This is a true story of a recent life experience. When I look back on it, it’s a great metaphor for living one’s life with the distraction of OCD.

“Let’s begin by laying down on our mats, toes facing the ceiling and arms stretched up and over our heads. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. Find your breath, follow your breath, let it help you get into this moment. I ask you to be here with me now. Don’t think about what you’ve already done this morning, don’t think about this afternoon, and what you are going to do. Clear your mind and come to your mat.”

Somehow, I managed to escape the flurry of the many distractions that always seems to pull me away from my yoga class. The room was comfortably dim. The calming music sounded good in this otherwise very quiet room. I was ready to give myself over and release my chilled muscles and cold Michigan bones.

Ah. I wasn’t at war with myself and I wasn’t in traffic. I wasn’t standing behind someone in line at the grocery store. I was here and peace was nearby.

Then it begins.

The quietness I was enjoying started to get stuffed. Stuffed full unexpected and unwanted sounds. It sounded like a herd of cattle stomping across the floor right up above us. “That’s weird” I thought, the only thing up there is that empty gymnasium I passed on my way down here.

Then my yoga teacher shares, ”By the way,” then from above came the first thud, then…thud, thud, thud, thud, thud “for the next 6 weeks” thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud “there’s going to be a young boys basketball league being taught upstairs on Saturday mornings during our class.” thud, thud, thud, thud, thud.

At first, I felt incredibly disappointed. MY JOY IS RUINED! My new feelings of sadness started to fill me up quickly like the pounding of little sneakers filled up that once quiet and empty gymnasium. I recognized that I was at a crossroads. Do I let the bombarding sounds of little feet steal this opportunity away from me or do I press on? Can I do my best to just let the little pounders pound as I go on with my practice?

I chose to go on with my practice. Interestingly, while I was enjoying my special time of breathing and stretching, the thuds seemed to fade away. Although they didn’t go away completely, I was able to re-route my expectations. It was almost as though the thuds became part of the whole. They played their part, adding a texture to the experience.

At the conclusion of the yoga class, the teacher places her hands in prayer position over her heart and quietly and thoughtfully says, “Namaste”. In essence what she is saying is that the light in her honors the light in me. What I was most proud of was that I didn’t allow the distraction to shut me down.

After enjoying the bliss, I got myself fully bundled in all my winter gear which consisted of my jacket, earmuffs, scarf, and mittens. Next I headed upstairs.

Now, was I so cool, and evolved, that when I walked by the little guys running back and forth, sharing noises that can only be made when rubber drags across wood, that I said a quiet “Namaste” to them? No, no, and no. I did not become a monk filled with only gratitude, after just one return visit to yoga class. Afterall, I was still me, just a lot more bendy.

I noticed another change within me, too. My heart felt warmer and a bit more open than when I first arrived at class. I took closer note of my surroundings and I saw a sea of beaming faces. It was all the faces of the proud and smiling parents, as they kept a close eye on their child, that quite possibly was running around aimlessly with exuberance.

For a moment, their collective love, was my love. I got to feel a dose of radiance deep inside of me. The radiance that only love creates.

I had a little glow, hidden well beneath my winter bundle. Ahhh. The glow felt like a beautiful shade of orange, and the snowflakes, that were anxiously waiting for me outside, were a million shades of white.



Thanks for being on this journey with me.

Kirsten Pagacz
“Leaving the OCD Circus”

Available for OCD wellness coaching, speaking engagements and book signing events.  Buy my book here.