Do you remember that horrifying commercial about how far the germs of a sneeze fly? It was in a movie theater…the image is seared into my brain. We have been appropriately trained to sneeze into our sleeve, wash our hands, and never touch the door handle of public bathrooms (for the love of all things good and holy).
I woke up a weeeeee bit crabby this morning. Then my family woke up. Despite my husband and kids being in a fine and easy mood, I Emotionally Sneezed on them; covering them in a broad spectrum of bacteria of impatience, resentment, disappointment, and a literal pain in my neck. Now they are at school and work and I am imagining them getting the emotional sniffles and have maybe sneezed on the kid next to them who accidentally (maybe) took their pen. Or possibly my husband has emotionally coughed all over the co-worker who doesn’t want to do that grunt job either. I am not going to take all the blame for passing on my crabby germs. I don’t think this allllll started in my emotional petri dish. I picked up some crud from this person and that. The current weather of perpetual clouds and rain creates a perfect growing environment for my lethargy & general discontent with the world. And then I pass it on to you, and you pass it on your family, and they pass it on to your co-workers, friends, and enemies.
Recognizing this truth, how do we strengthen our mental & spiritual immune systems with as much passion as we do our digestive tract or allergy season? When I feel a cold coming on I start drinking ALL the apple cider vinegar-lemon-honey-hot water. I have drank sooooooooo much of that concoction that I start to sweat apple cider vinegar. Seriously people. How do we bounce back a little quicker and with more ease from bouts of resentment, anxiety, something stupid said, a mistake, or even serious ass-holery.
A crabby, pissy, and very bad mood (righteous or not) does not feel good in my body. It doesn’t feel good like how stubbing your toe in a door jam feels. Menstrual cramps. A blister on your heel. Taking a shower with a bad sunburn or chafing after a long walk/run. Even though a bad mood feels pretty miserable in my bones, I don’t rush to remedy a bad mood like I rush to put on ice pack on my throbbing toe. More often than not I pick at it, bang against it, and make it only worse until I cannot tolerate myself anymore. Guh. Are you ever just weary of your crabby self?
There is lots and lots of research being done on the benefits of yoga these days.The first and easiest assumption is that it is good for your body to stretch, move, strengthen, and rest. The benefits of yoga is a pretty easy sell for your physical health and well-being. But, what is also proving to be good for your physical health is tending to your mental & spiritual health. How has grief, joy, anger, confusion, heartache, loss, depression landed in your body? How is your mental & spiritual systems able to process and metabolize those experiences? It seems that a regular practice of yoga (even 5 minutes a day is better than once a month for an hour) plants good seeds of gratitude, patience, humility, ease, compassion, flexibility, on and on.
Let’s try to spread better germs, eh? How about we emotionally sneeze more life-giving strains of bacteria? Maybe we can take a daily spiritual probiotic to help us digest and more easily process the emotions of daily life. The Meditation Mantra of the Month is the Loving Kindness Meditation. We’ll practice it at the end of each class.I’m also going to tape it to my phone. I’m going to take a little shot of it throughout the day to help strengthen my immune system,
like I pop those vitamin c lozenges during cold season.
Get your pen and a small piece of paper. Write it down and keep it somewhere that you will have frequent opportunities to be exposed to the good bacteria & shore your immune system up for the exposure to all the crud.
LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION
May you be filled with loving kindness. — May you be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. — May you be peaceful and at ease. — May you be truly happy and free.
The next Saturday Morning Retreat is this Saturday, 9a.m.-noon at Philo Presbyterian Church. It’s about creating a daily practice that is as part of your life as brushing your teeth or drinking a cup of coffee. If you are interested in coming, please let me know soon by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope your immune system is working strong for your best self today.
Peace on your head, you.