I’ve had this epiphany, over and over again, until finally it sunk in: calm is the foundation for my happy life. And when I say happy, I mean healthy, sexy, grounded, logical, balanced, successful, present, patient, bright. Because really, when one is un-calm, happy becomes stressed, snippy, bitchy, spacey, frayed, angry, ungrounded, nervous, anxious, controlling, blah.

Of course, accessing calm is easier epiphanized than done.

I do know this: I am addicted to taking breathing breaks during the day to just feel my body, all the crazy, vibrating sensation that’s whispering underneath the rest of my day. Sometimes, it’s just ten deep breaths, and I find my calm again. And then, there are times when it takes 15 minutes. And sometimes, goddamnit, it takes a glass or three of wine before I can remember that calm lives in the same world I do.

Crazy thing is, the more I take mini breaks, steal wedges of time for myself to refresh, I can’t fathom how the Frenzied Anti-Calm folks make it through the day. I’m so over pushing myself despite feeling tired. I’m over the eye-bleary of weariness. But then again, I’ve never been a fan of the ‘work hard, play harder’ mentality. I’m learning that I’m much more the hippie, yogini type who would like to follow her breath, see how her body feels, and then decide what to do. Preferably with some meditation and hot tea involved. And believe me, I never thought that would be me: I bought my first yoga DVD because the ladies reviewing it said that the teacher was a hottie. And oh yes, he is, even if he did shave his gorgeous curls.

But I think once you taste that afterglow of meditation, that shift of consciousness, the jello bliss of post-yoga calm, your whole experience of life changes. I’m not even sure how to describe the feeling I mean, other than it’s like being intoxicated, only better. (In a different way, since you’re sober. Or maybe you’re not. But it’s still good, either way.) Early on in my yoga practice, I thought my body was craving the stretch. Then, it was the buzzing bliss of a warm, pliable body. One day, I finally got it. I told my man: I think it’s the breathing. And it is – the breathing and the focus, and being in your body, not in your mind. When I’m too much in my mind, the calm tends to disappear.

I suppose the whole point is that frenzy (un-calm) can get shit done, can come in handy over long days, or shitty stretches of life, and then just become a habit. A state of being that’s no longer even considered, just default. That’s what happened to me. Yoga, meditation, and breathing all helped to unwind me. I didn’t even realize that calm was so lacking in my life until I’d found it again. In fact, I didn’t even know how to relax until meditation. Then all of these health issues that drove me to yoga in the first place began to make sense, and heal. Because I stepped out of the mind-fury and yes, cliche as it sounds, into the moment.

The trick is keeping that moment full of relaxed aliveness.

And that’s where I’m at now.