Crossroads

I began this blog at the end of January, three short months ago.   My tag line …  “A blog about crossroads, change, aging, loss, health, stress, fitness, yoga, renewal … in other words, life” could not have been better worded.

It’s actually hard for me to believe that all  of this … the THIS that has filled my 38 posts to date … happened in a three-month period.  I find myself taking deep breaths the last fews days, needed deep breaths to help center myself, trying to balance in my new surroundings.

I will never again believe that I can’t accomplish a great deal in a short period of time.  Earlier in my blog I commented on a quote I heard in the yoga class … something to the effect that you can change your life pretty dramatically in only months.  As I round this corner, I see the truth in that statement.  And not that I want to change my life drastically every few months, but when it’s necessary or life presents circumstances which require change, it’s good to know I can do this.  Anyone can.

This last week was filled with so many closures.  I received word from the cemetery that my mom’s marker was finally done.  (Seems they have a shortage of companies that manufacture these particular markers.)  I opened the mail to see a picture of her plaque, ready to mark her final resting spot.   Emotional … the feelings rose once again to the surface.  I didn’t even remember what I chose to write on her marker.  Goes to show what a state of mind you are in going through the death of a loved one.  Seeing the picture reminded me that all I wanted was for her to rest in peace, given the unrest her soul suffered during her lifetime.  No need for fancy words.  Rest in peace, Mom.  It was perfect. “Julia” played on the Beatles channel on my way through the canyon the following two days after I received the letter.  I hadn’t heard it since the yoga class.  Coincidence?  I think not.

After two years anticipating the end of my job at Virgin America, my job did just that, it ended.  After what seemed such an eternity waiting for the merger to complete, the closure came in a flash.  I will share what I wrote to my coworkers …

“Today at 1:45 I closed out of the windows on my computer for the last time with Virgin America.  As happy as that makes me in one sense, immediately the tears began to stream down my face.  I walked around my house for the next hour in a daze.  The end came unexpectedly, one day early … I wasn’t quite prepared.  Not that another day would have made any big difference, but somehow I just wasn’t quite ready.

I had a massage planned today for the day before my last day, since my last day I would be going down to the bay area to turn in my computer and badge.  But instead, as I traveled the little highway into town, I was no longer looking ahead.  I was looking back over my shoulder at such an amazing experience.  The ride into town can make me emotional any given day as I gaze at the beauty that surrounds me in our little town of Cool, but today such an empty feeling rose from my heart, and I probably understood the term bittersweet better than ever before.

I will cherish my free time going forward devoting myself to all of the passions I’ve not had the time to pursue, but letting go of this Virgin experience and Virgin family is harder than I ever imagined it might be.

I think back to the day I interviewed.  As a business owner of a small landscaping company seven years ago, I found my insurance rising so high that I needed to problem-solve.  I didn’t want to give up my business, but I also needed a job that might offer insurance, a part-time job.  The list of employers that offer part-time positions with benefits is quite small.  I think airlines and Starbucks might be the only two on the list.  So, it was a pretty simple choice, I was going to look to the airlines to solve my problem.  It was actually my husband, Rick, who said, hey, why don’t you look into Virgin America, I’ve heard good things about them.

Good idea, honey, I’ll do just that.  I went online, pressed send, and was attending an interview a few weeks later.  I drove into the parking lot of 555 Airport Boulevard feeling quite resentful if I’m truthful.  I didn’t really want a job.  I wanted insurance.  I wanted to continue playing in the gardens.  I walked through the doors a bit begrudgingly, and some hours later (man, long interview process) I walked out the double doors praying to the heavens above that I might be lucky enough to actually get this job.  I spent the following days wishing and manifesting.

There are different families I’ve come to belong to during my life.  They are all unique, and I don’t find them all that often.  They are special, made just for me.  What I’ve come to recognize is that when I find a new group that will some day feel like family, I know it.  I feel it from the first moments.  And I am drawn in like a moth to the light.  It feels like I’ve made my way home, and that is what it becomes.

It’s been quite an adventure these past seven years.  And I won’t list all the ways in which I’ve grown and changed, but I’ll just say that I would have missed out on so much had I never been fortunate enough to work for Virgin America.

