I did not practice much last week because I am still in the hospital now. However, I really want to share how I strongly experienced CHOICE regarding the first part of Jennifer’s class.
Last Wednesday morning when I woke up, I felt incredibly exhausted and sleepy. Yet, I knew the exhaustion and sleepiness were from my medicine. My wisdom tooth was a little inflamed, and the dentist asked me to take medicine for a week, so I could go in for the tooth extraction after that. In fact, I was really struggling with the decision to attend the webinar or skip it, but my brain told me that I could not skip any live-streamed webinar. Otherwise, I would lose the chance to interact with other classmates and group shares. Basically, my brain was trying to force my body to take the webinar. In other words, I chose not to listen to my body instead of ignoring my brain.
As a result, while Jennifer was leading us in standing postures and reminding us about choices, I was feeling nausea in my stomach and also starting to cold sweat. At that moment, I still chose to listen to my brain. I told myself, “Just focus on my breath and slow down my path, and everything will be fine after the practice.” Unfortunately, the stronger I emphasized this, the much more discomfort assailed my body, covering me like sea waves. I firmly chose to follow Jennifer’s lead until I really could not afford it any longer, and also heard my body screaming, so I chose to stop and asked to skip the remainder of the webinar. However, I chose to stop because my body forced me to choose instead of choosing myself.
After resting for a few hours, I felt better and I went to work. I noticed that somehow my brain again convinced me to choose to work. Because I was one of the lead teachers of the yoga teacher training program, I regarded it as my obligation. Moreover, I trusted that medicine could relieve my pain. Relying on the medicine was ineffective and I noticed I had to stand the pain and discomfort to complete my work Wednesday. On Thursday morning, my left cheek became obviously more swollen than the previous day, and I felt much more pain as well. I convinced myself that the pain I felt was still below my edge, or I should say my brain again convinced me that my obligation superseded my edge. I still went to teach until that evening. I felt my body was not right and eventually noticed that I had a slight fever. I immediately went to see the dentist and she sent me to the emergency room because I had developed a cellulitis infection. In the emergency room, I was arranged for each inspection and the results showed that the infection had progressed to a dangerous level. I eventually passed out, but had the intuition to make arrangements for the following day. These arrangements included informing another lead teacher that I wouldn’t be able to make the yoga teacher training, finding sub teachers for my classes, canceling all my private sessions, calling my friend to take care of my dog, informing my mom, etc. Every choice I made was concise and determined in a short time. I noticed in those moments that I was not fearful or nervous. Instead, I was so calm and concentrated on what I needed at that present time, and what was of paramount importance. I found myself balancing care of my health and my general schedule at the same time. Though I still felt anxious because I was unsure what would happen next, remaining present reminded me of focusing on the now consistently.
For the next few days, I spent time wandering between IV treatments, check-ups, and in and out of sleep. I just lay on a sickbed and followed the doctors’ and nurses’ instructions. Lao Zi said, “Take things as they come.” During those days, I practiced the essence of this wisdom and immersed myself in what was happening now. In other words, I accepted it with sincere conviction. It also reminded me that Michael had once said if we intended to make a wise choice, we had to accept the reality of what was first. Through this experience, I deeply sensed this process again. Accepting sincerely, and then choosing from the heart.
Today I feel much better, though I still have a long treatment to proceed until the infection is cleared. However, after I truly accepted the current situation, I feel more relieved and safer. Also, my sincere acceptance led me to approach my making wise choices that were all from my body, my present, and my heart. I also realized that a wise choice does not mean a fancy one that can make a big change right away. More correctly, a wise choice can lead me to go forward one small step at a time. Even though it is just a baby step, we continue moving on. When the consequence does not match up with what we want, we still can step back wisely, introspect presently, make another choice, and then head forward again. It is like my doctor’s process: inspect – medicine – inspect – adjust medicine – inspect – repeat. When I asked her when I could do the tooth extraction, she answered me, “Let’s observe step by step, it takes time. All you have to do now is to accept the treatment patiently.“
Living in our daily lives every moment and every day requires many decisive choices. As long as we notice and listen to ourselves consciously and patiently, we can always make wise choices in terms of what we really require!