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6 Surprising Lessons Yoga Taught Me About Divorce

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About 10 years ago, just after my divorce, a friend invited me to a yoga class. I hadn’t considered trying yoga, but I went anyways, and it taught me so much about marriage and divorce. Here’s what yoga taught me about divorce:

1. Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s mind involves letting go of your expectations for how things were yesterday, ought to be today, or might be tomorrow. When you experience life events with beginner’s mind, you forget your opinions and desires and remain open to seeing things as they are in the present. It’s much of a stretch to see how “beginner’s mind” applies to divorce. Instead of stressing about what’s different after your divorce, the love you lost, and starting over in the future, “beginner’s mind” keeps your focus on your current reality.

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2. Bearing Discomfort

In yoga, you sometimes hold poses long enough for them to become uncomfortable, but you ultimately learn that you can bear that discomfort. After you release each pose, you feel stronger because you accepted and worked through pain. Sometimes you even notice that you’re still holding a previously uncomfortable pose, and the discomfort has passed.

The thing about divorce is that the pain is never far away, no matter which side of the divorce you’re on. Whether you’re the abandoner or the abandonee, divorce is never a painless process. Divorce brings too many changes, upsets, and discomforts, but learning to bear that discomfort will eventually ease the pain – just like in your “downward dog.”

3. Moderation

If you do yoga, you know that you don’t ever want to over-do it. Every morning, you do enough sun salutations to energize you but not so many that you exhaust yourself before your day begins. You need to find moderation, which looks different every day for everyone.

Similarly, when you start your post-divorce life, do everything in moderation. There’s no need to go out every night, make 20 new friends, go on a date every weekend, or take up 15 new hobbies. There’s no good reason to lose multiple pounds this week find the perfect house tomorrow. Knowing that you decide how much is enough for you feels good – both in yoga and after divorce.

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4. Nonjudgment

Yoga can be demanding, and you can’t always be the best in the room. Some teachers advise that you not look beyond your mat in order to stay nonjudgmental of your practice. It’s best to think about your divorce in those terms too. Your divorce isn’t perfect, and it’s unlike anyone else’s – which is perfectly fine. It’s liberating to nonjudgmentally accept your situation as it is without believing that you have to grow faster or better than someone else does.

5. Patience

Patience can take a long time to learn, but it’ll help you navigate both yoga and your divorce. You’ll nail that yoga headstand when you’re ready, and if you can’t, where you are in your practice is enough. You can still practice, but give those new skills time.

Similarly, patience can help you approach your post-divorce life changes. Some days, you’ll feel like you’re healing, and other days, your divorce will still hurt. But no matter where you are in the process, you’ll be fine with time. After all, when you’re healing, what’s the rush?

6. Commitment 

To learn yoga, you have to get to the mat, and just taking that first step is a huge commitment. Committing sincerely and wholeheartedly is a necessary part of practicing yoga. And the more you practice, the more committed you become.

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There are also many goals you might commit to post-divorce. First there’s survival – you commit to getting up every day. Then there’s flourishing – you commit to growing, thriving, and fulfilling yourself. Perhaps there’s even gratitude. With commitment, you’ll master all of the skills that you need to survive your divorce and continue thriving.

These six ways of being aren’t just for anyone who practices yoga – they’re also helpful for anyone who’s going through a divorce. These lessons from yoga can teach you how to live your best life post-divorce.

Originally published on YourTango by Judith Tutin

Featured Photo by Dane Wetton on Unsplash.

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Mental Illness Isn’t ‘Cute’ or ‘Quirky’ — It’s My Life

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Dealing with a mental illness is one of the hardest and longest journeys that one could ever go through. Those who suffer from a mental condition go through several days at a time of brain fog, anxiousness, and sadness. They constantly feel like they’re battling a war within themselves. But I’ve noticed that more and more people seem to believe that dealing with the struggles of my mental illness is quirky and cute. 

My mental illnesses aren’t cute or quirky — they are my life. They constantly take over my mind and my ability to do the things that a woman in her mid-20s would like to do, such as going out with friends or going to college, or traveling. As you can see, this isn’t the cutest thing that could happen to someone. Because of people who call my mental illness ‘quirky,’ I constantly feel like the world doesn’t understand me.  

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A mental illness is something we constantly feel. We feel like we have to fake a smile and pretend that everything’s OK. But more often than not, it’s hard to do that, and things aren’t what they seem to be.   

