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The Art Of Unfortunate Events + Living In The Unknown!

KathrynBudigI was recently asked what yoga means to me. My sentiments about this question are deeper and richer than a seven layer buttercream cake. The answer directly correlates to the current affairs of my life, so I simply stated,

“Yoga is okay with not knowing the answers.”

There were many ingredients needed to create this delicious answer so I’ll need to backtrack a bit. It started about two months ago when I learned a very pivotal lesson.

Never get off the right side of a motorcycle.

My partner and I were enjoying an afternoon ride on his new Christmas present. I’m no stranger to playing his backpack-koala on a bike. However, this new bike happened to have a massive silver muffler that I managed to singe my skin on for no longer than a second as I hopped off the wrong side (pivotal lesson #2: never wear shorts on a motorcycle).

All it took was one second of absent mindedness to give me a solid second degree burn on my calf and a buddy for life. My partner consoled me saying that everyone would know what kind of burn it was and how it’s a ‘badass’ symbol of my bike riding. All I could see was a lack of seated poses and pressure on my leg in the yoga room. After nursing my wound properly I made peace with the fact that my yoga practice would have to take the back burner (I know, bad joke) for the next week or so.

I manage to keep my humor while teaching as I continuously bumped into my burn, causing an interpretive modern-like yoga dance. I was finally in the home stretch of healing and ready to get back to my regular practice when mishap #2 happened.

Bad skydive landing.

Yes, I know. It’s my own fault because no one is forcing me to jump out of a plane. Yet, with over 100 jumps under my belt I managed to have the weirdest and most pathetic landing of my skydiving career. I failed to judge my distance to the ground when landing and hand a nice, solid smack right on the tip of my derrière. It was one of the moments where you can’t even begin to garner a decent excuse.

I screwed up. Bad.

Accepting my idiocy, I hobbled back to my home where ice, arnica and ice cream ensued. I knew this injury would take its sweet time in recuperating. Standing and sitting became a comedy of errors and my yoga room might as well have been padlocked. The future was looking bleak and no relief was in site. It was time for the third (and I pray final) blow.

Sinus surgery.

Yes, I have struggled with a honking schnoz since I was a little girl. I always thought I’d ask for two more inches of height if the wish fairy came along, but it slowly turned into finding a way to kill off my allergies instead. They became so brutal when I transitioned my life from L.A. to Florida, that I went into see a specialist and the result: Sinusitis. I needed surgery.

I did my fair share of research and found it to be a relatively easy procedure that reaped awesome results. I had this surgery four days ago and now sit on my couch writing this article as chasing after my dogs in the backyard just felt like running a marathon. Doctor’s orders are to just relax for at least 1-2 weeks. This means no physical activity and certainly no Downward Facing Dog.

Cue psychotic meltdown music.

It sometimes feels like the world is against us. Whether it be a string of unfortunate events that prevents us from doing what we love or the mental blockage to achieve what we dream about. I have longed for my asana practice deeply knowing that truly, the best thing for me at this moment is rest. I’m learning to make peace with the unknown and all of the interesting characters that keep it a page turner.

Think of it this way – the best books we read have twists and turns. The character’s fate is always in jeopardy, the love affair is rocky, the answers are scattered in the wind. It’s intriguing and exciting. It’s especially exciting because it’s safe—it’s all happening safely in a land far away on the pages of a book to a character that doesn’t even exist.

But here’s the catch—we do. In the same way that you don’t want to read the last page of the book before you begin, you have to trust that the story of our lives is taking us to the end of each chapter so it can begin an even more rich and exciting progressive one. There will be acts of our lives that are dreary and frustrating, but these pass onto the third act that introduces new characters, themes and opportunities.

I’ve been wanting to skip this chapter when I forgot that I won’t understand the next one if I don’t pay attention to the one I’m currently in.

So, to return to the beginning. What does yoga mean to me? I wanted it to be daily practice, constant strength and endless abilities. Yet my slew of unfortunate (but perfect) events has reminded me that yoga and my life is about being happy in the unknown. Enjoying each moment as it enters my life and trusting that it all serves a purpose to make my story even more amazing.

The End. (for now)

Love,

Kathryn

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  • Susan Huff

    Ok, so I never comment on these reads as much as I LOVE them, but honey you are singing to the CHOIR- yup, I love my Yoga, and for a year (abet I am 52) I have either been unable to sleep – a total life WRECKER – you have no idea, well maybe you do? OR– to tired to face a mat yet alone get on one, EVERYTHING takes longer when you are without sleep – THEN ok, I had to get on my bike, and YUP big time crash, shoulder,” ribs, knee, in bed in my” NEW” house for a month(oh yea – weather outside PERFECT – YIKES) - I DO NOT LIKE being down, i want to bike, run, bake, garden in a HURRY! - so fast forward a YEAR later, still sleep issues, shoulder still healing, I do yoga nidra and CRY for my old body – YET- YET, the best lesson of all has finally popped in my tiny brain, I AM NOT MY BODY, I AM NOT YOGA , I AM NOT MY HOUSE, I AM NOT MY GET IT DONE ATTITUDE, I am me at this momen–t I am just me and that is ENOUGH – there are no guarantees and at some point we let it all go, maybe I am getting to the place of letting it all go( THE NEED TO DO IT TO FEEL BETTER) - but the bliss of the joy of connecting with you – THANK YOU DEAR one and heal well, there is so much to LOVE! and so many, <3 Susan

    • Kathryn Budig

      healing energy to you, too!

