For the past four weeks I have been battling some sort of illness; cold, flu, you name it. Let me tell you from experience – working in a hospital and ‘knocking on wood’ saying that you aren’t going to get sick – IT DOESN’T WORK! Blah. Anyways, this week, I have been back to work, both a day and a night, and I have finally been out and about trying to get back to my daily routine. We are almost there folks, almost there!
It’s a fact, trying to honor my body and take care of ‘me’ while I was feeling lousy was not easy. My body told me to lay down, stay at home and do nothing (FOR THREE WEEKS), meanwhile I was scheduled to work, there were house chores to be done, errands to run and friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Making myself stay in and sleep all day while looking at the sunshine outside and knowing that it was a beautiful 75 degree day was torture, but I am so glad I followed through. It’s evidence of a new me and as hard as it may have been and continue to be, making these self honoring choices, in the end it serves me on all levels.
So yesterday morning I came off night shift and for whatever reason my body did not feel like sleeping, so I took advantage of my time, rather than whine and toss and turn in bed. Why not put some unused giftcards from Christmas to good use?! So I treated myself to a little retail therapy at Marshalls and Target.
When I was driving back downtown over the bridge, I took a moment just to notice how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful city and how far I had come in the last year since my last surgery. Looking back and seeing my progress doesn’t happen easily for me. Much of the time is spent looking at how far [I think] I have to go rather than how far I have come. Despite my gratitude and happiness, I still felt off somehow and I wasn’t sure why. So to clear my head I decided that I would get my flow on at a new yoga studio downtown with a true goddess, and holistic life coach.
Elli and I go back about two years when I decided that I needed assistance preparing for my upcoming surgery. Fortunately we had a lot of mutual friends and I knew that she worked as a holistic life coach. From day one of meeting her, she was amazingly different and I knew monumental things were in my future. Two years later, she has helped me grow in ways I never thought possible. The whole ‘self love’ concept… she helped guide me along that road too. What I look like, how tall I am, my abilities and disabilities; they mean nothing to Elli and that is what makes her different than any other person I have ever met. When we get together, there is no filter or fake happy face. Even if I try and mask something she sees right through it. Lucky for me (and the rest of the Charleston community) she is back on the mat teaching yoga.
Before I even sat on my mat yesterday, I knew that my goal was to figure out what the ‘Blah’ feeling was nagging at me. Sitting on my mat, eyes closed, we were asked to think of two words: one word describing how we felt and the other describing how we wanted to feel. Sounds easy right? Not really. Immediately my mind went nuts throwing out all of these words to see if they fit me in that moment. Stressed? Not right now. Sad? No. Angry? Nope. Ungrounded? I don’t think so. I swear my mind was racing at 100,000 miles a minute. So many thoughts and then it came to me… nothing seemed clear. So what did I want? Clarity. How did I feel? Pretty damn foggy. Yes, foggy.
So for the remainder of class that was my focus – achieving clarity. My ah-ha moment came towards the end when we were in bridge pose. That I can do pretty well. One step up from bridge is wheel or a back bend. That for these little arms and legs doesn’t go too gracefully. But a month or so ago during a private birthday yoga session with E, I got into the most amazing backbend of my life. Rather than having both hands on the floor, E stood by my head and I held onto her ankles. Viola, I popped right into wheel. So yesterday while I was in bridge, E made eye contact with me and as if we read each other’s minds, she stood behind me as my support and BOOM! Wheel came to me just like that. My last little bit of fogginess was gone and I felt incredibly clear. At the end of class, as we went around the room confirming our 180 degrees of change since we first got onto our mats, all I could do was shake my head and grin. Any words that I tried to speak at that point in time would have turned into happy sobs.
After my mind and body opening practice I felt clear and present. Something else came to me when I got home, two words specifically: s l o w d o w n. Rushing around has been a part of my daily life for so long. Being from up north where everything is GO, GO, GO, it has been engrained in me. But times, they are a changing, thank goodness for that. With that ‘slow down’ mentality I immediately made the connection to my clarity. What’s even better? That connection carried over into today. This morning, rather than look at my clock and flip out because I was still in bed at 10:30am, I took a deep breath and smiled just realizing that I was able to sleep through the night and replenish my energy tank.
Here is evidence that nothing happens over night. Slowing down and putting your mind to anything will result in something amazing.
Today I wanted to keep my ‘s l o w d o w n’ frame of mind and maintain my clarity. So I took a risk. And here it is, my mission accomplished.
Love and Happy Friday.