I am a creature of habit, so sometimes abandoning routine and “going with the flow” makes me feel like I’m walking into headwind.

(Even now, as I write this, I am eating my usual morning bowl of oats, the same thing I eat every.single.Sunday. Sometimes, even when I’m craving eggs and waffles, I’ll still eat my oatmeal out of fear of “missing my oatmeal.” *tear*)

This past week, though, I found myself falling into the flow more than once–and it actually turned out OK.

It started on Wednesday, which is usually my swimming day. I leave work, drive to the gym, change into my Speedo, and do laps for half an hour. However, that afternoon my right arm started acting up, probably from working on the computer all day, repeatedly clicking away on my mouse as I SpellChecked an entire journal issue. From my neck to my wrist it was tingling, and by the end of the workday I was concerned that swimming would exacerbate the arm. But…but…it was Wednesday! It’s my swimming day! My bathing suit and towel were in the trunk of my car, ready to go.

I took some deep breaths. I contemplated: Swimming is one of the few workout outlets I have at this point. You bust your shoulder, you’re out.

I listened to logic and followed the flow back to my house.

At home, I did a 30-minute complex workout taken from the new issue of Experience Life magazine (one of the best healthy living mags out there, IMO). Afterward, I fiddled with Grooveshark and accessed some trancey music from Maneesh de Moor, falling into free dance for a solid 20 minutes. Flowing like that felt great after the weight routine, and I got so into it that–out of nowhere–I started vocalizing my movements, as though I were leading a JourneyDance class. My eyes closed, and I pretended I had bodies behind me, their arms moving like taffy, following my guidance. I had no intention of breaking out into teacher mode like that, but I just kept working with it, flowing.

I felt pretty good the next day at work, so much that at one point I spoke up to our editorial director about something I thought could be changed with our procedures. I saw room for change, and instead of just sitting back and saying, “Well, that’s what we’ve always done,” I voiced my opinion and suggestions for improvement. “That’s not a bad idea,” she said. “I’ll have to talk it over with [Big Boss].” Woah!

By the end of the day, I was facing a situation similar to Wednesday’s. I was supposed to go to kundalini class that evening, but I had been sitting all day (it was downpouring all day, so I wasn’t able to take my usual lunch walk), and my butt, hip, and legs ached. Sometimes the majority of a kundalini class is sitting, and I so wasn’t looking forward to 75 more minutes of being on my rear. But…it was kundalini day! Once again, I had to deliberate the options. And again, I abandoned routine and decided to go with the flow, instead driving to the hot yoga studio for a 90-minute vinyasa class. The constant movement felt great for my whole body, and the heat was CRANKED up that night, at one point reaching 106. I think it was the sweatiest, most disgusting I’ve ever been, but I felt freakin’ fabulous. During savasana, the teacher bent down and did a little Thai yoga massage on my legs, gently rocking them back and forth. It was the first savasana “adjustment” I’ve received in ages, and I was touched that she thought of me and my creaky hips. In fact, after class she asked if it would be OK for her to do that after every class. Most certainly!

As I was about to leave the yoga studio, I passed the mini-fridge that houses the coconut water for sale. In the past, if I wanted coconut water I brought my own, because of course the studio marks it up. But all I had was plain water that night, and after such a sweaty, exhausting class, I could practically hear my cells plea for electrolytes. And, although I’ve bypassed that fridge now for almost a year, that night I got the money out of my pocket and paid for an overpriced carton of coconut water. I chugged it down like a frat boy with a beer can, and damn, it hit the spot.

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