Monday, April 15, 2013

Nature, yoga, meditation: In that particular order

Well, nervous breakdown 2013 was avoided happily by a long visit to the lake with my family after a long lunch with some old friends.  The monthly reconnection with my besties from high school is always refreshing, and the much anticipated return to springtime amongst the trees and near the water is always something closer to exhilarating.  Long story short: Yesterday was a really good day.

Today was supposed to be the start of a seven day juice fast.  The intent, to quit smoking.  It didn't happen. 

It all started at the library after my third juice of the day and a trip to purchase my poison.  I can't seem to stop coming out of my skin every time I quit, so I didn't quit, and as a result I found myself back at the library searching for answers.  I took home a few books on the topic and sat down to start gearing myself up all over again.  By the end of the first book I was stiff, and excited to learn that nicotine replacement therapy maybe isn't the devil I'd made it out to be.  I've been operating with a cold-turkey or nothing approach for the last year and a half. 

More than that, though, I discovered something profound.  I caught a glimpse of a most uncomfortable reflection of myself in the many stories offered up by the author, Daniel F. Sidman.  I began to realize what the real problem has been, and will continue to be, until I decide to face these wavering, fun-house mirror images of myself down. 

Enter, yoga.

Now, I've not done yoga in at least two years, but I desperately needed a good stretch after being curled in my armchair for so long, and I remembered well the almost intoxicating centering of self that it brings.  So down I went to the floor, pushing baskets of unfolded laundry and my daughter's very heated cat aside. 
Poses I could once do with a fair amount of ease are now much more difficult, and some are downright impossible, but that did not seem to change the transformation happening within the core of my being.  Opening myself up on that physiological plane did more for me in thirty minutes than a month's worth of juicing ever could.  Giving myself an hour after that to meditate in a way I haven't for a very long time, brought me much closer to some truths I've been avoiding for ages. 

Indeed.  I needed that.  I know that it's going to take a great deal more of the same to get to where I know I can go, where I want to be, where I need to be, where I ought to be.... which is here.  Now.  Not lost in the past, hung up on who I used to be, and not worried about tomorrow, either.  Seems like I used to know this.

In truth, I do know this, but my point is there is so much power in these small practices: In friendship, in nature, in movement, in breathing, in taking in, and letting go.  So much power, and yet seemingly so easy to forget.  Practice is the key.  I've always known that too.  I wrote a thing once that ended "practice hard your finest theories lest you forget them."  Never let it be said that I didn't warn myself first.

I'm breaking through it.  It feels good.  Dreadfully frightening, but good.  :)

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