A taste of my own medicine

A taste of my own medicine

Gratitude mindfulness helps see sun on horizon.

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2019 8:30am
  • Life

Life has been challenging since my last publication, and I often wondered if there was any truth to my “wisdom” teachings. I often looked back at my very own words and said to myself, Dora you are full of it.

If you read my column last month you know I finished my article with the sentence, “If you are having trouble celebrating the downs, then check in with my column next month when I will talk about how our sorrows are precisely proportional to our joys, and therefore they are both necessary and meaningful parts of our lives.”

Oh my did I have to put my own medicine to test this past month.

It has been a miserable month. I am a yoga and mindfulness teacher. My yoga studio in West Seattle has been open for eight successful years. I do live in Issaquah, and I dreamed for years of providing yoga closer to my home community. This winter my dream came true, after many months of construction and preparation, I opened Spira Power Yoga Issaquah.

But it seems that my dream come true came with a bit of challenge. I managed to open on the day after the wind storm, you know the one that left us without electricity for a week… Just when we started getting a little momentum with attendance, we got two weeks of snow. If any of you are small business owners, you know the tremendous financial and emotional risks.

As I waited for the weather to shift, I found myself deeper and deeper in a dark sorrow of self-doubt, anxiety and regret.

But then unexpected and tremendous joys popped up in the middle of stressful tears.

My team of teachers demonstrated loyalty, kindness and support that I never experienced before. In my West Seattle studio, I found my students reaching out to support the new studio in Issaquah. They took flyers to work, and they spread the word on social media. Friends called with encouragement, and my husband cleaned our kitchen every night, so I had one less job to do. New business colleagues stayed on the phone with me through my stress bombs.

In other words, because of my adversity, I found deep human connections.

Then in the middle of the snow, it started happening. Don’t get me wrong, business is still slow as heck, but the folks that wandered into our space ended up coming back, and coming back and coming back.

I started hearing the familiar hellos in the hallways, the chit chat about life – yes it is still winter, but when I took time to breathe and not be lost in my financial anxiety, I started seeing the signs of a budding community. My gratitude was infinitely more abundant for these few loyal customers than if my business would have started on a sunny day with abundance.

Humans are remarkably adaptable, and this also means that we get used to things, and forget our blessings.

The human mind is incredibly aware of changes but not very good at recognizing the good from the routine. Neuroscientists call it the “adaptation principle” of the mind. In layman’s term, we get used to stuff and then take it for granted. This is why the average house for a family of five back in 1930 was 1,500 square feet, and we thought that was fantastic, but somehow we have a hard time being grateful to fit five people nowadays in 3,000 square feet. We adapt to our blessings and forget that we have them.

The human brain tends to always search for the negative in life. This is not a bad thing — it is an evolutionary necessity for survival and progress, but we do need to learn to mindfully manage our negativity bias. Mindful gratitude practice is one way.

If you are, like me, having a tough time with life, make it a routine to write a gratitude journal. Before going to bed at night, take time to write a few things down that are good, wisdom that you learned through adversity, the knowledge that you gained, and connections that you found or lost for the better. At first, this practice is weird, it may even seem artificial, but overtime while you dive deep into anxiety and sorrow, you will be able to direct your mind better to see the sunny horizon.

Dora Gyarmati teaches yoga and mindfulness classes. She owns Spira Power Yoga in Issaquah and West Seattle. Her company M3Bmethod also lectures on resiliency and stress management to healthcare professionals.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

[flipp]

More in Life

Deception Pass State Park. Deception Pass is a strait separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. File photo
Free Park Days in 2021 start in January

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will again offer 12 free… Continue reading

File photo.
Chamber wellness webinar moved

The event, which features Dr. Erica Clark and Dr. Ilan Green, has been rescheduled from Aug. 6 to Sept. 10.

Shot from the city’s 2018 National Night Out event. Photo courtesy Julie Underwood
No city-sanctioned National Night Out event on Mercer Island this year

In light of COVID-19, the city is encouraging residents to still find safe ways to celebrate.

Shot from a previous Art UnCorked event. Photo courtesy MI Art UnCorked Facebook page
Art UnCorked, postponed to 2021, gets new official date

For now, the next Art UnCorked event is set for Sept. 10, 2021.

Graphic courtesy SJCC.
SJCC announces ‘senior hours’ for sidewalk café

Starting Aug. 4, seniors will be served exclusively from 10-11 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Top row, L-R: Councilmember Jake Jacobson, Mayor Benson Wong, Deputy Mayor Wendy Weiker. Middle row, L-R: Councilmembers Lisa Anderl, Craig Reynolds, David Rosenbaum. Bottom row, L-R: Citizens of the Year Kendra and David Uhler and Councilmember Salim Nice. Screengrab courtesy city of Mercer Island
Mercer Island ‘Citizen of the Year’ announced

David and Kendra Uhler received the honor at a recent council meeting.

A photo from this year’s production of “Rent,” which debuted in March. YTN only got through a few performances before having to cancel remaining dates due to coronavirus concerns. Photo courtesy YTN Facebook
Youth Theatre Northwest making unprecedented adjustments amid pandemic

The Reporter caught up with executive director Mimi Katano to discuss how the theatre is transitioning, what has/hasn’t worked and what concerns she has about the future.

Ezra Teshome. Photo courtesy Mercer Island Rotary Club
Mercer Island Rotary Club announces upcoming speakers

Ezra Teshome will be presenting at the July 21 meeting, Rick Newell on the 28th.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Courtesy photo
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Car review

There’s a reason Honda’s CR-V has been America’s top-selling crossover vehicle over… Continue reading