Monthly Archives: September 2014

I saw myself in the mirror

It was a wide-angle forward bend. A simple pose. A simple pose with reverberating results.

I was in yoga class, of course. A great way to start my Monday morning and my week overall. We came to the “forward bend of our choice” portion of our practice, and as I leaned forward and looked through my legs, there I was in the mirror, looking back at me.

An opportunity to judge my pose. Absolutely. An opportunity to surreptitiously look around the room, with no one being the wiser. Absolutely again. But I didn’t do either of those. I did something radical instead.

I looked at myself, caught my eye, and smiled. A huge smile. A “great job in yoga” smile. An “I love you” smile. An “I will always love you” smile. And then I smiled back.

Because while I maybe could have used a bit of tweaking on my pose, and I can always learn from others in my yoga class (when I forget to stay on my own mat and I look around the room), my smile of love was all I needed. And wanted. A sign of support and of care from the person from whom I should, and do, want it most.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could always, or at least more often, give myself that smile? Wouldn’t it be nice if I remembered to shower myself with love and compassion, whenever (or whether or not) I catch myself in the mirror?

It would be nice and I think it’s possible.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Resist nothing

Have you ever heard the saying, “what you resist, persists?” That seems like reason enough to stop our resisting, right? If only it were that easy.

The thing is, even if we know we need to not resist, it’s hard. By definition, that which we shouldn’t resist is that which is driving us most crazy, or that which is most on our mind. We are inflamed about this topic, this person, this situation and want only to push against it and keep it away at all costs. But that just keeps us constantly engaged with it.

So how can we resist nothing? How can I resist nothing? How can I let it all just be, and let that be okay?

I’m not entirely sure. And I think it’s the old standards:

  • Awareness – notice when I’m resisting.
  • Acceptance – let it be okay that I’m resisting.
  • Acceptance again – let it be okay that the thing I’m resisting exists, and is what it is.
  • Replacement – perhaps find something else to focus on.
  • Repetition – have you also found it to be an ongoing process? Or is that just me? As soon as I replace, I sometimes find myself back at awareness…and so on.

I was listening to a guided mindfulness meditation today. (Tara Brach is amazing!) I was led into mindfulness, into allowing, into letting be whatever is. This seems to me to be the essence of resisting nothing. I simply need to acknowledge that things are what they are, and that, in the big picture, it’s all okay. And in that acknowledgement, that decision to not fight with whatever is upsetting me in the moment, lies calm and peace.

Resist nothing. When I no longer resist, things do seem to pass, or at least to pass easier. Whatever I’ve been resisting seems to take its breathing space, and that somehow gives me breathing space.

I don’t claim to understand it. I simply acknowledge that I love the peace, space, and calm it gives me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Recovery, , , , Tags:

Don’t squander this hour

That’s what my yoga teacher said as we started our class, but I think it applies to everything.

Don’t squander the hours I have for yoga, by letting myself wander off my mat and out of the studio. Don’t squander the hours I have for my work or my writing, by allowing myself to become distracted by other tasks and responsibilities. Don’t squander the hours I have for pleasure and enjoyment, by feeling guilty when I take time for a walk with a friend. I want to actively engage in whatever I’m doing and make the most of the time and my effort – even if my effort is simply slowing down and smelling the roses.

When my daughter was in eighth grade (obviously many, many years ago), she used to worry that she was “wasting time” whenever she was doing something that wasn’t uber-productive. (I don’t know where she got that one!) Her teacher told her that there was no such thing as “wasting time,” only “spending time.” As long as she wasn’t going mindlessly through her day – or even if she was, but just accepted that she was and chose not too feel guilty about it – she couldn’t “waste time.” If she was intentional, even reading junk mail would be a way to spend time. If that was her choice, that was fine.

She has “spent time” for years now, and goes out of her way to not squander her hours. Don’t get me wrong, she can spend a day as easily as the next teenager on Facebook or Tumblr or watching TV shows on Netflix, but she almost always does so as an active choice. She decides to spend her time on those things, or something else, and enjoys herself. And keeps the guilt at bay.

I too am learning to spend my time and not squander my hours. I can choose to be in each moment and stay in the moment and put my whole being into the moment and enjoy the moment. I can choose to put my full effort and attention into whatever is right in front of me, to give it all of me, and then move on. I can choose to focus myself to get as much out of my life, my day, and my hours as possible.

I can choose not to squander my hours.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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