When I was 29 years old, living in the fast-paced attorney life style, I hardly had time to stop and take a breath. I actually did not even think that I had to breathe to make my body moves toward what my mind had already set up early each morning. And I just kept going and doing more and more.
Working in Family Law cases, I was constantly receiving messages of disappointment, anger, sadness, and break-downs. Children were in the center of madness and ex’s were looking for revenge. In addition to that, I was driving to the University in the evenings three times a week to teach Law. On the weekends, I had to fly or drive to other cities and teach Law on Friday night and Saturday morning and/or afternoon.
My only day off was Sunday. Well, not exactly off – because Sunday was the only day I had to prepare my lessons and my legal cases for the upcoming week. That was also the only day I had to do grocery shopping, visit my parents and, if I had the chance, go to a movie theater. Added to this demanding schedule, from the age of 23 to 29, I made the decision to advance my education and obtained my Master (2000) and my Doctorate (2002) degrees in Social Relations Law, and published two books and several articles.
It was a crazy life! I was enjoying the speed because I loved what I was doing, and at that time in my life I believed that this lifestyle was actually what a successful career was all about. So…I did it all. I made very good money, I became recognized as a respected Family Law attorney, and in my mind my life was perfectly settled.
But, one day in 2001…my body screamed at me! “Please, stop or I am going to stop you”. I was nearing my 30’s and something really serious almost knocked me out. Because of my lifestyle of go, go, go and do, do, do…I had developed severe pain in my sciatic nerve. The pain started in my nerve, went down through my legs and into my feet. What began on my left side, quickly emerged on my right side. I was locked and could not move. What do I need to do? How can I fix this? I can’t stop my life, but I can’t walk at the same time…
That’s when during a conversation with a friend during a rare Sunday afternoon at the pool, he told me about Yoga. He said that it was really good for treating pain. So I decided to check it out. I had never done Yoga before, so this whole world was totally new for me.
I met Francisco Kaiut (today a Kaiut Yoga Method) who was very well known in Curitiba, Brazil, and who had several successful appearances in Colorado. He introduced me to Yoga and I became devoted to the practice. I saw amazing results 6 months after I started, and my sciatic nerve pain was going away. After a while, I was cured and I never had this debilitating pain anymore. Yoga has been part of my life now for 15 years, and I can truly state that it’s my life alignment, my center of clarity that drives me and, and I can’t live without it!
He also made me reflect on my hectic lifestyle (yes, the one that I had built with so much effort and devotion). Where was I hoping to go with so much speed and such a busy schedule?
He would often have me reflect…“why do you have your weekdays and weekends so full of obligations? Have you ever thought about having free time on a Friday afternoon, or going to a movie and eating popcorn? Or sleeping in on a Saturday morning and having a late breakfast with your parents in your favorite bakery?” I have to confess that when I first heard his thoughts about my own life, I felt a little resistant. How can free time give me more satisfaction than a busy schedule? It’s impossible…he must be wrong.
But he was right. As I started to add my Yoga practice to my daily life routine, I developed another sense and awareness of feeling well and living a quality life. And when life brought me the opportunity to recreate and reinvent myself, I could reach another spectrum of living well.
This was what I call Random Switch: after meeting my husband during a summer vacation in Cancun, Mexico, (a rare break that I took from my busy and hectic life in Brazil), I moved to the United States within 5 months. In the US, I had the opportunity (and time!) to devote my days to Yoga and the resulting understanding of free time in our lives.
That’s my message for you! Yoga, free time, no chaos, calmness, breathing, closing your eyes, unplugging.
You will see how important it is to have free time. We live in such a time where everyone is plugged in: to our devices, to social media, to our kids schedules, to our to-do lists, to our social events. But believe me: we can live unplugged from time to time. We just need to try it.
Let’s simplify our lives and have more time with ourselves and our family members. With more free time on our hands (in addition to a Yoga practice every week), we will be able to see the beauty of calmness and serenity that our minds and bodies can reach. More simple, more tasteful, more enjoyable.