The balance between effort and surrender

Had a lunch meeting today where one of the pet nutrition companies came in to talk about obesity in animals.  About 60% of all dogs and cats seen at veterinary clinics are overweight but less than half of their owners realize it.  An interesting and sobering statistic.

I also had 20 minutes where I got to ask their veterinarian, an internal medicine specialist, all kinds of questions about some of the more challenging cases that I’ve been seeing.  She was a wealth of knowledge and very generous with her advice.

So where am I going with this?  I managed to work all morning, even though I had a cough.  That’s all that’s left of my cold from earlier this week.  Guess I squeezed out just enough effort to get me through my half-day at the clinic before I had a coughing fit.  It erupted right at the end of the seminar.  Fortunately, the vet giving the lecture kept talking despite my interruption.  Not sure what set me off.  Could have caught a chill from sitting in the drafty room?  I left briefly and returned but had to leave again when I couldn’t stop the coughing anymore.  I surrendered!  My body was saying, “OK, time to call it quits.  Go home.”

So here I am again, for the second time this week, spending my time off resting in bed.

It made me think back to the days when I was still a student.  Grade school.  High school.  University.  Whenever a holiday rolled around, I’d get sick.  It was as if my body knew that it could let go for a few days of recuperation after all the stress of studying.

The funny thing about having this cold is that it hasn’t been too hectic at the clinic for me lately.  And I wash my hands so many times a day between appointments that I seldom get ill from work.  Nope.  I got this cold from my husband, who got it from his colleagues at work.  Sickness by association.

The idea of effort and surrender popped into my head as I drove myself home.  Maintain just enough energy to keep going.  Then know when and how much to let go and release.  It’s the complementary contrast of Anusara yoga.  It’s what I practice on the mat when I align myself in a pose.  It’s spilling over into the flow of my life.  I’m learning that I don’t have to fight the fight all the time.  Instead of resisting or forcing, it’s more about balancing my actions.