Among the 1000 gratitudes, I am so very grateful for clarity – sometimes I feel so brain-fogged, and when clarity comes, it feels sweet.

When I was working on my PhD dissertation in math, there was a long stretch when I could not get out of the mental muck. I wasn’t making progress at all. After passing so many exams to get to that point, I thought I’d finally hit my wall. There was nothing I wanted to do less in those days than get up and start working on my dissertation.

But I got up and looked at it every day, but every day felt like one day closer to the day I dropped out of my program.

And then one night, late – 2 a.m. or so – I was working late in my office, and I had a key insight. Everything fell into place, like so many pins in a complicated lock. Suddenly, definitions that had never made sense, made sense. Ideas that had been foggy were … crystalline.

It’s not just brain learning – I have felt the same way in yoga. Around the same time, I really wanted to learn to do a wheel pose. I could do a thousand bridges, but not kick myself up into wheel. And then one day, I just floated up, like I’d been doing it for years.

I don’t know why that happens – why everything can seem so foggy to me for so long. But I do know that when I keep working – even when working seems pointless or completely stupid – eventually, eventually, clarity comes.