This summer we had our house painted. A crew of hardworking men showed up, prepped the house, and then started spraying the new paint. It was in that moment that I freaked out.
The painters were up on 20-foot ladders, precariously balancing as they painted my house, and I was the one freaking out. Over what you ask? I’m almost embarrassed to say...but over the color.
After many laborious attempts to find the right paint, we ended up crafting a custom color that we loved. A dusky charcoal blue. Well, let me be clear, we loved the 5-inch sample squares we painted on a couple sides of the garage. But when it went on the entire house, OH MY GAWD. All I could see was PURPLE.
I am not a character in a Dr. Seuss book. I do not want green eggs and ham. And, I do not want a purple house. I had asked the painters twice about the color prior to them starting, and they assured me it was the right mix that we requested. But again, holy sh*t, my house was PURPLE.
So, I did what every completely sane person who goes temporarily insane does. I freaked out. I sent my working husband multiple texts, which made him spontaneously end his work day and come home early. Upon arrival, he also saw a slight tinge of purple. Let’s wait to see how it looks when it’s completely dry, he said coolly. It was what I had been telling myself, but having a hard time executing.
So, I did some yoga and pranayama. I read a yoga sutra that helped me chill out. Then I recorded a video for a private client. Hours later, I was beginning to relax. In case you’re interested, the paint dried quite nicely into a deep indigo blue.
I share this very long winded story of my first-world problem to highlight a few things.
Yoga teachers are humans too. We freak out just like the rest of the world. In many cases, we may have the tendency to overreact more than the average person...and this is why we are initially drawn to the calming effects that asana and meditation practices provide.
I’m a fiery individual. I have to put in “the work” of mindfulness and self-awareness. Being zen doesn’t come naturally to me. I overthink, which often can turn into undue stress. Long ago during the gag award ceremony in high school, I was given an award I mistakenly heard as “Biggest Warrior.” In fact, it was “Biggest Worrier.”
My husband, on the other hand, is like a Maybelline commercial when it comes to embodying a calmer essence - he was just born with it.
It’s important to me to be authentic in my sharing and that’s why I poke fun at my ridiculous behavior. Recently I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a while and when she asked how I was, I told her the truth - that I was in the midst of trying to figure out where my career was headed and it was disorienting and nerve-wracking. She replied, “Wow, how refreshing to hear an authentic response.”
It’s good to hear the truth in any situation, even if it riles you up. Our work is to cultivate healthy self-care tools to manage our stress and discomfort. Yoga, meditation, coloring, exercising...find something that works for you. Not everything will go as planned. How we react to various situations is the only thing we can control. Self-awareness first. Self-improvement next. Similar to primer first, paint next. “Seeing purple” is optional.