here? Or will they leave me in this humid hell to drown in my own sweat pool?
Child’s pose. Do the child’s pose!! Child’s pose will make all the BAD go away!!”
Hot Yoga. That’s a recap of my first Hot Yoga experience. Wow, I never knew a body could drip buckets that way. Now I know what death by sweat would feel like. It was like a slow 60 minute suffocation. Yeah, and did you know there are 90 minute classes? I know. Crazy.
And I’m TOTALLY going back.
Because the instructor was made of love. She was nurturing, and attentive, and warm (see what I did there? warm…?)
Seriously though, I pushed my mind and body further than I thought it could go, and she nurtured the class through the pain with encouragement and gentleness. She said things like “listen to your body,” and “feel your inner strength,” and “you got this” and “be proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished,” and my personal favorite, “We’re almost done.”
Ahhhh. Doesn’t love feel good?
We regularly need the reminders to “take care,” “take time,” “take grace,” and “take five.” We need someone to tell us to listen to ourselves, and to tell us we are doing a good job. That’s loving.
My friend Jen said in small group yesterday, “God’s love is there for us all the time. We just need to receive it.”
Why is receiving it so hard? Why do I have to be in a friggin oven finding my wobbly warrior, and seeing stars before I remember LOVE? Child’s pose.
Regroup in Child’s Pose. Let love heal me in Child’s pose. Surrendered to the process in Child’s pose.
Life Hurts. It stresses us out, runs us ragged and lays us flat. The tasks of life seem too insurmountable to conquer, too lofty to reach, too humiliating to accept.
But THE Instructor (you know, not the one in yoga pants, but the Great Instructor in the sky and in your Heart) says, “I’m right here. You’re not alone. I’m your Champion. You can do ANYthing and ALL things when you stay connected to Me.”
And you curse under your breath, “Why am I here? And why won’t you let me out, God? Where is the clock? When is this going to be over? I’m dying here!”
And if we quiet our complaints and fears long enough to hear God speak, we’ll hear, “Because hard things produce endurance (which you’re a little short on), and endurance produces character, (which you… um… need… more of…,) and character produces hope, (which, Sister, you GOTTA have hope if you plan on surviving the rest of your life. Without hope, you are TOAST- warm, wet, sweaty TOAST!)
“AND,” God goes on,
“You got this!!! Except when you don’t. Then I got you.”
Breath in, exhale, down dog, Child’s pose. Surrender. Love.
Class Over. Until next week.
HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF THE WAY GOD LOVES YOU:
Don’t judge or condemn yourself. Women are really good at critical self talk. The bible says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”Well, what if you applied “judging, condemning and forgiving” to yourself? What if you refused to judge or say condemning things to yourself? What if you forgave yourself for your short-falls?
- It’s good enough. Remember, you don’t have to be the perfect student, wife, mother, person. You just have to be good enough. You are a beautiful, lovable, worthwhile and a smart enough person already. God already thinks those things about you. It’s time to make that Spiritual Reality a DAILY reality.
- Stay Connected. It’s not about trying harder to become the person you want to be. Remember the apple on the tree. It does not strive, try or struggle to grow. No, it just stays connected to the Branch. The branch takes care of all the growing. The Branch is responsible for the growth, not the apple.
- Child’s Pose in your Furnace Times. When you get overwhelmed with life’s demands, remember that the state of surrender is your friend. Don’t muscle through. Don’t grin and bare it. Don’t grit your teeth. Surrender to God’s love and let Him help you. Take a break and reconnect with God’s strength. You’ve find energy, patience, and wisdome in the times you are most spent because God enters the Child’s Pose.
- The Goal is to Stay the Course: the Yoga lady who checked me in told me the goal was to stay in the room. No matter what, just stay the course. Believe me, if she hadn’t told me that, I would have left 3/4 of the way through. But I stayed in that furnace till the work was done. Don’t try to get out of what God is doing in your life before His work in you is done. It’s gonna hurt, but stay the course. If you give up before your work is through, you will just have to do it later in life.
- Remember what God’s Love sounds like. Sometimes God’s love messages get drowned out by life’s static and back ground noise. God’s voice is nurturing, gentle, encouraging, instructional, accepting, forgiving. He is NEVER the one saying, “You’re not doing good enough.” He’s always the one saying, “I got you! Don’t worry!”
How about you? What things do you say to yourself that help get you through hard times? Have you seen endurance, character and hope be forged in your life as a result of furnace experiences?