I’ve enjoyed working with such an amazing group of people, both at the airport and at headquarters.  I’ve always been so proud to say I work at Virgin America … because we stood for something great.  I will take that pride with me going forward, along with such sentiment for all of you I have come to know and love.

Life moves forward, money changes hands, deals are closed, investors line their drawers with hundred-dollar bills … but no amount of money can ever equal or match what we Virgin America employees walk away from this deal with.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing this great experience and sharing yourselves with me.

Cheers to all of us … and cheers to Richard.

Sue”

I’ve remained in a bit of a daze the last two days.  Lots of tears, but also anticipation for what comes next.  I’ve arrived at the crossroads I spoke of in my tagline.  The past is the past.  The future reaches out to me.  It is a NEW DAY.  It is a clean slate … and there are a few highways I could venture down.   But I know where my heart is pulling me … and I am beyond excited to put one foot behind the other making my first few steps down the road that beckons me.

Taking a celebration vacation first … so I will be quiet for a week or two.  I look forward to the next chapter, and sharing it with you all.  As always, I thank you for tuning in.  The journey is so much richer shared.

Namaste

A PS few things I want to mention.

The blog picture was taken unknowingly by my dear teammate, Faye, as I left the building.  I’m so grateful to her for preserving this moment in time.  I sent it to a few friends and posted it on our work FB page.  One of my oldest dearest friends, Colleen, responded saying, “Wow a picture is worth 1000 words.”  Couldn’t have said it better, Coll.  And I also couldn’t have been luckier to have a life-long friend like you.

And Margie, your text the other morning meant more than I can say.  From one kindred spirit to another, we have so much to learn and catch up on.

 

 

Turkey talk

I’ve had a fire softly burning  this week to put my thoughts to this post. I’ve been thinking about kids and young adults making their way in the world.  Growing up is no easy task for, I would guess, many people.  There are a few lucky souls I believe who can say they had a blessed and happy childhood.  But I know far more people who can’t really say that.

When I came of age finally able to strike out on my own, while that was heavenly in many ways, personally I was a mess.  I think back to my twenties, and of all the decades, my twenties would be my least favorite, hands down.  In retrospect, I might have been one of the lucky ones, I found my therapist, Ron, by the time I was 23, so by 26 I was beginning to blossom.  But looking back, I was far from healed truly.  In a much bigger picture that can only be seen in retrospect, I was beginning my life, and in the early stages of shedding the drama that my parents left me with.

Years ago I read a book by Lillian Hellman entitled Pentimento.  The title means “a visible trace of an earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.”  Do you love that as much as I do?  The meaning  speaks to me of our lives … that girl I was at 26 only exists today as a trace beneath the layers of paint that have been applied over the years. I love my painting these days, but by golly, it’s been a work of art that has taken every minute of every day of every year since then.  And if my guess is right, it will continue until my painting is done, also known as until my life is over.  The work of creating and defining and improving myself I don’t think will ever end until I leave for higher ground.

As I thought about writing this post, I kept thinking about the turkeys that roam around our home.  Rick and I always call them a gaggle of turkeys , but I just looked it up, and it seems that a group of turkeys should more accurately be called a rafter of turkeys?  Gaggle … rafter … whichever, I couldn’t help thinking about how they travel together and the sounds they make with each other.  What a racket they make.

We as humans act much like those turkeys.  We  come into the world so pure and sweet, but from about day one, we are being bombarded by our loved ones and all they come to our story with.  We begin learning from a tender age about our parents’ sorrows and their insecurities, and in most cases, about their parents’, and so on.  The lessons aren’t taught necessarily in actual words.  In probably more cases than not, they are taught by actions.  There is no doubt that we continue to learn painful lessons from our parents for the following 20 or so years.  And not because our parents don’t love us, quite the opposite.  I think in most cases they are trying to save us from their sorrows and disappointments, so they warn us over and over again.

If my mom told me once, she told me one hundred times, that if I didn’t slow down, I would have a nervous breakdown just like she did.  I knew from my young twenties, that she wasn’t right about that belief, just like I knew she didn’t know how to drive on the freeway.  Years later I would congratulate myself on a basic instinct that told me her pain (nor her lack of driving abilities) did not need to be mine.

