Push Forward

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves.”— Marcel Proust

I admit it. I still miss him. I probably always will, but I don’t see that as a bad thing.  I do know that all the good that is in him I will look for in another man, and all the bad in him I will avoid like the plague.  I learned a lot from his being gone. I learned about being me. I learned what I want and don’t want in a relationship. I learned that I can survive without him in my life, albeit that was a battle I fought for a long time. I learned to surrender my situation to the universe and just let go of the what if’s and could have beens.  As I said in my previous post, being alone has rendered me my own salvation.  I have had to learn…

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Yoga, Pain and Growth

This morning I looked  in the mirror and  saw a woman staring back at me. Who is  that woman?,  I thought. Just yesterday I didn’t have this flaw on my arm and on my neck.  Oh my goodness, another surprise that wasn’t there before!  God blesses me these days with all kinds of new things that stare back at me in the mirror. Last week it was what my mother calls a “cherry”, a small mole like thing that appears out of nowhere.  Mine is right on my ribcage where the skin was flawless before.

Life does throw us some curves, but there is no way to handle it other than just smile.  Tonight I went to yoga to regain my youthful flexible body. I used to be able to put my feet on my neck.  I thought,  Surely I could do that again with a bit of practice and fortitude. I need the exercise no matter how long it takes.

“No you can’t”, a faint voice whispered in my ear.” My damn ego-self doesn’t leave me alone at times like this. It’s always yaking and picking on my self-esteem. I took a deep breath and expelled Mr. Ego into the breeze.

With my mat under my arm and a strong sense of self and purpose, I found my way through the maze of hallways to the appointed yoga class. It was dark with just a faint lamp lit in the front of the room. I decided to sit in the back so I could make a quick break of it if my body decided it wasn’t limber enough to even touch my toes.

Laying on my back and hearing the soft voice of the teacher, and the slow tones of the background music, I felt at peace. “Now, if you hurt, don’t do it.” the instructor says as I lay there waiting for the real work to begin.

Ten minutes into it, I was stretching and bending slowly. My ears were stretching too as they tried to take in the step by step instructions being given. Seems my hearing is going as well. Giving up, I opened my eyes to mimic what the others in the class were doing.  “Mam, close your eyes and don’t look at the others. Everyone has their own pace here.”  Oh geeze, I feel like an idiot now that I have been pointed out.  Hopefully everyone had their eyes closed and couldn’t see me squirm.

           

Twenty minutes and the body was weakening. The ego voice spoke again- this time with much rejoicing and rancor.  I could just picture this little thing jumping up and down in my head laughing and saying in a mantra.  “You can’t do it.  You can’t do it.”

By thirty minutes I was on a roll to prove to myself that I’m not a quitter and no matter what, I would finish this session without quitting or sniveling.  I’ll show myself that I can do this!

Forty minutes, the bones began to make some horrendous sounds as I had to bend in ways that are really unspeakable to talk about. I’m sure if a dirty old man were behind me he might get excited seeing me take my position with my butt in the air, but thankfully there was only the wall staring at me.

Fifty minutes and I looked at the clock. Ten minutes to go. I’m still here and not drooling or broken.  It won’t be long now,  I secretly thought.  How time flies when one is having fun.

One hour! Time to meditate and wind down. Breathe in, breath out.  Aw this is wonderful.  I feel rejuvenated.  Finally it’s time to go.  I pack up, get home, and take a shower.

Who is that woman in the mirror?  I think I know her.  She’s the one who did it!  “Ha ha Mr. Negative Ego.  Shows how much you know.  This woman is great with her wrinkles, dimples, and all of God’s wonderful gifts.  Take that with you!”

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This might be a cute story, but the truth is the truth.  Yoga is hard, and so is learning to bend to new ways and new ways of thinking.  Exercise your body, brain, and heart.  The more you do it, the less it hurts.  And be good to yourself!  No one should love you more than you do.

How have you been doing your exercises of life?

Scissors

The young man walked in torn shattered robes. He wore no sandals or shoes to protect his feet.  The sun blazed on his skin as he walked aimlessly to his next destination.  He didn’t know where he was going, what he was going to do.  So far nothing had worked.  His life was still unfolding in ways he didn’t know or understand.  His robes once bright and colorful now were drained of color. They seemed to lead him on his journey.  They went with him everywhere as he refused to remove them or mend the broken threads.

The young man had visions, nightmares, and so to forget them he drank and drugged to cloud the pictures that came into his mind even in the daylight.  He tired and sat on a hill overlooking the canyon.  There he tried to rest his aching bones, and in the silence he reclaimed memories of his younger years. The abuse  replayed itself over and over in his mind..  He looked at the sun setting and cried tears that dripped down his face on to his robes.  He screamed and yelled hoping the echoes in his mind would be released over the expanse before him.

A whisper came back to him.  “Scissors” the Whisper said.  “It is scissors you need.”

He tried to ignore the Whisper and place it behind him as he turned his back to the canyon.

“Scissors!” the Whisper called- this time in a deeper tone.

“What the f?” the young man thought aloud.

“Take the scissors and cut the robe.”

Now the young man answered the voice that was starting to bellow out of the Whisper.  “What the hell are you talking, man?”

A warm breeze brushed against his face.  “We all wear a robe of textures and patterns. It should keep moving and changing, but in yours I see no movement, no change other than becoming more tattered.  Our robes are our protection, but only if we keep changing the pattern and the pieces over time.  In yours I see nothing new. It’s worn, stagnant with colors that have faded over time.  It is becoming thin, and less protective of you, but yet you do nothing about it.”

The young man looked down at his robe.  He couldn’t change what he had always known.  The Whisper was asking too much.   How could he let go of something that once protected him?  To change it would mean he would have to change himself and who the person he identified himself to be.

Again, the Whisper spoke  to the man.  “The robe no longer fits you.  It is the robe of your past and only a symbol of how you see yourself.  You are not the abuse.  You need not wear it like a shield to keep all good things from your life.  Take the scissors.  Cut out the bad parts and be done with them.  They are of the past and you are of the present. Make your present light.”

The man picked up the scissors.  His hands shook as he began to cut.  He held the tattered piece in his hand. He wiped the tears streaming down his face.

“Now, the Whisper said, ‘ let it fly to the wind.  Release it, and when you do, a new piece will come in its place.  You have only to dream it; see it as a possibility of beauty and happiness ready to piece together your life.”

The young man did as he was told.  As he cut away the old, he felt light, free.

“Now, look at the hem.  Sometimes we trip in its hem and it throws us back, but other times we trip forward.  The trip forward pushes us towards something better or different than we are used to.  You hem is still sewn.  It has stayed in one piece never moving forward or backward.  You can decide what you do with it.  You have the choice.  You are the wearer.  It doesn’t wear you, just like the abuse doesn’t wear you or define you.”

The young man was beginning to understand.  The scissors cut and cut out the old, and were replaced with new textures and colors.  He was ready to move forward.

The Whisper said, “Very good. Remember the past no longer exists.  Only now, the present is where you are.  You have released the past.  Now you can move forward, one minute at a time, one step at a time, one lovely day at a time.  You have choices to make.  Make your choices shine like the sun on your face. Keep changing your robe when life gives you tattered pieces. Don’t hold on it so tight that you can’t trip on the hem.”