To move to greater levels of health and well-being, we have to start from where we actually are today, in this moment, not from where we would like to be. Movement toward greater health is only possible because of now, because of where we are. – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D, from “Full Catastrophe Living; Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
That there quote is a bit of a pisser for me today. My brain feels like an over-stretched and slowly deflating balloon. The moment I am in now has zero momentum towards greater levels of health and well-being. My daughter has a horrible cold and has apparently not developed the necessary skills of having a cold, by herself. It seems that she needs me to be a part of every gooey sneeze, the miserable sleeplessness, every irrationally emotional trip to the bathroom requires my exhausted and compassion-depleted presence.
Yesterday I had some momentum in me. One creative and curious thought pulled out another! I had interesting conversations. I had REAL conversations, with other people — grown adults even!? I got stuff done, cleared out, and felt that wide, open space of potentiality in me.
and then, plop.
The momentum splattered and scattered all over and I can’t remember how to put all the pieces back together like they were yesterday. Why??? Come on, dammit. I want to feel that sweet, strong inspiring hum. I want to feel confident, steady, and like I’m doing something – going somewhere.
But, this is the rhythm of life, I think. Some days I look in the mirror and see a rockstar with edgy, silver highlights in my hair, and other days a tired lady in need of a bottle of hair dye. There just doesn’t seem to be anything linear about happiness. Or contentment. Or inspiration. Or health. Or momentum. Well, momentum is linear, I suppose, until something stops it and changes it’s direction…again and again like a pin-ball machine.
I’ve been getting my shtuff together for the next yoga retreat (which is next Saturday, FYI), called “Yoga for Chronic Life”. And the image I have of life is, at my best, a labyrinth, like this
When I’m grounded, steady, showing up, and staying present, life is walking a labyrinth; momentum and direction is changing all the time, but I keep following. I am trusting the path, even if it feels like I am going nowhere or backtracking.
And the other days – when I am lonely, tired, bored, confused, and grasping for some stability, life is like being the pin-ball in that noisy, chaotic pin-ball machine.
So, I have to keep practicing the yoga – especially on the days when the momentum drops out – in order to stay on the labyrinth life and out of that scary pin-ball life. The yoga; staying present and connected in mind – body – spirit, keeps me trusting the winding, circuitous path which just is real life.
Why don’t you come to the next retreat? We will get together to practice staying steady-eddy on the labyrinth, and not getting thrown off by all the bells and whistles of nearby pin-ball machines.
It’s next Saturday, January 30th, 9a.m.-noon, at Philo Presbyterian Church. It’s a lovely 20 minute escape from Chambana. No regrets, either way. $20 or what feels safe for you. Bring a mat (or ask to borrow one of mine), a blanket, and a bottle of water. While it is not 3 solid hours of yoga, it is about 2 hours spread out over the morning. Know that you need to be able to get up and down from the floor with relative ease. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to be in touch with me. And if you plan on coming, please email me (email@example.com) to let me know! I hope to see you soon.
Peace on your head,