Monthly Archives: November 2018

Gratitude Friday (NaBloPoMo Day 30)

1. Morning sky. Today is dreary and gray, so I’m appreciating the mornings that haven’t been even more.

2. Christmas decorations on the Poudre Trail. The people who decorate these three trees every year do so on Thanksgiving day, so the morning after on our walk, we went to check it out. It was still dark, so the pictures aren’t great.

3. I got a post placed, step two for my eventual tooth implant. It isn’t a fun process, but the people at my dentist office are super kind and careful and professional and it helps so much. When I first sat down, I asked to keep my coat to cover my legs because I always get so cold in there, and the assistant said, “oh no, honey, I’m getting you a blanket.” It was thick and red and soft and big and it made everything else easier. Two days later, I still feel pretty poopy, loopy, and tired, but also super lucky to have paid sick days and dogs who will cuddle with me and a husband who takes such good care of me.

4. My three boys. Ringo found a baby doll on one of our walks this week and carried her all the way home. Our front porch sometimes looks like the Island of Misfit Toys from all his finds. Sam is doing really well, up to walking 3.6 miles in the mornings, and he’s the best dog when you don’t feel good because he is perfectly happy to curl up beside you and nap for hours and hours. And Eric just wants me to feel better, does whatever I need to help make that happen.

Bonus joy: good books (almost finished with Children of Blood and Bone), good TV (Catfish is back), and good films (I know there was a some criticism about it, but Crazy Rich Asians was just what I needed yesterday), fresh orange juice, three days with nothing on my schedule so I can rest and heal.

Strength and Flexibility (NaBloPoMo Day 27)

Broken heart spray painted in yellow on a sidewalk

Someone painted a broken heart on my sidewalk

1. Truth: We get confused about qualities of practice and thus make them small. For example, we think that compassion means “being nice” or “kindness” and in our confusion, we limit ourselves to that expression. As in the Andrew Boyd quote I shared the other day, “Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others.” Or, we think that confidence means being certain of the truth, feeling unshakably sure of ourselves, but as Susan Piver defines it, “Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.”

2. Truth: Strength is a quality we limit. For example, in yoga, we often link strength to purely physical expressions, and in that manifestation we think it to mean simply being able to hold a particular pose for a long time or to being able to do an especially difficult or advanced pose. And yet, strength can be practicing with illness or injury, living with chronic pain or trauma, or experiencing strong emotions like grief or anger. To practice in that context, to have compassion for ourselves and others and not give up — that’s strength.

3. Truth: Flexibility is another quality we restrict. Again, in yoga asana practice, we think flexibility means being able to go deeper into a pose, to reach and stretch further and with more ease. However, flexibility is much more than that. We can practice flexibility when something about a pose doesn’t feel right for our body, and instead of giving up, we modify our approach, doing another variation of the pose or using props, or asking for help or even doing another pose altogether, and, this is key, we don’t beat ourselves up about it. We keep moving. We can practice being flexible when we come to the mat expecting or wanting a particular experience that just doesn’t work out. We can be fluid and not get stuck, keeping going and not give up.

One wish: On and off the mat, may we maintain an awareness of the ways we are strong and flexible. May we continue to practice staying open and awake. May we meet any resistance or confusion with curiosity and compassion.