This morning I listened to the thunder bang and shake the window frames of my house for hours. The looming grey skies threatened to dump a tropical storm over the gulf region. I watched for the clouds to break or for the crashing rain to come. I was willing to give it time to run its course before I headed out for my Tuesday run. I go from my home straight down to the waterfront and then weave my way through my beautiful neighborhood known as “The Cove,” a three-mile jaunt. I watched out my office window while balancing my willingness to go at a moment’s notice. Finally I decided the skies were more talk than action like the day before. Only a few drops fell as I made my way out. Gratefully, I made it back before any lightening appeared or rains drenched me.
Yesterday was a swim day. The pool remained closed a bit beyond the regular opening time of 7a.m. due to lightening strikes in the area. Pool staff must watch for 30 minutes after a strike to make sure there aren’t any more. I accomplished getting across the 50-meter lane without stopping for the first time yesterday. FINALLY! It was all thanks to a watchful and willing young lifeguard named Brandon. Every day I come to the pool he asks me how it is all going. I had shared my goal of my training for my first triathlon a few weeks prior. I told him last week my breath is still freaking me out during our impromptu check-in.
It became he had been watching me. He gave me instruction on creating a cadence for my breath. Instead of blowing everything out at once he suggested I count 1, 2 and then exhale on 3 just before I turn my head to bring new air in. He also gave me some other tips about my form. I was grateful for his being willing to share with me what he had observed to make me more efficient. I am still nervous I won’t make the full 400 meters at the triathlon in just over a month. I am having a hard imagining myself doing 7 more laps like that in open water! I am trying to visualize myself making it around the roped watercourse of Lake Tahoe. I am willing to continue to work on this, while I also keep a watchful eye on the negative self-talk coming up as I visualize completing the full 400 meters. It is a rough balancing act.
Last week I was preparing my yoga classes to teach and reflected on the theme of watchfulness and being willing in my own life recently. As an aspiring Anusara teacher (working towards my inspired status) I am practicing the use of inspiring themes in each of my classes, a tenet of being an Anusara teacher. This last week I encouraged folks in my classes to be willing to try a new approach to their practice since many of them are new to me and Anusara. I asked them to consider new asanas (yoga postures) they had yet to do. I also requested they be watchful of their desires to push or lay back as they moved their bodies. It was beautiful to see students with older bodies attempt handstands for the first time ever and young bodies be mindful of how they were pushing their bodies.
I wonder what I will be prompted to be willing to be watchful of next?