“Y”is for…

Yoga-2

Practicing yoga has woven its way through various aspects of this life I live. The parallels are multiple in number, and I believe it’s more than mere coincidence that it’s called “practicing” yoga. It’s a discipline that allows an opportunity to practice becoming better–at yoga and at living life.

Each stretch and pose, as uncomfortable and awkward as it may feel at first, carries me just a little further to becoming better the next time. It’s about stretching beyond my comfort zone to accomplish what I couldn’t just a moment before. It has shown me how to take the uncomfortable, make it comfortable, and move forward.

Yoga teaches me to show up even when I don’t feel like it.  In fact, especially then, because it leaves me with an immense sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when I’m enjoying those last cool down stretches.

That act of showing up regardless of what I feel like doing, reinforces how important it is to show up in life every moment of every day, not allowing feelings to dictate how I live that day. Negative feelings can be overcome by simply showing up, whether we feel like it or not, to live a life of purpose. It’s about pushing past letting feelings control you and using that power within you to control your feelings.

It carries over into my writing life, my running life, being-a-wife/mother/friend-life…and life in general.

Showing up at my desk even when I don’t feel like writing produces written words and pages, along with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I’m done with my scheduled time, rather than feelings of wish-I-would have’s and regret when I neglect to show up, producing nothing, opening up the door to negative feelings.

Showing up when my husband/kids/friends need my time, even when I feel I don’t have the time, reminds me to set my “self” aside and put others needs before my wants, reminding me life is about relationship and being available to and loving others.

Yoga shows me it’s about the journey of mastering a pose, progressing a little further each time I practice, rather than being able to immediately conquer and perfect it. That making progress through hard work is key to growth–physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Yoga teaches me to focus on the importance of each breath as I breathe slow, even breaths through holding each pose, uncomfortable as it may be, teaching me to keep my focus on the matter at hand, anxiety at bay. Not thinking about the next pose, the next hour, or the next day. Just the here and now.  And that leaves space for nothing other than peace.

Yoga

Namaste.

“J” is for…

The Journey

Journey

Remember when you were a kid and road trips seemed to last forever?  I used to sound like a broken record as I asked my parents “How much longer ’till we’re therrrre?” Complete with all the drama I could muster.

And as the years passed, I eagerly awaited each milestone.

“I can’t wait ’till I’m in 6th grade so I can get my ears pierced.”

“I can’t wait until I’m 18 and finally an adult. Then no one will tell me what to do.”

“I can’t wait until I’m 21 and can legally drink. I’ll never have to worry again about being busted!”

“I can’t wait to meet Mr. Right.  Life will be so good when I’m in love/when someone loves me.”

“I can’t wait to have a baby and be a mother…until my baby says his first words…takes his first steps…”

My focus on the destination obscured my view of the journey.  It robbed me of the potential delight in each step of each day as I hurried through to more quickly reach my destination.

While I’m a firm believer in goals, I’ve also come to appreciate the steps that get me there.

In a class I took at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, presenter Sandi Ault had us figure out why we write and to truly honor that why. We were to write down our top goal and work backwards to identify each step that leads up to the one following, leading to the beginning point of where we were at that moment. Missing just one of those steps would alter the path and, ultimately, the outcome, of my goal.

As I’m traveling to a destination, whatever form that travel takes or looks like, I want to enjoy each step of the journey, recognizing the importance that each holds.  It’s the journey that holds the beauty, the opportunities at growth and learning.  And it’s the journey that creates the memories.

Today I am going to create some amazing memories. 🙂

Peace.