That sense of overwhelm I feel is incredible and unexplainable. I have just finished reading a book. I understand the discontent the protagonist feels; I feel the urge he feels to delve deeper; the sense of overwhelm he feels. I wish I had the courage to seek the way he does though! Well, tell you what, I cannot be all that because I have stopped at the stage of feeling a sense of overwhelm and that’s it. I am a pretty balanced person even if I say so myself. I have a routine, a schedule and I work hard at doing things the way they should be done and give my beyond so that when I put my head to that pillow, I fall asleep before you can count to 10. Nah! Who am I kidding before you count to 5. Yes, it is that easy. People who know me well have stories to tell about my abilities to fall asleep. Anyways that is not the point. The point is this - two weeks of vacation from routine. It has not done me good at all. I tell you what else has bugged me - Christmas and the New year falling on a Wednesday. I didn't like it at all. I had thought ahead or so I thought and actually it was not much ahead as you will soon see. I figured out that during the first week of break if I work out on Monday, there is no class Wednesday. So, I decide to skip thinking I will be back to routine before I realize, the next week I mean. So having missed my workout the week of Christmas, I decide I need to get back to routine and head out to the gym that Monday morning only to find that my instructor is replaced by a brand new one - an elderly woman at that, for the day. Her workouts do not correspond to the beginning and the end of the songs she plays in such low volume matching her low voice. I am contemplating my next move - stay put or quit when she decides to step off her bike and go to a spot where she can see. See! I mean where she can actually read her analog watch – for time! I am ready to scream; I must be crazy to be up at 5.30 during break to work out trying to maintain a routine. I hear her go since I can see better from here, let me work you from here and oh boy with that did she give us a workout or what! Some people are just that! Simply good teachers. I get off the bike feeling refreshed yet yearning for another half hour of extreme workout only to realize that there is no class again that Wednesday! Thanks to the New Year falling in the middle of the week. Didn’t I tell you? So, the discontentment grows, and I end up doing the one thing I do not do in my otherwise busy life -- login into my social media life. I am shocked. I am overwhelmed and I am drawn in a myriad ways! I feel the overwhelm that the protagonist of the book feels when he comes to a little village from a few weeks of seclusion. I empathize with him. I want to go back to my burrow and hide. But all I do is look at all the dials and various knobs on the dashboard. Unlike the overwhelm I had felt earlier, I know I can conquer each one of these and the sense of overwhelm that seems to come with that, naturally. All those knobs and dials are trying to tell me something that will only keep me safe and I am willing to pay attention and learn so that I know I can manage. I hear my instructors voice going non-stop in my head. I wake myself up! I am seated in my usual spot in the dining room with a cup of coffee. The coffee has gone cold. I look at my cup, smiling. I look out the window, it is sunny now and cloudy next, the sun choosing to play peekaboo in the plummeting temperatures. I look at the bare branches outside, the dry grass, the flowering beds empty. I can only think of the leaves and the various colored, shaped, types of flowers that will be in bloom soon, well in a couple of months at least. I think of the nests, the birds, the fish in the pond, the dogs playing outside, the bunnies multiplying and the Fibonacci sequence – all of them telling me their own stories and I realize that all of that does not feel that over whelming! I wonder why! I see the natural order pleasing to my senses in the outside world. I have been thinking for some time now, well at least these past two weeks. I wonder how my grandmothers and mother found contentment so easily. My day, if not bound by a schedule has a mind of its own. As much as I believe in mindfulness and try being present in every activity I do, I realize mindfulness is not the problem. The problem is the activity itself! You see it can extend to eternity! I realize what I lack is discipline – a disciplined way of doing things if I am not bound by outside element of work! Mindfulness has no relevance if I am not able to manage my days well. I think of my grandmother making breakfast, doing her pooja, eating lunch, napping or doing some work that will keep her occupied post lunch, consulting between 3 and 6 as an Ayurvedic doctor, getting ready for the evening – basically finding meaning in every day’s existence. I think of the disciplined way in which she lived. I think of my mom who had emulated her, her MIL in many ways. Now I understand where they got their strength from, their sense of relevance from. They didn’t have to run around to make themselves relevant. They were relevant exactly where they were – just like a tree with widespread branches giving shelter to those who seek, not questioning, soaking up the seasons as they came and blooming when they can, withering when they should! Winding up my yoga class with the only student who has chosen to come during the break, as I stay in a child’s pose transitioning easily from one pose to another, I feel a sense of surrender and overwhelm! Finally, a good overwhelm.