Playing off my last blog post “I’m Too Sexy for My…Work??” we’re going to talk about the “O” factor today, but before your minds start wandering into the gutter, it’s not necessarily what you imagine.
Being an adult is hard. Whether its school, work or home, there’s always something to do, someplace to go, and not enough hours in the day to do it all. With all the hustle and bustle, sometimes we forget to remember that we need to find time to feel good. As a child, I didn’t quite understand why my parents would sometimes say in heavy laden tones, exhaling deeply and pushing out with their breaths the burdens that life had laid on their shoulders, “Ohhh, life!” Years later, when I was finally having my own “Ohhh life!” moments, I understood, and I found myself saying the same thing—“Ohhh, life!”
And then I finally resolved to just say “O.”
We’ve all watched the iconic restaurant scene in “When Harry Met Sally” with its “O” moment forever emblazoned in our minds (and if you haven’t seen it, you can check out the clip below; start at 1:45 if you’re in a time crunch). While Sally is having her “O” moment over what looks like a chicken salad sandwich, we can find our own “O” moments (perhaps not nearly as graphic) despite what seems like the barely manageable and relentless flood of academics, work, bills, car notes, accidents, family illnesses, kids, relationships, loves and heartbreaks. And while we might not be able to top Sally’s “O” moment, it doesn’t hurt to try, even as the “Ohhh, life!” moments keep coming in waves.
About three years ago I found my “O” moments with power yoga. While Sally’s out of context “O” moment makes us chuckle, the real life lesson comes from the spectator’s comment of “I’ll have what she’s having!” It’s the hope to finding pleasure—that feel good moment— in all kinds of mundane things—even food.
When I first started doing power yoga, it was pure agony, but I kept doing it, because it took my mind off the tidal wave of “Ohhh, life!” moments that were bearing down on me, and when I was done, I felt really, really good—like that loose limbed, muscles-like-gelatin feeling you get after a really great massage. It took about six to eight weeks of frequent, relentless yoga-going before my muscles were no longer screaming at me in agony. I got to the stage in my practice where, in the midst of doing yoga, I experienced a transcendent feeling, almost spiritual in nature, where I felt like I was flying and dancing, all at the same time. My body, my movements, my entire being was like water—fluid, supple and flowing, a steady rhythm that took over me, where I lost track of time, and my mind ceased to shoot off in a million directions, and I was lost in the moment. I found myself going to yoga four or five times a week, just to get that high, and bask in the afterglow. And even with my many “Ohhh, life!” moments, life didn’t seem so hard anymore.
While you might not reach Nirvana doing a flying pigeon at the yoga studio, you can find your own “O!” moments that make life just a little bit easier.
Some of my “O!” moment suggestions include:
1. Trying to be Happy—Deciding to be happy in spite of these crappy “Ohhh, life!” moments is a sure-fire way to feeling good. Just ask the HuffPost blogger who came to the same conclusion.
2. Drinking Hot Chocolate (or other Hot Drinks)—My hot drinks list is in a hierarchy of order. See a list of my favorite hot drinks here. You’ll either love me or hate me for introducing you to them.
3. Engaging in Mental Gymnastics- Recall that transcendent, floating, rhythmic, lose track of time feeling that I described with yoga? Try it with any mental exercise, whether reading a difficult book, solving a complex problem, becoming engrossed in a difficult work project or writing. Don’t give up! While at first it might seem ridiculously difficult to get going, after the initial mental hurdle, your mind gets into the swing of things, and you’re lost for hours.
4. Eating Good Food- My all-time favorite meal is Carrabas’ olive oil and herb seasoning with freshly baked warm bread. Glutton (or gluten) up! Order a tall glass of water and just feast your heart out on the complimentary bread. If you want an actual meal, or your conscience is tugging at you because of your minimal order, Carrabas’ “Pollo Rosa Maria” can elicit a response darn near close to When Harry Met Sally.
5. Sun Bathing- Someone once told me that I’m a “rare flower,” the reason being that wherever the sun is, you’ll find me soaking in my vitamin D, usually with a hot beverage in hand. Try it; you’ll be happy you did.
6. And of course, POWER YOGA—To get a list of my top yoga studios click here. NOTE: you actually burn nearly 800 calories per session in power yoga; enough to treat yourself to the most decadent of hot chocolates every once in a while!
And remember, to feel good, just say “O!”
Work It Girl