Back to those turkeys,  I always say,  we  just need to look to nature to understand our actions and behaviors as humans.  Families tend to act like a gaggle of turkeys, each gobbling louder than the next, working so hard to be heard and understood and above all, WARN our youth about what we have endured in the hopes that they won’t go down the same road.  As  I said, the gobble gobble starts in the minute we are born from a whole host of loving souls … otherwise known as our family.

Is there any wonder by the time we are about twenty heading out into the world that we are a bit confused and conflicted.  In most cases, we are just happy to be away from the incessant gobble gobble.  I believe it’s then the true journey of the soul begins.  It’s where we learn what of the gobble gobble resonates with us, and we begin to slowly but surely leave the excess non relevant gobble gobble behind.  It is no easy task.  And it doesn’t mean we leave those loved ones behind, we just choose not to carry their sorrows, their beliefs, their dreams with us, as we need room for our own dreams that we will be developing along the way.

Here I am at 62 still finding new dreams.  What a gift life is.  And while it might have been amazing to know in my twenties what I know now, I’d probably be long gone by now, as I  do so fervently believe life is about lessons.   My painting would not be nearly as beautiful had I finished it years ago.

Thinking back through my life up to present day, the journey has and continues to require a few necessary requirements, a dream or goal, perseverance, faith in a higher power as well as myself, and the willingness to work hard to achieve what I need.  It still remains sometimes easy to neglect what I need to do for myself, even when I know what  it is.  I think it might always be a little like that.  After all, if life was that easy, this world would be a much different place.  It’s not easy.  So, it’s up to us to figure out what makes us tick, what feels like a tick, and what tickles us.  They are three different things, each important in their own right.

I know yoga makes me happy, makes my heart soar truly, and yet over the last month when I have felt so down, I didn’t turn to yoga to help.  I’d like to say it’s just not ingrained enough, but I think that’s a cop out.  I am, once again, just human.  And sometimes I don’t gravitate to what I know I need.  And maybe that’s enough for where I have been, getting over being sick and anticipating the end of something I have felt a passion for, my job at Virgin America.

In the end, I return to the fact that, we humans are a puzzle.  I have faith in something higher than us, waiting for the time when we do choose to help ourselves.  That’s where our life changes and also the path where I believe we start to feel the higher powers lifting us along our journey.

I will close with a story about my dad, someone you readers have not heard much about yet.  I’m sure you will in time.  My dad probably taught me the best lesson ever about never taking my passions for granted, and more importantly, never wasting any blessing waiting for another day.  (I’m still human and overlook this lesson at times, but there will always come the time I remember…I love his voice reminding me.)

Without going into too much detail at this point about my father’s youth, suffice it to say he suffered true heartbreak as a child. He developed a love for music as a young boy, and it became his passion.  His father, for whatever reasons, rejected my father, and blatantly favored my father’s sister.   Thank goodness his mother took an opposite stance and from what I know supported him at every turn.  He worked at paper routes as a boy and any odd jobs he could muster up to pay for his music lessons.

He made his dreams come true, becoming in time an accomplished musician.  He played both violin and sax.   Family pictures line my hallway, treasures that I stop often to visit.  I have a number of pictures of him as a young man in various bands, and another in a group that played on a cruise ship, in the era of Titanic, so nostalgic.  I will use one of them as my post picture.

His passion came to a tragic halt when in his twenties, traveling in a storm, he crashed his car traveling over black ice, his arm out the window.  He spent a number of months in the hospital healing, and in the end they were able to save his hand, but his fingers would never again play music.

As a child, this story was lost on me.  He was just my dad, with the funny scar on his stomach from the skin they used to graft his wrist, and the stiff and missing fingers.  I think in retrospect his heart was broken beyond repair, but he never let me see that.  He had his demons for sure when he drank, but when he was sober, he was a light-hearted man for all he had been through.  He never passed up a chance at playing a practical joke.  As a child, the dog, the bird and I fought for his attention when he walked through  the door at the end of his work day.  He took his time with each of us.

I never knew my dad to be a musician … tragic really.  I didn’t see that underbelly that most likely defined my dad.  I was left with a man who never complained, but always had his music playing.

I loved him more than I could ever put to words, until he broke my heart.  And that’s what I mean when I refer to the gaggle of turkeys.  They can’t help themselves traveling together making so much goddamn noise … neither can we as humans.  We will all hurt each other in time.  That’s a given.  What’s much more important is what we learn to forgive both in ourselves as well as others.