My mental illness is a part of my everyday life, and it has been for as long as I can remember. Every day is a struggle just to wake up and actually be happy and act like everything is OK. In reality, though, it’s 

the most terrifying thing anyone can go through on a day-to-day basis. One of the reasons why it’s so scary is that you don’t know what can or will trigger you each and every day. 

There’s nothing cute or quirky about the nerve-wracking feeling you get when you have to think about how to perform a certain task. 

It makes you feel alone and misunderstood by the whole world. I have no choice but to accept that reality of my life, which isn’t funny or quirky. If I could describe my mental illness as anything, it would have to be ‘dreadful’ and ‘painful.’ I don’t know what tomorrow or even today might bring and what I’ll be capable of doing because of the numerous obstacles I have to overcome each and every day. 

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Part of my life is constantly worrying about the things I have in store for me. This also includes worrying about my loved ones and them worrying about me. And there’s nothing cute and quirky about that. 

Ultimately, I think people should think about how they approach people with mental illness. They should think about the misconceptions they have and that they are never true. Nothing about mental illness is cute.

Featured image via Tan Danh on Pexels

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It’s Your Duty As A Member Of Society To Get Your Covid Booster

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I’m not the type of person who likes to be vocal about controversial or political beliefs. As someone with immense social anxiety and general fear of people, I would rather silently observe what other people debate on social media instead of putting my voice into the conversation. If a stranger looked at my social profiles, they’d see me as Switzerland with no strong beliefs in any particular direction. But when it comes to COVID-19 booster shots, I can’t stay silent anymore. 

The other day, I read a maddening post on Facebook from one of my friends. She wrote that the booster shot didn’t work because she still became sick with the highly contagious omicron variant. She ranted about how the booster shot made her sick for two days, only for her to become infected with COVID-19 about a month later. ... had thousands of likes. I felt sick to my stomach as I read comments from people thanking this girl for “saving them” before they got their booster. It’s not the first time I’ve seen misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, but something in me snapped this time. So, now I’m finally speaking up. 

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For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE get your COVID-19 booster shot as soon as you possibly can. 

Contrary to what this “friend” of mine believes, the COVID-19 vaccines were never meant to eliminate the risk of becoming infected. But the vaccines are still saving lives by lowering your risk of becoming sick if you are exposed to the coronavirus and mitigating your symptoms if you do fall ill. They also lower your risk of requiring hospitalization if infected, which is important because the healthcare system is overwhelmed. Like me, the scientific and medical communities believe that vaccinations and booster shots will be key to ending the pandemic. But only if everyone participates. 

At this point, I’ve lost track of how many articles I’ve read about exhausted healthcare workers discussing time and time again how every patient in their ICU and the people who are dying are unvaccinated. And even as new variants emerge, science shows that fully vaccinated and boosted people are still relatively well protected from a severe case of COVID-19. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather deal with milder cold- or flu-like symptoms. I could ride them out at home instead of being faced with death in the ICU. The same argument applies to the side effects of the COVID-19 booster shot itself. I’ll gladly feel crappy for a day or two if it means my life isn’t at risk. 

I hate to break it to you: Being young does not mean you are invincible. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, and death doesn’t discriminate based on age. 

Ever since the omicron variant became the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States, a record number of children and young people have been admitted to hospitals. So don’t let yourself become a number in those statistics. 

As we learn more about COVID-19 and new mutations appear, what it means to be fully vaccinated is changing. I believe that soon, you will need to have your booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated. In fact, it’s already a requirement to have your booster shot before you’re allowed to come into the office at my workplace. This is because fully vaccinated people are less likely to spread COVID-19 to others. 

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If you aren’t willing to get fully vaccinated for yourself, then I beg you to take the shot for others. You may be okay if you become infected. You might even be asymptomatic and have no idea that you’re COVID-19-positive in the first place. But at the time of writing this, more than 800,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States. So clearly, not everyone who gets COVID-19 makes it. In fact, many people’s grandparents are on a ventilator. And some parents orphaned their children because they were exposed to COVID-19 by someone who wasn’t fully vaccinated or boosted. 

The way I see it, getting your booster shot doesn’t benefit just you. It’s your duty as a member of society and a common courtesy for everyone around you. 

Featured image via Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

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