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Everyone I love might die today.

October 30, 2012

Intention-setting is an art in and of itself, especially when a yoga teacher decides to set one for the entire class. So when Buffy (yes that was her actual name yet surprisingly slew no vampires during class) decided to set one for the entire class I attended in Denver, Colorado while stranded by Sandy, I started to panic. Right at the start of class. I doubt that was the teacher’s intention – to incite panic.

The Others

Buffy, in her sweet solemn yoga voice announced, “Let’s set our intention today by sending out all of our energies to the people of the East Coast as they prepare for a very powerful storm.” As if those people were “the others”, not any of us. I felt compelled to yell out “But I’m from Washington, DC! You’re talking about everyone I know, everyone I love and you’re freaking me out!” Alas I had no energy to do so because when doing hot yoga in the mile high city, you save every breath you can for your downward dog.

Being a Brede-Bly, I’m not an over-reactor. I don’t tend to exaggerate (unless it’s to inflate a story for entertainment’s sake) and frankly, had I not been stuck in Denver, I’d probably have bought a few boxes of cereal, filled up an extra pitcher of water, and hey that’s about it. But suddenly as I’m taking advantage of my extra time here in Denver while Hurricane Sandy shuts down the airports and I cruise downtown for a yoga class, I find my fight or flight kicking in right at the start. Great.

The Grady Sisters of course.

It started to hit me and become really big inside me. Everyone I love is about to be hit by the biggest storm in history. (OK sorry save for my friends here in Denver and a few others scattered about the country but most everyone I know is on the East Coast.)

Now do I believe that a group of 15 or so yogis doing sun salutations in Denver are going to send positive energy over to the bajillions over on the East Coast and somehow save them all from total destruction? Negative.

But then she kept talking. And here’s where it got good. She talked about the power of intention. When you “intend” for something, you cause an actual shift in where your thoughts are. And from there, your presence, your mood, your smile, your behaviors, actually affect everyone around you, creating a very real ripple effect.

And that’s not hippie-dippie magic yoga bullshit, that’s the real truth.

After I heard that message and re-remembered how important my intention and my smile are to everyone I come into contact with, I was able to calm myself, enjoy my sweaty yoga class, and call my parents in Pennsylvania to check on them, in a warm, loving way.

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