Monday, May 23, 2011

Capacity, Possibility and Abundance...whew

There are moments when we shrink our capacity, when we expand it, and when we completely seal ourselves off.  In conversations with friends of late, I'm noticing that we're all continually revising our willingness to engage in different experiences in life based on our capacity:  emotional, physical, spiritual, etc. The trap I fell into for a long time was not acknowledging that there were moments when I was full up and couldn't take on any more...and kept taking on more anyway.

I'm proud of us for questioning, for prioritizing, and for saying no when we can and should.

When we can be in spaces we can truly inhabit, and not lose ourselves in constant movement, we can fully see possibility...

And as this school year comes to a close, I realize that there are so many lessons I've learned that I wouldn't trade for anything in this world:
1.  It's completely acceptable to let others know you need them.
2.  It's more than acceptable to set boundaries for what you will and will not do.
3.  Happiness is not something to feel guilty for.
4.  The grass is never greener.  We all stand on our own ground, and it is exactly right.
5.  When you least expect it, bliss will hit you.
6.  We all deserve these moments.

If someone had told me last year at this time that I would feel this light and completely aware of all of the abundance around me, I wouldn't have believed them.  I also know that had I not processed the world and my own experiences as I did (though some of my reactions to circumstances leave me feeling sheepish), I would not be able to walk out as comfortably.  Robert Frost's statement, "the best way out is always through" hits home just about now.

Lest I come across as all Pollyanna, I recognize that this is not a permanent state.  But I was reminded by a lovely friend this evening, as I started to move forward into all I have to do soon, to simply bask for a moment in the completion of one task...and enjoy it for a moment.  And I will.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stability in Motion

In the midst of things that are ever changing, the opportunity to feel stability is a gift.  I have quit seeing stability as something static.  How could it be?  Those who try to force it to be are the one's who seem the least stable (I know that when I've tried to hold tightly to a state, I'm generally left with lots and lots of matter swirling around me--and smacking me in the face).

And so I've been playing with the idea that I will find stability only as I accept that there is nothing that is static.  This theme has resurfaced, yes, but I'm noting its recurrence and honoring that.

In the past two weeks, I've gone from carrying the most stress I've ever lugged around to a feeling of lightness I didn't know was possible after a year (almost to the date) of weight.  I've been curious about this link between the emotional and physical reactions...realizing that my body would take over if I refused to process feelings...and it wasn't pretty.  The emotions weren't and aren't linked to a demise of a relationship--that's a comfortable and necessary state at this point.  I have no regrets. The emotions were tied to the fact that someone who wished me harm, and who isn't operating on a plane I understand, still had control of certain aspects of my life.  It was difficult to live with (understatement).  With this lifted, giddiness ensued.  And then compassion.  And then giddiness.  And then compassion.  And at that moment, I realized I had set it down--not just for the moment, as I have before, but forever.  I have had a tendency to extend way too much compassion to others and very little to myself.  BUT, in the moment I'm speaking of, I found myself joyous for myself and feeling compassion for an other.  And at that moment, I realized how truly truly free I was.

This marriage of joyousness and compassion may be the answer.  Who knows?  I do know I'm hard pressed to make any huge declarations of late, but that may be as close as I get to certainty for a while.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I feel as if I'm at that moment when the conductor has his baton raised, but the music has paused at the end of a movement.  I would like this pause to last for a week, but I can feel the next movement about to follow.  I'm not wary of the next section, but I would like for the rest at the end of this line to last just a little longer so I can catch my breath, and lay my bow on my lap. (Or sleep, get a massage, and soak in a hot spring, repeat).

It's amazing how much work can go into things that are unseen.  I breathe freely and with relief.   I smile and soften.  I am soon to be ready for movement beyond the pause.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I am easily enchanted by the world around me:  The yellow flame of the palo verde bloom, cottonwood leaves fluttering, finches on the feeder in the morning...yet those who know me well know that although I am highly appreciative of the natural world, there are times when my understanding of this world (from a scientific stance) leaves something to be desired.  Instead of fully understanding a phenomenon, I more likely will create a fantastical story to explain it:  I may be a creator of 21st century mythology, ignoring modern understandings.

I have been paying attention, however, to certain occurrences in my days, and fully reveling in reality:
1)  I saw a gila monster ( Thursday night on a hike with Lyle.  This was a fun surprise (though was glad my dog was smart enough to take a step back, and I had to text a friend to ascertain that this was indeed what I had seen).  A gorgeous animal, a lizard the size of my and gray and hissing.  He was slow moving and was kind enough to let us know that we simply didn't need to harass him in any way, and we could walk away unscathed.  We agreed.

2)  I've been spending time with a friend who makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts (both a lovely gift and a wonderful surprise), who is wise and smart (as we know,  these are two very different things).  I find that when I spend time with people who can move through the world comfortably in their own skin, I can be fully myself, with no artifice or apology.

3) My students surprise me every day--their words and their responses to tasks I ask them to complete surprise me in the best possible way--those moments when what you hoped was going to happen, indeed, does.

There's an interesting balance to be struck between believing that great things will happen, but allowing yourself to be surprised when they do anyway.

Surprises can be surprises because we let them.  I have thought a lot about how my yoga practice allows me to be better prepared off the breathe through the negative surprises (and to ask myself:  what about that really surprised you?)  as well as the positive and embrace them all.  I am trying very hard to not be caught off guard by events that don't necessarily engender calm feelings in me.  I have been tripped up a couple of times in the last few days.  I wonder at this, but also know I am not superhuman.  And I cope as I do.  No judgment.  This, in itself, is new for me.  Too often I've beaten myself up for not having as much grace as I'd like in the face of certain life events.  These fissures, however, are just part of being human; maybe I can reframe this and become more and more proud of my own fallibility.  I can at least try.