Mindfulness and the Challenges of Everyday Life By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor • September 4, 2018
Mindfulness, the great buzzword of 2018, is more attainable when you are surrounded by an environment focused more exclusively on looking inward. This really rang true for me two summers ago, when I spent a couple weeks in the California desert. I was in beautiful Ojai, for the specific purpose of immersing myself even further into the practice of yoga. During those 14 days, I was in the company of like-minded yogis, training together to teach others the practice so close to all of our hearts. We were called to spend time in silence, meditate, and nourish our bodies with freshly prepared foods. We were gifted with time to take walks in the desert, soak up the hot and cold of saltwater pools, and delve deeper into the history of the tradition we treasure. Mindfulness was always on the menu.
Then I went through airport security. I remember being shocked as I was thrust back into the world.
And so the real work began again.
Living the Trend
True mindfulness training is tested when you’re navigating the responsibilities and challenges of everyday life. When faced with long lines, canceled flights, and the exhaustion of living with a chronic disease, it’s easy to retreat to a frustrated, defeated mindset.
This is actually what first led me to yoga, a discipline that has nurtured, challenged, and guided me quietly to a space of serenity since my diagnosis of relapsing MS 17 years ago.
It is when we choose to find joy in spite of challenges that we begin to tune into the gift that is mindfulness. And arriving there victoriously requires courageous surrender.
As someone who likes to feel in control, I am constantly battling my own notions of the way “things should be.” But during that teacher training in the sundrenched desert, I was constantly reminded to embrace situations for everything that they actually are, and not to compare what is here and true to the perfect vision I had in my mind.
And at no time is that concept of mindful surrender more present than when faced with the challenges of multiple sclerosis. Aches, pains, fatigue, and forgetfulness remind me that my disease is a constant companion, one that shape-shifts unpredictably with the passing of each day.
I have learned that those times when my relapsing MS symptoms flare up tend to be fewer and more far between when I am taking the best care of myself—prioritizing sleep and resisting the urge to overbook my schedule.
Living mindfully with relapsing MS asks us to say no when we need to rest. It also tells us to sometimes push through when giving up is not an option.
Mindfulness is personal, powerful, and always available, even when we choose to ignore it. It blesses us with endless opportunities to be grateful and to grow in our struggles. Without these challenges, we lose sight of the resilience that resides inside all of us, the fight and the light that refuses to give up and give in.
The journey to mindfulness may not always look quiet and peaceful, and choosing to do the work is not for the faint of heart. But I have found that living with relapsing MS drew me toward the mindfulness movement, before it was considered “cool,” inspiring me to find joy and gratitude and beauty in the simple gifts of this life we are all blessed to live.
That in itself is a gift I will always treasure.
How do you practice mindfulness in your day-to-day life?
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
Taking Care of Yourself: Why “Me Time” Matters
By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor, June 20, 2017
When you’re trying to juggle work, family, and the general responsibilities of running a household, forgetting to make pampering
Just Breathe: What Teaching Yoga Has Taught Me
By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor, February 20, 2017
Currently, I work as a writer with a medical marketing communications company, and a couple of years ago, my company gave me the
Attend a live event or watch one online to learn more about LEMTRADA.
More From this Blogger
A Moment to Remember: Choosing LEMTRADA
January 9, 2017
When I was diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis at 19 years old, I was terrified, to say the ...
My Infusion Encounters
December 14, 2016
Over the years I had grown accustomed to the injection drill. Premedicate by taking an anti-inflamma ...
The Power of Positivity: Living with Relapsing MS
December 12, 2016
When I was diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2001, my first instinct was to panic. My m ...