My dad taught me more lessons than I will ever be able to count, but one that stays with me consistently, is this … never take for granted your gifts, whatever they may be.  Make the best of them every day, because you just never know when that passion or that gift will become only a memory.

Celebrate life … celebrate yourself with every single solitary flaw you possess … they will all come together to make a beautiful painting one day.

With love and namaste …

 

Changes

Happy Monday!  My last week at work has arrived at such speed.  It seems only yesterday I was starting this blog telling you of my upcoming changes, and now I turn around to find my yoga class a memory and my last day at Virgin five days away.  As almost always at big turns in my life, I have conflicted feelings, both excitement and sorrow.  I’m going to do my best to stay present this week, enjoy my colleagues/now friends for the last time in our role as the guest relations team.

This position has taught me a great deal about human nature, and if I never write a book about this experience, then I will have passed up a great and hilarious topic, for sure.  I will be writing more as the week progresses about the ending, but today I have different things on my mind.  I spent about two hours last night “writing” in my head when I should have been sleeping, so today I want to put it to the page while it’s fresh.

Will be back with that, and then toward the end of the week my thoughts on Virgin’s farewell.

Belonging

Happy Friday!  I’ve got a bit of catching up to do with you guys to bring you up to speed.  I have two posts that go back to right after I finished class, and right before I got sick.  To digress …

The notion of belonging is interesting to me.  I don’t come by it naturally and I’m not sure how many people do.  I think growing up an only child of alcoholic parents might have contributed to that feeling, but maybe not.  Maybe it’s just the human condition.

Regardless, I remember so many times in my life when I felt I was an outsider or an imposter, so to speak.  I have memories as a child of going to church with my friends (neither of my parents were religious, so pretty much the only church I attended was with a friend.)  I can still see myself as a young girl kneeling in the church pew trying to join in the prayers and songs, which I  clearly did not know the words to, moving my lips pretending to know the words.  Fake it till you know it, right?  Of course, no one in that church was watching me, but I felt as though a Hollywood spotlight was directed right at me.  There’s the girl that doesn’t really belong here.

I can’t even count the number of times I have felt that way in my life, but luckily experience has taught me that belonging comes in time if you choose to make something a part of your life.  You have to work at it, and it takes effort, but if you do, there always comes the day that you realize you feel like you do belong.  I find it’s still necessary sometimes to fake it in the beginning though.

What I love is the day when the lightbulb finally goes on and you feel the connection, you’ve made it, you are right where you wanted to be, and you are no longer an imposter.  You have become a part of the work group of friends, or are finally accepted on your soccer team by a group of players who have been together for years, or you begin to feel at home after moving to a new area.

You don’t realize it as you move through the stages, for it’s a slow process.  It’s kind of like body pain, it nags at you pretty consistently until one day you realize that it’s gone, as the ailment has healed.  And it usually takes a while to even realize your pain is gone, but suddenly you take notice and embrace the blessing.

I have to say, and again, maybe it’s because I grew up an only child, but damn, I LOVE it when I finally do belong.  It’s a passage … it’s a triumph … and I cherish those moments.  And for whatever it’s worth, it means all the more to me when it has been harder than most efforts.  The harder, the better, because it means in the end I broke down the walls, I created a path, a connection with others, even when it didn’t come easy.

This yoga path was not one of my truly difficult ones, but nonetheless, when I decided to take the yoga training, I had those old familiar feelings  for sure.  I kept judging myself thinking, “you haven’t done enough yoga in your life to take a teacher training class.”  (By who’s standards, I wonder? That silly woman in my head.)

There it was again, the club I didn’t really belong to.  It’s interesting to me how many self-imposed limitations I can invent.  Thank goodness, at this stage of my life I know to disregard that negativity and take the plunge, even if it feels somewhat like an ice-cold dunk.  The amazing thing is the feeling when you get out of the ice-cold plunge, complete exhilaration.

I recently purchased yoga clothing at Lululemon.  For those of you who don’t know the brand, it’s awesome yoga clothing.  Not cheap, but worth the extra dollars as their clothing is  both comfortable and durable.  And what yoga person doesn’t covet their bags?  I’m never sure what I’m more excited about, what I bought or the bag it comes in.  The bags are covered in inspiring uplifting messages about life and yoga.  I took my lunch in one of their bags for years and would spend many a break just reading over the encouraging messages.  That was the older version of the bag.  The new bag is very sheek, black with white lettering or reversed, I luckily have one of each.

