During my latest practice, I was mad.
I didn’t set my intention to be less mad or to get over it. I didn’t want to discover why I was mad; I knew it before stepping on the mat
I wanted to stay good and mad through sun salutations, balances, and heart openers. I wanted my mad to be as exhausted as possible. I wanted my body to melt into a heap of flesh and bones after my practice.
This is why I was mad: One of my most loved relatives was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Although the prognosis is good as this foreign growth was caught relatively early, I knew she was about to go through some long days, some pain, and some tough times. And it’s not fair. It’s so not fair.
“Fuck cancer,” I repeated to myself over and over again.
Fuck cancer in wild thing pose
Fuck cancer in mountain
Fuck cancer in tree pose.
Fuck cancer until the anger was jet fuel until it evaporated into a sweat and exited in breaths. The anger then propelled me into savasana and into mediation.
Then it was gone.
I had spent more of the week in tears and in superhero mode, better know as get shit done mode — doctors appointments, tests, Medicare numbers, and remembers stats like weight and allergies off the top of my head.
I spent most of last week in a cycle of anger and sadness. Anger for her because it’s not fair, and it’s not fair for anyone with cancer. Anger that while I feel like as a family we make one step forward, something happens to slide us three steps back. I was sad because there is more pain coming for her and there was already so much already.
So I needed my mat. I needed to get good and angry. There’s going to be tough times for my family coming up and I need to “be strong”. For me, being strong is channeling the negative energy to be able to lead.
To breathe…I needed to be able to breathe. To learn to breathe all over again.
I needed yoga to teach me how to deal with this.
And as it did, my practice in mid-anger told me this:
Keep going. Keep going. Stumble and keep going. Rest and keep going. Yell and keep going. Use your support — your blocks, your straps — and keep going. You have no choice…keep going.
By the time I returned home, I was smiling. Not happy but smiling. Perhaps it’s better to stay prepared. I was prepared for the next step cancer has for us.
I was prepared to be strong. And that’s all I can really ask for.