  • http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/ Sarah Noel

    Kathryn,

    I love this!  I love your analogy of life to reading a book.  Each chapter builds, and we need to read each chapter in order to understand the next!  Thanks for sharing that concept, it’ll help me view life differently! 

    I sympathize with your not being able to do your yoga practice due to the slew of injuries. 
    I’m a runner.  I love running.  I love the cardio work out I get, I love the free feeling of running outside, I love running with my dogs, giving them a good work out too, and I love competing in 5Ks for charities. 

    But a series of injuries have sidelined my running, off and on, for 5 months now. 
    It started back in September when I played in an adult kickball tournament.  It was muddy, so all the stopping, starting, and changing direction, while trying not to slip, over-worked my toes.  It sounds silly, but my toes were the sorest part of my body the next day!  Or at least I thought they were just sore.  As the days accumulated, and the “soreness” felt more like pain, I began to worry.  As I usually do, I self-diagnosed myself via the internet.  I had turf toe.  All the symptoms matched.  The treatment?  At least 3 weeks of no activity that would put weight and pressure on the toe.  Fine.  I stopped running.  I felt more bad for my dogs, as they were forced to walk with me instead of run, than I felt for myself.  When my toes were finally feeling better, I started running again.  Then one day, running in the snow, I reinjured my toe.  I’m back to not running, at least through the month of February.  It gave me a concrete time frame… then I’ll reevaluate. 

    Aside from the on-going toe issue, I’ve recently felt pain in the arch of my foot.  I just figured it was tired from having been on my feet more than usual (I just took on a part-time job in a florist…on my feet all the time).  But then the pain got worse, and I looked it up online again.  I believe it’s plantar fasciitis.  I’m now doing stretches for that, which do seem to be helping, and plan on buying new, cushioned, supportive shoes tomorrow. 

    Fine.  Aside from those 2 foot issues, I’ve been having increasing hip pain.  In high school I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  I had to stop running cross country when I was 15 b/c of it.  Then I forgot all about it, funnily enough.  Now, at the age of 35, I’m feeling in majorly in my hips, having been running the past 20 years, off and on.  I’ve started taking glucosamine supplements, which actually do help. 

    Alas… lots of issues for a runner.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to run as much or as fast as I used to… but maybe that’s just b/c something else is out there for me.  Maybe it’s just time to move on.  At the very least though, I would like to get back to being able to run with my dogs.  That’s my goal as I take time off of running right now to heal. 

    I wish you the best in your continued journey back to yoga.  :) 

    Sarah

    http://beyouliveyourdream.blogspot.com/2013/02/think-small.html

    • Kathryn Budig

      i think keeping the right attitude is half the battle. lots of support to you:)

  • Loribelles

    Your new battle wound on the calf is commonly referred to as a ‘Goan Kiss’. If you have spent any  time in Goa you will come to understand this term. Heal thy well Kathryn.

    • Kathryn Budig

      funny enough i first heard about this burn in asia. .  ..thank you:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=36608297 Julia A. Signorelli

    Hi, Kathryn!

    The Universe certainly has a way of not-so-gently reminding us that we simply cannot control everything, doesn’t it? (Grrrrr…) I have had a different set of ailments and setbacks to contend with and found myself nodding often as I read this piece. You should know that your words and your work are a continual source of inspiration to me and so many others…and I know that I am not alone in sending much healing and happiness your way!

    • Kathryn Budig

      very much appreciated xo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541435642 Chase Brock

    Hello Kathryn!

    Thank you for your honest and personal blog post.  Like most others, I have suffered through injuries and strings of injuries that have prevented me from my asana practice.  (e.g. I was so excited to attend your workshop in Nashville, that I participated with a significant wrist injury…eating ibuprofen like they were tic-tacs and icing every moment I was off the mat.) Terrible, terrible idea…that wrist injury turned into 6+ weeks of modified asana with no arm balances nor handstands – but it has forced me to seriously reevaluate my alignment…with a constructive perspective maybe it was a “perfect event”.

    When recovering from injuries I have often felt like I was going to lose my mind and thought “why now? why me?”  It’s easy to see our famous and inspiring role models as having perfect, obstacle-free lives.  As if the god’s granted them a free pass to bliss, fame, perfection, and of course no injuries.  Social media and pretty pictures do a lot to reinforce these false ideas.  The truth is that living life and achieving success (great or small) takes a massive amount of time, hard work, setbacks, and failures.  