A few days ago I was waiting for someone and I started reading the bag’s wording, and about half way through I starting smiling, and of course my eyes filled with tears, because I realized that I now own this (no, not the clothing … yoga).  I will take yoga with me wherever I go for as long as I am able.  No club dues, no fakin’ it, just a love for an amazing practice.  I have made it mine.

We have no limit to our power when we learn to direct it.

Wording on the current bags …

Acceptance

Humility

Stillness

Attention

Devotion

Letting Go

Meditation

Self-Discipline

Intention

Concentration

Generosity

Self-Discovery

Purity

Nonviolence

THIS IS YOGA.  Lululemon

Breath

Trust

Compassion

Patience

Just reading the words make me breath deeper.  Yoga … this class … my life … all connected …  yoga was just waiting in the wings for me to slow enough to return.  I didn’t need this class to define myself, or believe in these principles.   As I slip into my yoga clothing these days,  it feels like an old prayer that I finally did manage so many years ago to make my own.  It’s good to belong.

Namaste

The Gift

“You seek problems because you need their gifts.”  Richard Bach

I read a book years ago by Richard Bach titled Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.  It left such an impression on me, in some ways it became my bible.  I resonated so completely with Richard Bach’s thinking about life, and many of his quotes still run through my head on a regular basis.  I think I could and probably will devote a whole post to his quotes, but this post has to do with one in particular:  “You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

Interesting thing is, I read this message in different words in my yoga study “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

Reading the message all these years later in my yoga class, I thought of Richard’s quote immediately.  It was the same idea just worded a bit differently.

Given everything I had been feeling and worrying about both for myself and others these last few weeks, I thought once again about the notion that problems are truly gifts in a much bigger picture.   I welcomed the lesson … I needed the lesson once again.  Nothing  quite like the return of an old friend.

Still on the heels of my post about our final day of class and remembering my friend,  Ron, and thinking about the lessons in Richard Bach’s book, I can’t think of any other person in my life who actually taught me more about that  idea by his actions than Ron did.  He took his hardship and created beauty and healing with it, not only for himself, but for others.  He often would say, had he not been paralyzed as a teenager, he might have ended up in jail.  He was joking, I think, maybe not, but he definitely knew that as hard as his paralysis made life for him, it carved the road he would follow to achieve a life of true significance.

A few days back, I was still feeling a bit low, so after work I grabbed my favorite blanket and cuddled up to watch a movie in the afternoon.  This is a rare event for me (I think my daughter, Amy, sucked all of those napping genes out of me, the sweet little queen of sleeping/napping.  From the time she was a baby, that kid could sleep with the best of them.  I once took her to the doctor when she was about three months old asking if there was something wrong with her because she slept so much.  He told me to go home and count my lucky stars.  I did just that, and have never stopped.)   

Back to my rare decision to put on a movie and nap.  I chose Amazon Prime to try to find a movie, and found a movie I thought I might like and pressed play.  Nothing.  I moved the cursor and selected the movie next to it that also sounded good.  Nothing.  I guess I’m a little slow to get the message, but I selected two more movies under Amazon, same thing.  I switched over to Netflix.  No problem, played instantly.

For some reason (also known as the universe directing you) I was insistent to watch an Amazon Prime movie.  Why????  I really have no explanation, I’m usually not this picky, especially if I’m planning to sleep through it.  I returned to Amazon and selected the next movie in line, Breathe, and without even reading what it was about, just insistent that my selection would work, I pressed play, and no big surprise in hindsight, the movie began without me knowing one thing about it.

Within probably five minutes, I knew exactly why I was watching the movie, and I couldn’t have been more content to do so.  It was, hands down, one of the nicest movies I’ve seen in a very long time, and reminded me more times than I can count of my friend, Ron.  I couldn’t finish it completely as I had to leave for my first yoga class in four weeks.

That night, I awoke in the early hours, finally writing.  When I’m excited to write, it usually presents itself in the wee morning hours, but I’ve made peace with that.  I toss and turn and write in my head, long enough that I can remember it the next day.  When my brain is confident about that, it usually lets me return to sleep.

