Balance

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In exactly one hour from now, I’ll leave for the Saturday morning hot yoga class I’ve been frequenting for a month or so now. Yoga’s been on my list for literally years. A kind friend finally roped me in, and I’m oh-so-glad I allowed myself to be lassoed.

Practicing yoga is harder than I expected – in all of the very best ways of being hard: physical, spiritual, and emotional. I spend many moments face to mat, downward dogging my way through my stuff, and I literally beg myself to keep on holding the weight of me.

Each instructor has her own style and strengthens me differently. One instructor both swears and encourages in the same breath. She’s direct. Clear. Concise. She gifts me my own power. Another gently guides. She softens me and I open. From her, I learn that it’s natural and normal to feel afraid. Vulnerable.

Human.

I breathe in and out, as instructed.

Around me, more experienced and younger women with more flexibility and cuter leggings bend and twist and pose, and I blink back the tears that come with one more piece of evidence of my own inadequacy.

And there I am, alone with myself on a 5 ‘ 10″ x 2’ piece of teal-blue foam.

I can’t roll up my mat and go home. I can’t just lie there and cry. I’m all out of options.

So I stay. Right there. With myself. Me and my inadequacies. Me and my vulnerabilities. Me and my deepest wish to be all the everythings I know I could be if only I wasn’t all the everythings I am.

Inept as I am – I keep pace, all wobbly and uncertain. A little weepy. There’s no where to go and nothing else to do …

But rise up.

A salutation to me. And all that I am.

So today – I stand a little taller. Stronger. More stable on my own two feet. In better balance. And I keep breathing. In and out.

 

Choose

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Sometimes all the exterior forces gather strength and push in – hard. Lately life’s been a bit like walking straight into some sort of wind storm. I’m staying upright, but there’s a whole lot of debris flying around and my eyes are beginning to tear up.

So how have I handled it?

Not all that gracefully, I’m afraid.

There’s been more than my fair share of complaining over the last couple of weeks.  A little retail therapy too. Both of which feel like a good release in the moment – but have no real, long-lasting effects. I’ve also been sleepless night after night, so exhaustion makes it harder to find the core strength I know is within me. I’ve been overtired, irritable, and the two piles of clean laundry sitting in the family room chair since Saturday mock me each night while I watch the news.

Wait. Don’t even get me started on the news.

But this is today. It’s only just beginning, and my friends … I have some choices to make.

I choose silence.

Speaking aloud my list of woes into the universe only adds to the chaos and stirs the air around those I love.

I choose people.

Looking beyond the end of my own nose into the lives of those around me shows me the needs of others. We each live through our own storms – and maybe today, I can be a shelter.

I choose order.

Cleaning the counter this morning restored the smallest bit of sanity.  Later my desk. If I don’t feel as though I’ve got life under control, maybe I can take some – make some order on my surfaces … and in my mind.

I guess that’s what this post has really been about.

I choose.

I choose faith.

I choose hope.

 

 

 

 

Four New Finds

  • If any of your people are transitioning … a graduation, a move,  a new job, or they just need a little hurrah for a fresh start  … this sweet, little book offers encouragement, inspiration, and advice to anyone taking life’s brave, first steps. I’ll be giving Marla Frazee’s book, Walk On! a guide for babies of all agesto my son graduating college this May.

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  • Rich, creamy, easy … try this quick recipe for decadent Fettuccine Alfredo.  Love for this cheesy, warm pasta- comfort is something our youngest and my teaching partner have in common. Serving it today at a birthday luncheon. The Pioneer Woman made me do it.

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  • This stuff. Radiance in a bottle. Lights my face, soothes my sometimes reddened, sensitive skin, and has all but cured me of the morning makeup I’ve been convinced I need since middle school. I love what SKINLONGEVITY does for my skin. Not a sponsored review – just real me telling real you this product does what it says it will do.  A true discovery.

 

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  • I don’t know if this is a legit discovery for anyone but me – but hey! Did you know you could lint roll away all the dusty, linty, and fuzzy stuff sticking to your lamp shades? This was a little life-changing for me. Amazing. An a-ha moment for sure.

 

Photo credits:

Marla Frazee

Nordstrom for SKINLONGEVITY

Amazon for lint rollers

 

 

Intersections

DSC_0035 (6)At times, I feel like my life doesn’t intersect with the lives of others as often as I’d like. So many of my friends are younger than me. They’re raising little ones and at an entirely different mile marker on the road. Other friends are as busy with their stuff as I am busy with mine.

Funny too, how deleting Facebook from my life last year also deleted much of my friendly day-to-day contact.

Time and opportunity often get in the way of friendship continuity too. We text here and there, chat briefly in whatever hallway we find ourselves in, and mostly live in our separate ways.

The knowledge that we’re always there for each other runs like background music in these chance encounters, so much so, that maybe friendships sometimes feel more assumed  than experienced.  I’ve often wondered how to about digging to a deeper level despite schedules and kids and long lists of appointments, family obligations, and several days worth of things to do on our agendas.

We’ve all got problems – large, small, and merely annoying. Depending on the day and life’s curves in the road, we’re feeling successful, happy, or dissatisfied. We worry, we’re lonely, feel inspired, and grieve. It might be there’s no chance to tell you about the pride I’m feeling about my child, or it could be I’m feeling regret over a mistake and I’m a little insecure to admit it.

Maybe it’s just that the backstory’s long and we just don’t much have the time to get into all that.

Let’s not live too busy to be the kind of friends we want to be.

Say yes. Invitations come our way. Let’s stop, look left, look right. And say yes. All the stuff waits. Our people shouldn’t have to.

Reach out. Offer. Suggest. Invite. Share time measured by the hour hand rather than in seconds or minutes.

Surprise. An unexpected moment of “I’m thinking of you” goes a long way on a long day. One friend tucks a special treat in my mailbox each week at work. And I tuck one in hers. A small connection, maybe, but a true connection nonetheless and so much fun to anticipate.

Ask. Listen. Ask. Listen again. Remember. Connect. Share. Follow up. Care.

Show up. Take time to acknowledge important moments. A card at the birth of a grandchild. A box of cookies to sweeten a struggle. A smile to encourage or empathize. Compliment. Notice. Be there now.

Trust. Let people in. Let people know the good stuff, the hard stuff, and all the stuff in between. Allow people to love you. Once you find that intersection, friendship has to be a two way street.

I’m hopeful for us all to intersect more and better and deeper than ever before.

Let’s take the time. We need each other.