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I feel so much better since this fact has been divulged. I have tried so hard to be something that I am not. I felt like I was wearing a costume (no… not a French maid’s costume!). I tried to pretend I was able to do it all and do it all well. But it is not true. The closets in my house hold the truth. Bleach stained sheets folded neatly (OK fine…shoved in) the laundry closet. Wrinkled pants stacked on shelves. Clean laundry put away immediately after hearing the beep of the dryer on its last spin cycle… ha! I am not proud of the fact that I am constantly re-washing clothes because of wrinkles or stains or because the kids just throw their clean clothes back into dirty hampers to avoid hanging them up. But I will admit that since coming clean with my problem, I have stopped resenting the laundry. I have found that without the fight to protect my image of being the perfect homemaker, I have actually found more appreciation for the items I am cleaning and I am doing a better job of caring for them. I have been removing clothes before the “wrinkle free” spin cycle stops and hanging them to dry those last few minutes. I have found new pride in my laundry skills as I have found more mindfulness in the process.
If life is about these little moments, then I have added more time in my days by being mindful about the chores that must get done… just don’t take out the white glove for the dust test just yet!
Energizing Washing Machine Breath:
Place your hands on your shoulders.
With your head facing center, inhale through the nose.
Turn your torso and head to the right and exhale.
Inhale back to center.
Turn your torso and head to the left and exhale.
I have been thinking a lot about transitions lately.
Tran•si•tion: n. 1. Passage from one form, state, style or place to another.
Transitions close to home: My son has transitioned from elementary school into middle school. His passage has been a smooth one thus far. I was worried. I figured that the changes to a bigger school, new classmates and more responsibilities would be difficult. I assume there will be hiccups along the way at some point, but as of now it has been a quiet transformation.
Transitions in the studio: In yoga class yesterday, the teacher spoke of paying attention to the transitions between the asanas. “The transitions are when the dance occurs”, her old dance teacher once shared. Paying attention to the transitions creates more intention and more mindfulness.
In life, transitions are uncomfortable. That middle space between one path to the next is often painful. We wait for the “next” to begin with a gnawing anxiety of the unknown. Hoping that the “next” gets on with it already. Waiting for the future while missing the moment. But the moment is all we have. By rushing the transition we are missing the true moments of life. I recently read a great book called “Hand Wash Cold” by Karen Maezen Miller . She speaks about missing her life by not comprehending that her life is all of the minutia that fills each day—the laundry, the dishes—those little moments are part of life and rushing to the “next” thing shuts off connection with what is true about life moment to moment. On the mat, transitions can happen too quickly to appreciate the moments as well. Slowing down and paying attention to the transitions that take place from one asana to the next can help you toward paying attention to the in between moments of your days with appreciation instead of moving on to the future and letting life’s quiet moments pass by unrecongnized.
I just caught this video and love it.
Being OK with being alone does not come naturally to most. To spend time with oneself you must learn to treat yourself with compassion and to stop the self-judgment that we pick up around middle school when the drive to be accepted by a group seems ingrained in our DNA.
Getting on the mat regularly helps remove those blocks that we inevitably put up long ago when we were feeling left out or when rejected by someone to whom we gave our heart. Layer by layer of damage is removed as we begin to listen to our bodies, change our story and find our internal quiet and strength through asana and breath.
Lululemon is well known for their positive quotes as much as for their great yoga clothes. “Do one thing a day that scares you” is one of their quotes that taunts me. The idea of eating dinner at a fine restaurant by myself fills me with great discomfort. I have never attempted going to the movie by myself even with the shield of darkness available to hide my alone-ness.
Andrea Dorfman’s poetic video makes me question my own issues with being alone in certain situations. I am tempted to drop the brick that holds the notion that alone means less or sad or strange. Maybe alone means freedom, power and possibility.
How do you feel about being alone?