This night though, Rick woke up also.  At about 4:00 in the morning we both were wide awake with the rain pouring down (such a great sound) and I suggested he watch the movie.  I welcomed seeing it again especially since I hadn’t seen the ending, and we decided to make a pot of coffee and go for it. I’m not sure if it was the novelty of watching a movie in the wee morning hours, the rain pouring down outside, or the taste of our freshly brewed coffee with a fantastic movie, but it was one of the nicest mornings I can remember in a long long time.  We both laughed and cried throughout this true story about … wait for it … a quadriplegic man and his wife who made great strides for the world in terms of people with disabilities (definitely worth seeing).

As this wonderful day progressed, once again, I had to smile at the universe’s subtle yet powerful message.  She was telling me to relax a bit, and let her take care of things … that my dear friends would all be fine in the big picture, and for their struggles, they would most definitely be rewarded at some point in some way that they might not yet be able to envision.

I’ve decided for now, to let Her steer this ship, not that I have any say in that matter.  But I’m feeling a little more like taking my place on board with an open heart as opposed to a closed and frightened one, joining my friends for the journey each of us with our troubles in hand, remembering again that there’s a reason for everything, even when we can’t see it with our limited vision.

Namaste

Making Fire

The rabbit hole was deeper than I thought.  Turns out not only was I suffering from a virus, but also writer’s block.  Maybe not for the typical reasons … it wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to say (fat chance of that).

No, I had lots going on in my brain, but just didn’t know if I should be writing about it.  I wasn’t feeling inspirational, anything but.  A big part of it did have to do with being sick for three plus weeks, finding myself abruptly removed from my wonderful yoga experience, and I might have been okay with only that.

But to add, a dear friend shared her troubles with me, which left me feeling oh so sad.  AND I began to stress about my job, or more accurate, the upcoming lack of my job.  AND even though I’m excited to move on, I’m starting to feel emotional about the end of my time at Virgin America.  AND I found myself needing to start planning my upcoming Karma class, and not being able to formulate even ONE SINGLE IDEA ABOUT IT.  Can you say BLOCKED, Mister Rogers?  (Youngsters, look him up if you don’t’ understand my jest.)  AND another friend is having a very serious surgery Perhaps with my normal energy, I might have done a better job fending off feeling so down.  But feeling physically below par, these emotional issues have gotten the better of me.

My son called yesterday (have I told you how much I love my kids?)  He wanted to tell me how much he liked my post about Ron.  My son was far too young to ever remember Ron, but from my stories, he holds him close at heart.

It’s ever so cool when your son calls to tell you how much he liked your latest post,  or when your daughter wants to throw you a party to celebrate your blog and the end of the class, there really are no words, only tears of love.

We began to chat about his current stress.  I might have mentioned, or maybe not, he’s the director of the Element YMCA Skate Camp at Sequoia Lake in California.  (If you have a child who likes to skate board or know anyone who does, check it out… an amazing summer camp with the world’s best director, Jordan Wilk.)

A few of his counselors had just let him know they would not be able to commit to this summer, so he was bummed out.  Not only because it makes it harder for him as the director, but because his buds would not be part of this summer’s experience.  We chatted for a while about the situation, but while we both could commiserate about his frustration, in the end we had to agree that a summer commitment has to take a back seat when a substantial employment opportunity comes along.

As we came to the end of discussing his issues, I shared that I too was feeling down.  I told him that while I loved that he enjoyed one of my last posts, I was feeling so blocked, and that I hadn’t been able to write in a week.  That the only thoughts coming into my mind were things I didn’t’ want to write about, and that I was feeling sad.

One of my favorite sayings is “out of the mouths of babes “…  my son said, “well, mom, you just need to do it, write.”

I heard his words almost in slow motion.  He was right.  It was time to face what was stirring in my heart.  I didn’t come this far to drop out.

We continued our conversation.  This last week, he had been so excited, traveling to camp to do prep work for the upcoming summer.  He traveled down the state on a true high, meeting with camp personnel, and ending on such a negative note.  He said to me, “mom, I was so excited driving down.  I thought to myself as I was feeling so good, oh no, you are too excited, something bad will happen.”

