When Chaos Ensues…

By Jeanne Heileman, Yoga Teacher Trainer



This past week, as I was trying to get ready to get out of the country, learning about international business, trying to see my dear friends, and finish teaching the last of regular classes and workshops – my car got hit while I was teaching a 300 Hour Session. The car was in the parking lot. I was in the studio, doing my job.

The Old Me: Oh man! What a terrible thing! I have so much to do and now this?! I think I have to call all of my friends and tell them about this and complain about how I am to try to get a car fixed days before I’m to leave the country. Like I have time for this?! When do I get to teach? To practice? To even think about packing? Why do things like this happen to me? And what if the guy who hit me disappears? What if I’m stuck with fixing the car all by myself? (It was a pretty good hit.) Oh, and by the way, I must be a terrible car owner, for it is so dirty, it might’ve invited the hit just by it’s dust. Why can’t I do things right? Why do bad things always happen to me?…. I want to go home and cry……

The Current Me: Oy vey. (I’m not Jewish, but I love that sound.) Apparently the World wants me to slow down a bit. I am stopping the world and getting off. Classes will be subbed, (to the disappointment of my students, my being & ego) and after some much needed sleep – I am going to not DO anything. I am going to SIT on my meditation cushion. Bring on the cellulite! Bring on the sloppy muscles! There is currently something in my energy that attracted this hit and I need to clean it up before I step further in the world.

The Current Me, Day Two: Thank You Divine, for allowing me to connect with such a dear, good soul who not only is going to pay for the mistake, but is a gem to meet.

Maybe annoyances are gifts in disguise. Yeah… and maybe not.

Big Note to Share: When life gets crazy; stop the schedule and expectations and SIT. Be with things.

I remember learning from Pema Chodron that when crisis was happening at their monastery, instead of dealing with all the phone calls (this was pre-internet), she chose to sit on her cushion for a longer period of time. Her fellow workers thought she was avoiding.

But, by doing so we:

a) clean up any confused energies that might have attracted the annoyance
b) connect with the Divine to be reminded that we are not the ones who will fix things
c) become one with our practice.

I don’t know about you, but usually when annoying things happen to me, it’s when my personal Sadhana (spiritual practice) is not as strong. And I am learning that when things go crazy, the worst thing is to spend my mind trying to fix things. In fact, I benefit by spending more time making sure that my mind isn’t thinking about the obstacles, so that it will be fresh when it’s time to deal with the obstacles. I am learning to put my mind on my Mantra, with attention to something greater than me, and to practice the art of surrender. Every time I begin this art, things get easier. Every time I resist this practice, and am drawn to the drama and audience to share the drama, things get much more problematic.

The world is happening at a faster pace; and not all of it is enjoyable. The next time you get caught with obstacles – stop. SIT. And BE. Listen, feel silence, and soften. The rest unfolds in ITS time.

I’m holding myself to this intention, regardless of unpaid bills, cellulite, and employment. Miracles happen as a result. It’s really darned cool.

I dare you…

Abridged version Published at Yoga International.