I often need a splash of reality

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Water in the face wakes you up. Before I explain that, let me give some background information.

I teach yoga, which is about linking mind, body and spirit. In class I talk about the value of slowing down, not piling so much into life that we lose the joy of the moment. As I said, I talk about this in class. Last week I got a lesson in practicing what I preach.

The morning was off to a great start. I realized I could get by without washing and styling my hair, giving me extra time. It was Thursday, the day I have yoga class, so extra time was a gift.

My plan was to start the day relaxed. I was enjoying breathing and relaxing in my favorite bedroom chair, gazing out my favorite window when my mind started chattering. Instead of letting the thoughts float by, I listened.

“Mikelyn is awake and eating breakfast,” it whispered. “You could get out there in the garden before you leave. You’ve got time to pick the squash and tomatoes.”

Even as I listened I knew that might push things. Didn’t matter; instead of taking my own advice about not piling too much into life, I headed to the garden.

As I pulled the last tomato, the voice returned.

“The garden looks dry,” my busy mind said. “You could water it while you finish getting ready.”

And so I did that.

Now for more background information … I do not have professional sprinklers installed in my garden. I have Nancy’s redneck irrigation system, a series of water hoses with Y-connectors stretched all over the place. The water source is a faucet sandwiched between the deck and my central unit. To turn it on I twist my body into the space, which puts my face directly over the faucet.

Back to Thursday morning … To arrive at yoga class in plenty of time, I needed to leave my house about 9:15 and I was doing good time wise.

At 9:16 my daughter and I were in the car and I congratulated myself on the things I got done. That is when I remembered the water. I raced across the deck and twisted into position to reach the faucet.

More background … The day before, one side of the Y-connector at the faucet stopped working, so I capped it and switched the hose to the other side until I could get a replacement for the connector.

I reached to turn off the water and at that moment the broken connector blew its top. A geyser hit me full in the face. I was wet, beyond wet, soaked — my hair, my clothes. Any trace of makeup was gone.

My know-it-all mind said nothing. My mouth said a bad word.

I raced inside, slapped makeup over what was left of the earlier application and dried my hair without my favorite hairbrush, which was in the car along with my daughter.

At 9:30, I left home wearing damp clothes, praying for no traffic between my house and the Wellness Center. I listened to soothing music as I drove, and that’s when another voice joined the conversation in my head.

“Did you learn anything?” it asked. “Who caused this tizzy? Did you practice what you preach or did you squeeze too much into too little time?”

I smiled realizing the soaking might be a message from my soul to slow down.

I’d like to say the lesson sunk in, but the geyser got me again Thursday afternoon when, in my rush to water a flowerbed before dark, I forgot my morning experience.

It takes a lot of water to wake some of us up.