Not sure if I solely passed this on to my son …or if you readers can relate.  When I find myself soaring on an incredible high, sometimes the next thought will be something that puts an arrow right through the balloon.  I have felt this so many times in my life I couldn’t even count truly.  I KNOCK WOOD at every turn.  I never tempt the Gods (not that I really believe that, but I will still knock wood just in case.)

As my son related this story to me, it made me both cringe and smile. He had learned well from his mother, even if I never intended that lesson.  It made me a little sad that he considered surrendering his happiness in the moment fearing that it would end soon.

In the seconds that our conversation took place, I listened and put his words to a picture, and found a new horizon that I might direct him to, along with myself.

“Jordan, you know, something I’ve learned in my life, is that nothing is constant.  Everything will change.  What you think you can count on …. WILL CHANGE.  That is what is real.  So when you feel such a high for whatever reason … ENJOY THAT, MY BOY, enjoy it and shout it from the rooftops for as long as it lasts.    Because what you can count on, is that it will change.  Change is inevitable.”

As I said the words, they rung true to me.  Life returns to center when I can wash away the illusions for myself, and if I can pass along the lesson so that maybe my kids will grasp it a little sooner or easier than I did, that is all I can wish for.

Shouldn’t we embrace our joys when they present themselves?  They will be gone soon, and more will follow for sure in time, but why would we waste any blessing thinking about the future?

Our highs present themselves as a passing sunset. As I said to Jordan, don’t look for the sunset to fade, know it will, which is all the more reason to enjoy when the sun shines so brightly for every single moment that it does shine.

I think that perhaps one of our lessons in life is to develop faith in the knowledge that when we relinquish one blessing, there will be a million more to follow.

This is one post of probably two or three … dam has broken, lots to say.

 

Namaste

Cover picture is of my son making fire, from an article called “Make Fire,” in the magazine Stay Wild.  I think the picture is apropos as he helped create a fire beneath me to get on with my writing, even if  I wasn’t finding it easy.  I never tire of watching him make fire.  Have seen it for many summers now, and every time I see it anew, it still holds such a fascination for me.  Basic elements … when we break life down, the most important things are just that, basic.  Family, health, fire, warmth, food (and yes, Clay) God.

 

The rabbit hole

Three weeks have passed since the last class, and I seem to have fallen down the rabbit hole.  Feeling better from the flu, crawling out of the rabbit hole, but still far from normal, so I don’t get too much done except for work.  No yoga, not much writing, and just the bare minimum, very low energy level.  Definitely a strange feeling after being on such a high the last six or seven weeks.  Keep telling myself to honor what my body needs at this point, and to try to be patient.  But I don’t feel like being patient anymore.

I miss you guys.  I miss yoga.  I miss moving.  I miss writing.  And as each day passes, my crossroads rush toward me with increasing speed.  As of today, I have 17 days left of work at Virgin … 17 days after seven years.  I am a bit nervous, but truly more excited to turn at that upcoming fork in the road ready to veer off for destinations unknown.

Where will this wayward yogini find herself six months from now … one year from now … three years from now?  I’m feeling what I can only describe as a freedom rising from somewhere deep inside, and an excitement for what lies ahead. (Kenny’s Second Chances).

Guess this is somewhat like what the pioneers felt as they journeyed ahead armed only with a dream and courage.  My journey is a very watered-down version these many years later (no fear that I might be eaten along the way traveling with the Donner party) but nonetheless, for a modern day gal, I’ve been packing my gear for the wagon, and the journey is near.  Six weeks ago I would have said I was the fortunate one to be a modern day gal.  But something I learned in my class is that hardship brings its own reward.  If it doesn’t come with too much pain, then the reward is pretty amazing.  Leaves me contemplating what those pioneers felt as they reached their destinations, if they were lucky enough to arrive with their loved ones alive.

It must have been an incredible feeling, the kind of feeling that lasts a lifetime, contentment every which direction you look.  For those settlers, the view was long and wide, as far as the eye could see.  Most of us don’t even know what that might feel like.  Our views reach probably as far as our next door neighbor.  But there are always places to visit (my favorite, the ocean) to contemplate our desires, our dreams, and to take stock of all that we have to be grateful for.  Compared to the pioneers, we have to improvise a bit, but it all equals out in the end, as we don’t have to risk losing our loved ones to make the journey.

Checking the wheels on my wagon, packing my gear, looking forward ….  some post-class yoga lessons to share when I’m back up to par.

Namaste