The why-or- what I’ve been up to while in airplane mode

June 10, 2010 § 5 Comments

So, where to start? I had to take some time out from all the online activities (time out from a lot of things, really) to get some clarity and direction… After the new year I started to feel overwhelmed with how fast things seem to be moving now – It has taken T and I years (literally) to start making real progress toward our goals, and even though outwardly things won’t change much for awhile, momentum has been gathering and the big changes that we’ve been dreaming about so long are beginning to feel… Inevitable. And as exciting as that is, it’s a little scary too! And some of you know, I felt like I couldn’t write about any of that on the old sit after my blog was discovered at work. Positively stifled. So this space is for me to talk freely about the things that I may not want a current or future employer to be able to read by googling me 😉 There may be long-winded esoteric ramblings, occasional (or not so occasional) swearing, and there may or may not be a point. Ready? Here we go.

Some of the things that Tad and I are working toward are going to require some serious internal strength (yes, I will talk more about this, finally!), and I began to think about what I personally will need, what our dreams will require of me:

A healthy body
Calm and focus – A quiet mind
Flexibility – literally & figuratively!
Tools to help me process and cope…

When I think more about this, these are things that are very useful to any state or life situation – I can certainly make good use of all these things now. It’s just that thinking about my fears and the challenges that are inherent to our dreams – I will need all these things even more in the future.

I decided it was time to re-dedicate myself to my yoga practice and began doing some serious research on classes and teacher training programs (more to really engage and take my own practice futher, but also with the thought of teaching ‘someday’)… And finally got myself back to a class environment after practicing at home for the last few years. I’ve been a sporadic practitioner for something like 10 years now (and sometimes very sporadic, as in not at all for periods of time), but taking the attitude that I NEED this has changed things. Life is amazing and beautiful but it can also be hard – if I don’t want to hide away I am going to encounter some very difficult things along the way. I can work to build the strength for it all, to fully participate, to give it my whole self… or I can disconnect, numb myself, settle, stay on in a seemingly stagnant situation and just let things take their course. When I looked at it that way, it lit a real fire under my ass. My yoga had already helped me through the toughest time in my life. I know that it works for me and it makes sense to me, so that’s the path I’m choosing to take (among many options). And it is working so well for me. I have fears that my past inconsistency will rear it’s head again and stall my progress – and I know that this is in particular is something I will be working on for my whole life – but I’m also determined. It has been time consuming and pretty intense – along with the physical practice (every morning now. It just sort of happened sometime during the winter and has continued…), there have been breathing exercises, meditation, much looking inward and journalling, all as part of a deeper class I am taking. Sometimes it has been really fucking hard. Looking inside at those parts of myself I don’t even like to admit that I have isn’t very fun. Neither is facing some of the emotions and events that I’ve been needing to process, but tend to push away. Sometimes I feel like I want to pull the plug on this effort (once a week or so). But then there is a release. It gets better and I begin to feel calm and capable again. I know that this is because I am actually processing some things that I had been actively NOT dealing with, and so this feels necessary in learning to accept, let go, love myself, and grow. It feels healthy, even if it hurts sometimes, even when it’s hard. I told T recently that I had this fear of always searching, never being satisfied or content – both for myself in the first person and also of being perceived this way – it’s a fear that’s very much associated with my mother, and that’s a little too personal even for this space – on this day I was having this fear with my practice. And T said… “I don’t see what you’re doing as searching… I see it as study”. Of course. Smart guy, he is. Wise and tender.

The physical changes? Well, amazingly that almost seems like a side thing even though physical health was every bit as much of a reason for me to delve into this further and even though the physical practice is the most time consuming part of my practice. But yes, I do feel strong and healthy – I appreciate my body more and more. A pose that I never even considered becomes seriously empowering when I find myself in it. Old injuries and stuck places seem to be unwinding somehow and my breath is becoming a calming tool.

The other day, I had a pretty cool revelation. I was reviewing my 43 Things for the first time in a good while – and on there I found one that said “Be Happy”. And my reaction went like this… “Huh. What’s that doing there?” I always say that I have a great life and it’s not just an affirmational thing, I have a great life and I am incredibly grateful. But yet, I have always had “Be Happy” on my list of life goals – written or in my head, as if it was something I was reaching for and doubting my ability to achieve. And when I looked at it the other day, I felt like it was redundant. I AM happy. Happiness isn’t a goal, a dream… it’s a state of being.

So I took it off the list and moved on. It felt awesome.

§ 5 Responses to The why-or- what I’ve been up to while in airplane mode

  • heatherknits says:

    Mel, I just love this last paragraph. Happy is a state of being, although I think it is also a goal. Life is hard, and sometimes we can’t just overcome the hard parts and decide with our mind to “be happy.” But all of this work that you’re doing and changes you are implementing get you to that goal, of being in a state of happy.

    I struggle with this as well, as you know, and there are parts I can control and parts that I can’t control. After my recent weekend of wallowing in misery over things I can’t control, I picked up the exercise routine again, in a serious way, which IS something I can control, and something that contributes to my happy state of being. I think my point is, achieving or returning to that state of being can be a valid goal, and the way I look at it, it involves being kind and good to ourselves and our bodies, rather than saying, I’m going to be HAPPY! This may work for some people, but for the rest of us, Happy As A State Of Being is a welcome (and intended?) byproduct of working toward balance and these other goals.

  • hannah8ball says:

    Wow. That IS quite an achievement. Being happy. Something that can feel so out of reach, until you’re right there.

    And I have wanted to explore yoga. I feel the need to integrate my spiritual self with my physical self and yoga seems to be so much the natural way to do that. It sounds funny, but the fear of what I might find when I dive in has held me back. Reading of your experience has really encouraged me to put that on my shortlist of need-tos.

  • barefootrooster says:

    with you on happy, with you on yoga. i’ve been doing forrest yoga for just about a year now, and it has changed so much for me — at first, it was part of coping with last summer’s breakup, which left me feeling incapacitated and just exhausted. and since then, it has become such an important part of my routine — though i struggle with having a home practice. i’d really like to work on that this summer. i know exactly what you mean about strength and stuck places.

  • indigomuse says:

    Awesome post! I’ve been trying to find time to do yoga but constantly put up road blocks even though it always makes me feel better afterward. I have no excuse considering one of my besties is a yoga instructor and my youngest son practices with her weekly. I’m so glad you’re finding yourself. Sounds like a beautiful & peaceful journey 🙂

  • MayaB says:

    Sometimes we need to take a break and exhale. Mine lasted for nearly a year. Now that I’m back, I’m so happy to see that so is you! In periods Yoga and/or meditation has definitely been lifesaving for me, increased my focus and made me more able to determine my current direction. I so agree with Tad, it is a study; the traveling, the development, is the purpose not the end station. As with happiness it is a state of mind, not the end result. Thanks for calling me your friend!

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