Good Days and Bad Days

We all have them, those days when even if something goes wrong the day is a good day.  We feel good, have a positive outlook on life and even the worst that life throws our way seems easy to handle.  Then there are those days when even the most trivial of tasks seems insurmountable.  As I’ve dealt with depression for as long as I can remember, my good days and my bad days seem to stand out in exceptionally stark contrast to each other and the other days, the days that are not exceptionally good nor bad but just are, those days sort of fade into the background and are forgotten.  One thing I’ve noticed is that my really good days are closely followed by really bad days but that the bad days are usually followed by a string of those other days.

I’ve recently noticed something new to me.  As I practice more regularly, the good days are not quite so bright, the bad days are not quite so dark and the days in between are brighter and more memorable.  Those good days are really still as bright and good as they ever were but they no longer stand out quite so dramatically because everything else is not nearly as dull as it was.  How can Yoga do that?  In the same way that Yoga helps a person to lose weight, to be kinder, to be healthier or any other good thing:  By changing one’s perspective.  As I think on this change in perspective, I am reminded of an article I read in the Korea Herald in November of 2003:

Yet the monks find wisdom now and then in the most unexpected places. Ven. Hyunjin writes of the time when they hiked through the mountain in a downpour. As the waters swelled, they carefully crossed a stream, but one of the apprentice monks lost a rubber shoe in the torrent. At the next stream, he floated the other rubber shoe away too.
When I’d lost just one shoe, I was so worried. But now that I’ve gotten rid of both shoes, I feel so peaceful, he said, barefoot and happy.