    Mastin stated today “there is only ONE THING we can control and that is… the MEANING that we give the events of our life.”   As you opined: “It sometimes feels like the world is against us. Whether it be a string of unfortunate events that prevents us from doing what we love or the mental blockage to achieve what we dream about.” I’m currently struggling with the latter and have gained some perspective and inspiration from your post.  I especially like the analogy to a great book (reminds me of Joseph Campbell). Kathyrn, Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing with just the right amount of humor :)   I walk away repeating to myself  “Hello Mr. Unknown, it’s time for us to be friends…”

  • Yulia Heaton

    AMEN! perfect blog for me today. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248063913 Amy Renee

    xoxo

  • Pat Maltais

    ” In the same way that you don’t want to read the last page of the book
    before you begin, you have to trust that the story of our lives is
    taking us to the end of each chapter so it can begin an even more rich
    and exciting progressive one. There will be acts of our lives that are
    dreary and frustrating, but these pass onto the third act that
    introduces new characters, themes and opportunities.”…..love your reflection on the past seemingly bad events in your recent life Kathryn….lends fuel to the addage ‘there is always good that comes thru bad’….life is one big sinewave & the more we are attuned to just accepting the fact that this is exactly the way it is supposed to unfold then life becomes one big adventure!  When in the troughs of life, it brings you some relief in knowing that something ‘better’ is arriving as you eventually will leave the current trough & climb up & ride a peak once again.  As we gain experience in life it seems we can ride these peaks longer each time…hope your next peak will bring you to an even higher level of existence Kathryn…adventure on!:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248063913 Amy Renee

    Hello Kathryn

    Big love to you! You are such an inspiration. Thank you for shining your unbelievably bright sparkly light! 

    My practice wanes from time to time. Sometimes I beat myself up for it, but most of the time it makes me realize just how important it is to my existence. Honoring the current season of ones life is huge and can be life changing. 

    Hopefully next time you’re in Portland, I can make it to one of your workshops. 

    Sending lots of healing light your way. Namaste!

  • Becky

    Love it Kathryn, so true! It’s not until our bodies can’t do what we’ve come to expect and sometimes take for granted, that we truly start to appreciate them I think! I broke my arm badly in a skiing accident a few years back, and that was a big old step on the road to changing the way I think about my body. Never mind “I don’t like this bit” or “why doesn’t that bit look as good as hers”…. dammit it all WORKS! It does what it’s meant to do, and that’s pretty incredible! Sending you love and “good health” vibes! :-) 

  • http://DjShayn.com/ Shayn Almeida

    XoX

  • Sherri

    Kathryn – I was moved to tears this morning after I completed your Beginners Foundation practice from yogaglo.  In fact recently that’s been routine as I am finally beginning to see progress in my healing journey and feel incredibly grateful for you and your brilliant work. I can relate so much to your post.  I too have had multiple, back to back aliments that have put me on an emotional roller coaster and have greatly hindered my physical activity.  And to think months earlier I had the privledge of accomplishing one of your Level 3 classes in Santa Monica (I live in Florida) . Was such a proud moment for me.  Only months later to humbly be forced to start from ground zero.  In your practice you talk about how you won’t be injured forever even if it feels like it.  You suggest the idea of “you’re getting stronger” as a good mantra.  Know I hold on to those words dearly and fully believe in them.  I hope you too can bring these words into your awareness often and soon rejoice in your body’s ability to come back into balance.  I’m sending you a silent blessing now for wholeness, light and love.  And expect to see you on the mat soon. 

  • Kimberly Hasty

    I’m not quite sure how I stumbled across this blog, but I know it came to me for a reason. I am in the process of a major shift in my life. 2012 was the worst year of my life, with absolute no exaggeration intended. From business to personal, to love and in life, so much went wrong that I actually hoped for 12.12.12. to be the end. Since it wasn’t and I continue to wake each day, I know that there must be something better in store for me. I have recently returned to yoga and have spent almost every day of 2013 on the mat. There are days that I feel strong and other days, I am crying silently, inside and out. I am anxiously awaiting for the next chapter, to see the new character that evolves and to be able to look back in amazement once I understand why my life has unfolded the way it has. Until that happens, I continue to visit my mat. The days change. The way I react to life depends on how well I accept it, and honestly, sometimes it’s not accepted very well. But the yoga – the yoga never changes. And for this, I am thankful. It is where I find peace  and strength to carry on. 

    Thank you for an awe inspiring post. I am your newest fan. 

  • Paloma

    I really enjoyed your writing in this piece, clear and smooth;  I don’t do yoga, but I could get the feel of it a bit from your post. Hope your bum’s better ! ;)

  • Themrslynn

    Thank you! I needed this as I limp along through end of first trimester vomitfest!

  • http://www.facebook.com/msherbakov Mike Sherbakov

    Beautiful!  Thank you Kathryn!