The Value of Getting Poison Ivy

Using a challenge to become mindful

I have been scratching and itching for the last two days. I’m thinking “the mosquitoes are really bad this year”. It dawned on me today that I actually have poison ivy!

I decided on a whim to trim some branches in our yard. It seemed like a easy and mindless task. In less than an hour, I had a collected a batch of small branches that really improved our view. I now realize in my rush to complete this task that I was actually not being mindful.

Have you ever been so focused on a task that you didn’t realize what you were actually doing?

I catch myself in this dilemma in my yoga practice. It typically shows up with me going into or out of a posture early. I am listening to the Instructor but I’m not really present.

So I ask myself, what is the value of getting poison ivy? How can I use this experience to become more mindful?

I believe the value lesson goes something like this:

  • Itching and scratching is a daily reminder of the value of being present
  • Apply mindfulness or I will repeat my behaviors
  • What appears easy and simple can also be toxic

Eckert Tolle writes in his book The Power of Now “the moment you realize you are not present, you are present”.  So simple and profound.

I will focus on applying these lessons today. Otherwise, I will need to go to the store for more calamine lotion!


2015-07-01T17:43:38+00:00 By |Blog, Front-page-posts, Thoughts|